The Golden Algarve
A holiday to the Algarve offers everything you could want for a beach holiday in the sunshine. The coast is famous for its golden sandy beaches and rocky sea stacks, and for its clear turquoise waters which are perfect for water sports, from swimming and kayaking to adrenalin-fuelled activities like jet boating, parasailing and dolphin spotting, all of which are available up and down the coast.
Old Portuguese towns dot the Algarve between popular beach spots like Praia da Rocha and Armacoa, where you can while away whole afternoons outside little restaurants and coffee bars or browsing trinkets on market stalls. And of course golf enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice on the Algarve’s many championship courses. Inland, you can find rolling hills dotted with vineyards, and whitewashed rural villages surrounded by orange and almond groves, as well as archaeological treasures dating back to ancient times.
Whether you spend your whole holiday at a beachfront hotel in the heart of the Algarve or discover the region on one of our escorted tours, you’re sure to love Portugal’s sun-kissed, southernmost shore.
The Algarve holidays offer so many things to see and do. With a wealth of first-rate golf courses to help you perfect your swing, as well as gorgeous scenic beaches and delightful whitewashed villages to explore on excursions or walking holidays, the Algarve offers immense variety. The regional capital Faro also has plentiful attractions for tourists, due to its historic buildings and cobbled streets.
The home of the largest fishing port in the Algarve, quaint Olhão is a fishing village like no other. This charming place is famous for its whitewashed, North African style houses. Browse the local fish market before trying the fresh produce in one of Olhão’s cafes or restaurants.
Most visitors to the Algarve are attracted by the scenic coves and beaches that adorn its tourist brochures, but the region’s towns and cities have a magnetism of their own. This is especially the case with the region’s historic capital, Faro. The narrow, cobbled lanes of Faro appear to have resisted the passing of time, looking unchanged for centuries, and the city is infused with a tranquil charm that captivates visitors to this day.
Find the best of Portuguese produce and crafts at Loulé market, approximately 16 kilometres north of Faro. Many Portuguese people come to the indoor market to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. Since you’re on holiday, you can treat yourself to locally produced piri-piri sauce, freshly made cakes or a delicate hand painted teapot or plate. The most popular time to come to this market is on a Saturday morning when all of the stalls are out.
Discover the wildlife of the Algarve with a journey to Lagoa dos Salgados. One of the country’s most important ecological reserves, the lagoon is rich in bird life, including everything from gulls and spoonbills to flamingos. Wildlife like this makes the reserve a must-visit location for nature lovers and amateur ornithologists.
The weather in the Algarve is generally warm and dry. The region boasts a long summer with average temperatures between 18 and 24oC from May to October. The highest temperatures come in July and August with temperatures reaching up to a scorching 33 oC. Visit during March, April or November for cooler average temperatures of around 16 oC.
Portuguese is the official language in the Algarve, but English is also widely spoken and understood.
In summertime the Algarve is one hour ahead of the UK. During the winter, from November to late March, there is no time difference.
Flights to the Algarve from London take approximately 2 hours 30 minutes if you’re flying to Faro.
British passport holders can visit and stay in the Algarve for up to three months, but your passport must be valid for your whole stay. However, do recommend you check before you travel at CIBT visas or GOV UK.
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