The Algarve is the most southern corner of continental Portugal known for lush golf courses, rocky cliffs overlooking the sea, whitewashed towns, and the wild countryside neighbored up to the Mediterranean and Atlantic waterways.After a few visits to Portugal, we couldn’t call it complete without a little jaunt in the sunshine (and sandy!) southern coast of the Algarve. From the what seemed to be endless list of must-see beaches to the charming fishing villages, this long weekend getaway could have easily been extended to a week…there is so much to see and do, not to mention eat! It is the seafood lovers paradise but sticking to traditional Portuguese cuisine, there are delicious steaks and piri – piri chicken wherever you look! And the wine, the wine… each region has their specialities and you can’t miss out on the Port. So don’t leave home for the Algarve without a hearty appetite!
Here are the top musts in southern Portugal :
Praia da Marinha : one of my favorites in the region — the limestone rock cliffs surround the sandy beach and the water is the most beautiful blue! You can find a hiking trail from the parking area that will lead you to
Ilha de Tavira : one of the island beaches of southern Portugal, you must take a ferry from Tavira to explore but these are often more remote feeling and have long sandy stretches.
Praia Verde : a long sandy beach claiming its’ name for the lush greenery surrounding the beach.
Praia da Armona : this island gets my vote for must-visit as a town and beach! The ferry runs frequently from Faro, Olhão and Fuseta. You can spend a day here wandering through the cutest beach villas to the far end of the island where a long sandy beach lies with what seems like endless sand dunes. On the ferry side of the island, there is a smaller beach a bit closer to the restaurants and shops.
Ilha de Faro : this beach is easily accessible from Faro Airport and offers a long stretch of sandy beach with a variety of restaurants and shops.
Cabanas : a stretch of endless Sandy beach and turquoise sea.
Manta Rota : a long wide, popular beach, just after Tavira.
Armona : mentioned above, the ferry leaves from Faro, Olhão and Fuseta. This was one of my favorites — super small and quaint but the main walking street is lined with adorable beach villas!
Tavira : the village of Tavira was a perfect evening stop for sunset drinks and a delicious Portuguese dinner.
Olhão : another really charming village to walk through and enjoy a meal!
We stayed at the gorgeous Fazenda Nova — a boutique luxury house in the rustic countryside of the Algarve. I highly recommend a visit — perfect for exploring the region and a very relaxing and charming hotel! Read more here!