The Algarve is one of the most popular destinations in Portugal for families, young couples and those interested in culture. It’s situated on the beautiful coastline of southern Portugal, boasting a sunny climate from May-October and has the most captivating shores.
Thanks to its many golden beaches, picturesque villages, rocky beaches and ancient roots, the resort towns of the Algarve make perfect holiday destinations. However, when researching into the Algarve, you will notice there are a variety of resort towns ranging from traditional and historic, to modern and bustling.
Which ones do you choose when looking for a family holiday?
This guide below will touch on some of the major towns and villages which rate highly for making a great base for your annual summer holiday. Some make brilliant spots for those with a keen interest in golf, while others are tailored for those who enjoy water sports. Read on to find your ideal resort.
Lagos is popular among families and couples due to its relaxed vibe and historic feel. Here, you’ll find the remains of an old fortress, cobbled streets and intriguing monuments when you walk around the town.
There is a beautiful marina surrounded with cafes, restaurants and shops, and it’s here you can get on the many buses that take you on day trips to other towns across Portugal. Lagos is a key location for those wanting to explore the iconic cliffs of Ponta da Piedade, which looks even more breath-taking in real life than it does in any photos you’ll find online.
Albufeira is one of the busiest resorts across the Algarve, home to both a new town and an old town which vary in what they offer. Whether you are looking for luxury Algarve Villa holidays here or budget-friendly centrally located hotels, you’re not short of options. It’s one busy place that caters for all!
Albufeira has a large sandy beach which leads from the old town straight into the new, lined with countless restaurants and bars filled with tourists from day to night. The old town features a small marina, and it’s here you can escape the hustle and bustle of Albufeira with its quaint back streets and relaxed atmosphere. The central square in the old town is very interesting, with street after street of Portuguese eateries and tourist stores.
If a bustling nightlife is your scene, then the new town is your ideal location. A much more modern part of Albufeira, you’ll find cocktail bars and newer apartments lining the hill that takes you directly to the beach.
Vilamoura tends to be a quieter town than Albufeira and Lagos, known as the more ‘premium’ resort of the Algarve. Due to its beautiful golf courses, you can expect to find lavish golf and spa resort hotels, along with an award-winning marina and fine dining restaurants.
This is an ideal location for couples who want a relaxing break in some of the top hotels, or who are keen on activities such as bike riding, golf and water sports.
Sagres sits at the very western tip of the Algarve, known for its stunning landscapes and raging seas.
Sagres is primarily a surfing destination, attracting those who like to embark on a surfing trip to experience some of the best waves in Portugal. However, it’s home to some stunning, pristine beaches, perfect for those who want a wind-down holiday and to feel like they are in a remote location.
The town of Sagres itself is small, so you wouldn’t come here if you were looking for a busy nightlife or an overly tourist-heavy vibe. It attracts families due to its quiet nature and ‘escapism’ feel. It’s popular for those who appreciate surfing, who embrace long beach walks escaping the crowds, and for those who love the atmosphere of sleepy fishing harbour towns filled with locals.
Luz is another resort hugely popular with British tourists but is much quieter and smaller than lively Albufeira. Luz tends to draw in families as it has a much more relaxed setting to the place, with its huge beach – Praia da Luz – being the main attraction. Here, you have one of the most looked after beaches in Portugal, lined with excellent cafés and restaurants.
From Praia da Luz you can access boat trips which take you to see dolphins and the local caves, as well as running child-friendly water sports such as sailing, water skiing, kayaking and beach games.
Where ever you decided to stay in the Algarve, you’ll be sure to find an abundance of beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and local Portuguese charm. To avoid the hottest months, look at visiting in May, June, September and October, where it tends to be a little cooler than the hottest months of July and August.
Whichever month you pick, you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy some of the best coastlines in Europe.