The Algarve is perhaps Portugal’s most popular tourist destination – and with good reason! With a gorgeous coastline of long, white sandy beaches, constant warm weather and some of the friendliest people I’ve encountered on my travels, it’s easy to see why the Algarve is so popular. However, while most people go there to relax on the beach or by the pool, there’s still plenty to see and do in the Algarve for those who fancy exploring!
If you’ve read my post on what to do in Silves (found here), you’ll hopefully understand why I loved it so much. Overlooking the town is an old Moorish castle, which can be reached through the charming old town! Also make sure not to miss Silves Cathedral, which is another fantastic sight and is located right next to the castle! Wander down by the river to admire views of the castle from the bottom, and explore the turrets and admire the views after walking to the top! On top of this, Silves is not a massive tourist destination due to its inland location, so if you’re looking to escape the crowds, this is your best shout!
Monchique Mountain is the tallest mountain located in the Algarve, and the views going up it are incredible! We visited a spa/resort briefly in Monchique, which was beautiful – despite the fact that we didn’t have any time for treatments! Another lovely place to escape the crowds, either book in for some spa treatments, or just admire the beautiful place over a healthy drink from the café!
Aside from Silves, Lagos was my favourite place in the Algarve (and there’ll be a more detailed guide to the town coming soon!). Although we only had a couple of hours here, it felt like enough to get a feel for the atmosphere of the town and admire its beauty and history! The town square is stunning, with a statue of Prince Henry looking out to sea and white-washed buildings everywhere you look. While relaxing in the square itself is lovely, the best view of it is nearer the harbour, looking over the fountain towards the square! There’s also plenty of little shops to wander around, while you can also people watch sitting outside a café or wander along the harbour.
Lagos Rock Formations:
There are plenty of stunning rock formations along the coast of the Algarve, although the most stunning ones we came across were located just under half an hour west of Lagos (and there are plenty of tours advertised to visit them). These rock formations are absolutely stunning, and were perfect to view from the cliffs, as everyone direction you looked in, there was a different stack! It’s possible to go on a boat tour of the caves and rocks surrounding the area if you head down to the beach (there are lots of stairs taking you down), and although I’ve heard it is fantastic, I didn’t have the time to go myself! Regardless, these rock formations were one of the favourite things in the Algarve, as I was just taken aback by their beauty!
Cape St Vincent:
Cape St Vincent is the most south westerly point in Europe, and was once considered by the Portuguese to be the end of the world! It is a stunning place to visit if you want to look out over the sea, with no land in sight, and some of the cliffs there are also beautiful! Just to warn you, it can get extremely windy here (with people on stalls actually selling jumpers!), so I’d recommend bringing a jumper with you. There’s also a lovely little lighthouse there, as well as a gift shop for you to escape the wind into!
While this list might not be exhaustive, these were all my absolute favourite places in the Algarve! What were yours?!