Find a Travel Buddy in The Algarve

Known for its sea caves, soaring cliffs, golden beaches, sandy islands, and scalloped bays. The Algarve is a surfer's paradise. It is Portugal's most popular vacation destination, with some of the country's safest and most beautiful beaches. 

Visit the Algarve with your TripMates from JoinMyTrip and discover paradise. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, it creates the perfect setting for a soon-to-be digital nomad or for Group Travel Adventures.  

Find a Travel Buddy in The Algarve

All Trips

Plan Your Next Trip to the Algarve

This Portugal Travel Guide focuses on the Algarve region. Here, you will find all the answers to your questions. Where is the Algarve? Where to stay in the Algarve? What to do in the Algarve?

With this Algarve destination guide, you will become an expert on Portugal's most southern region. You might even end up giving a tour of the Algarve one day!

Top 10 Things to do in the Algarve

What makes the Algarve so popular? Known as a holiday destination for its warm climate and lovely beaches, the Algarve is also rich in history. With its historic castle towns and coastal cities, it provides a variety of activities to do. 

Here are our Top 10 things to do in Algarve, Portugal: 

Monterosa Olive Oil

This farm is a gold medal-winning olive oil producer in Olhão.  

On the tour, you will be shown a part of the 20-hectare estate and the five different varieties of olive trees that are handpicked in the fall, as well as the Roman-era press inside a granite mill in which the olives are ground to a paste before the oil is extracted and filtered, ending with a tasting.

Nova Cortiça

It is a factory in São Brás De Alportel. 

You'll learn about the tree's life cycle, harvesting, and manufacturing process, from drying to the creation of wine and champagne corks, on these intriguing behind-the-scenes cork factory excursions. 

It also shows how the adaptable material may be used in numerous ways, such as apparel, footwear, purses, and even furniture.

cork from the factory, Nova Cortica

Museu Municipal de Arqueologia

This museum is located in Silves. This archaeological museum houses a diverse collection of intriguing items from the area. 

The current structure was built around an 18-meter-deep Moorish well with a spiral staircase that leads down into the depths.

Fiesa Sand City

Fiesa is the largest sand sculpting competition in the world. Artists are provided 45,000 tonnes of sand to sculpt with, and the end results are incredible masterpieces, some are even up to 12 meters high. 

Lit at night, they may be seen throughout most of the year. The Sand City is located 13 kilometers northwest of Albufeira.

Castelo

The castle at Silves is a brownish-orange, Lego-style structure. It offers spectacular views of the town and surrounding countryside. 

The castle was significantly rebuilt in the twentieth century, although much of what you see now originates from the Moorish era. 

The 5m-deep whitewashed water cisterns from the 12th century currently house temporary exhibitions.

castle at Silves

Igreja de São Lourenço de Matos

This baroque jewel was constructed on the site of a destroyed church, where residents prayed to Saint Lawrence for assistance while digging a well and suddenly hit water. 

Its walls, including the ceiling, are covered with azulejos (hand-painted tiles) representing the saint's life and death. 

Interesting fact: only five tiles fell from the roof during the 1755 earthquake. 

It is located 9 kilometers south of Loulé.

Igreja de Sao Lourenco de Matos

Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo & Capela dos Ossos

It is certainly a sight to behold in Faro!

This twin-towered baroque beauty was finished in 1719 under João V and is one of the Algarve's most beautiful cathedrals. 

The 19th-century Capela dos Ossos is made with the bones and skulls of more than 1000 monks as a reminder of worldly mortality.

Capela dos Ossos

Parque Natural da Ria Formosa

This large system of lagoons and islands spans over 60 kilometers along the Algarve coastline, from west of Faro to Cacela Velha. 

It has a large amount of marsh, salinas (salt pans), waterways, and dune islands. 

Migrating and breeding birds use the wetlands as a stopover point. There are several wading birds, as well as ducks, shorebirds, gulls, and terns, to be seen.

Parque Natural da Ria Formosa

Porches Pottery

Artists may be seen painting traditional azulejo tiles by hand. You'll also discover a wide range of ceramics here, including fridge magnets, plates, bowls, lamps, vases, and pots.

Its lovely on-site cafe is coated in traditional blue-and-white tiles and opens to a bougainvillea-draped front patio. 

It is located 9 kilometers northeast of Carvoeiro.

Dolphin Watching Cruise

Take a boat ride along the coast between Albufeira and Carvoeiro to witness wild dolphins in their natural environment. 

Cruise down the Algarve coastline to Carvoeiro Beach, passing by beautiful rock formations.

Dolphins in the Algarve

The best Instagram Spots in the Algarve

It is safe to say that the Algarve, with its 16 charming municipalities, is overflowing with Instagram-worthy content.

Each district has its own unique personality and story to tell. Some might even have more than one story.

These Algarve cities have been around for a long time, since the Phoenicians, maybe even before.

Here are the best places in the Algarve to show in your Instagram feed:

Praia do Pintadinho

This beach is located in a calm harbor and is somewhat protected from the wind, making it ideal for sunbathing.

The daring can even snorkel right off the shore and explore secret coastal caves. You may either wait till the tide is out or climb the cliffs and cross to the pier if you don't want to swim. You'll be pleased you went since the views go as far west as Lagos.

Praia do Pintadinho

Praia do Camilo

The two hundred wooden stairs down to this quiet beach may appear to be a lot of work, but we guarantee that it's worth it. This picturesque beach is situated between Praia Dona Ana Beach and Praia da Boneca Beach, in the western Algarve near Lagos.

Praia do Camilo

Praia da Marinha

Here you will capture the heart of the Algarve. 

This beach, located near Caramujeira, has received several awards, including being named one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in Europe and one of the top 100 most beautiful beaches in the world by the Michelin Guide.

Praia da Marinha

Praia dos Estudantes

This beach is reached by a rock tunnel and has stunning cliffs as well as a small sandy space for sunbathing. If the tide is low, you can capture shots while standing under the rock tunnel.

Praia dos Estudantes

Pego do Inferno

If you're ready to step off the beaten path and uncover one of Algarve's best-hidden secrets, then you must visit this lake. You can use the rope swing to capture the ideal Instagram picture or simply leap from the rocks. 

Pego do inferno

Algar Seco

The Algar Seco, which translates to 'dry cavern,' is a beautiful rock structure one kilometer east of Carvoeiro's town center. There is a scenic vantage point that Algar Seco is known for - 'A Boneca.' The name 'A Boneca' refers to its shape, where the two cave arches give the illusion of a doll's eyes.

algar seco

Tavira

The old center of Tavira is a perfect setting for an Instagram photo, with its lovely cobblestone streets. Located on the eastern edge of the Algarve, you can sit along the Gilão river and enjoy the peace and quiet.

tavira

Fort of São João do Arade

This fort, known as the ‘Castle of Arade,’ was firstly built to protect Portimão, and now it is a breathtaking place that can be visited. It also creates a wondrous, Arabian nights background for your pictures. 

castle of arade

Cape St. Vincent

It is the end of the world! Cape Saint Vincent is at the southwestern tip of the Algarve, hence also Europe. You can enjoy a magnificent view of the Atlantic coast, hearing and seeing massive waves crashing against the cliffs.

cape st. vincent

Benagil Caves

An Instagram fantasy comes true!  Several worldwide media, including the Huffington Post, have named this specific destination as one of the top 5 most beautiful sites on the planet. These Algarve caves are located between Lagos and Albufeira and can be reached by swimming, a boat, a stand-up paddle, or a kayak.

benagil caves

This is our most Insta-worthy destination in the Algarve!

The Best Travel Itinerary for the Algarve

7-day itinerary: first time to the Algarve?

Here’s where you should go:

Day 1
​​Ferragudo

ferragudo

On the day you arrive, go straight to Ferragudo, which is west of Faro Airport, and walk around the town. Ferragudo is a whitewashed fishing town located near the mouth of the Arade River. 

You will see men grilling fish outside while little fishing boats wobble in the river.

You'll pass various seafood restaurants and snack bars as you wander through the town's winding and picturesque streets. A Ria or Borda Do Cais are good places to go for seafood. Sen Tonkin is an excellent non-Portuguese choice.

Afterward, you can stroll to Praia da Angrinha and Fort of São João do Arade after seeing the town.

Day 2
​​Ferragudo to Carvoeiro

trail of headlands

The Trail of Headlands connects Ferragudo and Carvoeiro (6km one-way; 2 hours one-way). This almost-secret coastal route connects Praia dos Caneiros with Carvoeiro, a lovely seaside resort town. This is a beautiful walking track that is relatively unknown, so it is gloriously calm. 

Get a head start if you're doing this in the summer. If you leave after 8:30 a.m., you'll get burnt in the noon heat. Because the weather is pleasant in the spring and fall, you can go whenever you like.

carvoeiro

Enjoy the beautiful beach at Carvoeiro, and if you get hungry, get a bite to eat in town. Earth Café is a great place to go for a healthy and satisfying meal. Simply go back the same way you arrived. Take a taxi if it's too hot or you're tired.

praia dos caneiros

It's time to unwind at Praia dos Caneiros after a day in the sun. You may watch the sunset while sipping a drink at the beach restaurant Rei das Praias. We recommend sticking here for dinner if the price tag does not deter you. Reservation is recommended.

Day 3
​​Algarve Beaches

The third day of your Algarve trip brings you to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the country. Spend the day bouncing between the beaches of the Algarve.

praia da marinha

Our favorite swimming spot along the southern Algarve coast is Praia da Marinha. The golden limestone cliffs provide protection, and the water is perfect. The beach is a short downhill walk from the parking lot. A modest café is also present on the beach.

seven hanging valleys trail

The renowned Seven Hanging Valleys Trail (5.7 km one-way; 2 – 2.5 hours one-way) begins at Praia da Marinha. You might hike the coastal route to Praia de Benagil and to Praia de Vale Centianes. 

Consider hiring a SUP or kayak at Benagil Beach if seeing Benagil Cave is on your bucket list. The cave is only accessible from the sea.

praia nova

Praia Nova is a very beautiful beach in the Algarve, with a view of the white-washed chapel of Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Rocha. You'll be overjoyed when you arrive if you enjoy collecting seashells.

You can enjoy the sunset, then dinner, at Armação de Pêra. It is a former fishing community that has been transformed into a tourist destination. The origin of the town's name is a reference to Pera fishermen who caught fish with tuna nets (armação).

When you arrive, go straight to the "Fisherman's Beach," which has a collection of modest huts where local fishermen relax and stow their gear. Fishnets and boats litter the shore, providing a realistic sight of the region's oldest profession.

Visit one of the seafood eateries located along the shore to sample the fresh catch. At Restaurante Bùzio, now known as Só Verão, freshly-made Arroz de Marisco is served. Arte Náutica is another beachside seafood restaurant. It receives excellent ratings, despite its high cost.

Day 4
​​Lagos

Lagos is a historic maritime city with a history dating back over 2000 years. It was held by the Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths, Byzantines, and Moors, who fortified and walled the city in the 8th century and constructed a medieval fortress that can still be seen today.

lagos old town

Explore the charming and historically significant Lagos Old Town, including the Mercado de Escravos, Europe's first slave market, the Baroque church of Saint Anthony, the charming Forte da Bandeira, Lagos's Castle, and the ruins of the ancient city walls.

If you're looking for a change from traditional Portuguese cuisine, Lagos has you covered with Mexican, Indian, Hawaiian, and Chinese cuisine.

The beautiful beaches of Camilo and Dona Ana are easily accessible from the heart of Lagos.

It's possible to walk from Lagos to Praia da Dona Ana and Praia do Camilo when the weather is nice. The walk does not follow the shore the entire way, unlike the other coastal trails described in this itinerary. Because part of the coast is fenced off, you may have to walk on the sidewalks near the road.

praia dona ana

Praia Dona Ana is regarded as one of the world's most beautiful beaches. Stay on Dona Ana and then go to the stunning Praia do Camilo. Walking distance from each other, or you can also take your car, which will take you 5 minutes.

ponta da piedade

Another award-winning beach, Ponta da Piedade, is a strip of shoreline located 2 kilometers from Lagos' city center. Natural factors shaped the coastal scenery of caverns, grottoes, and arches over thousands of years.  Ponta da Piedade will take your breath away.

The beach is less than a 5-minute drive from Praia do Camilo, then on foot, you take a cliff-top route.

You can see everything of Ponta da Piedade's splendor from the 20m-high cliffs, but you should go down the 182 steps to come closer to the sea.

You won't be able to swim in Ponta da Piedade during the busy season, but you may take a boat tour to adjacent beaches and grottoes.

Day 5
Western ​​Algarve

The Algarve (along with Alentejo) is home to the wild, windswept coast of Vicentina, which is known for its reddish limestone sea cliffs. You may go directly from Lagos to Costa Vicentina via Aljezur, which is a 40-minute drive. 

Alternatively, you might take a diversion to Burgau and Sagres before continuing on to the western coast, which will take around 1.5 hours. 

burgau

Burgau, west of Lagos, is a picturesque coastal village. Here, you can swim or have a cup of coffee.

sagres

Then, travel to Sagres, a small, remote, and extremely modest village recognized as the Algarve's surf paradise.

Visit Sagres Fortress, view the fishing harbor, eat lunch in the center (try the Piri-Piri chicken or Babugem), go for a walk along the coast, learn surfing, or drive up to the Praia Da Bordeira or Praia do Amado via the uninhabited Vicentine Coast Natural Park. Cabo de São Vincente, Europe's most southwestern tip, is about 5 kilometers from Sagres.

costa vicentina

Costa Vicentina is the Algarve's best-kept secret. Costa Vicentina is a dramatic and wild region that is sometimes ignored. Consider hiking the Rota Vicentina Fisherman's Trail, it is without a doubt one of Europe's greatest hiking trails.

The beach at Praia da Arrifana is located within the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, which is a natural wonderland. The beach of Praia da Arrifana has been awarded the blue flag.

Between Lagos and Albufeira, the coast is significantly different from the beach resorts, and you'll pass through little communities where historic agriculture and fishing practices are still practiced.

The Cape of Saint Vincent, often known as "the end of the world" by the Romans, is a significant Algarve location rich in history and legend.

On top of the 60-80 meter-tall cliffs, there is a fortress built in the 16th century to protect the coast from pirate attacks. There is also a beautiful lighthouse within the stronghold that is only open on Wednesdays.

Day 6
​​Historic Towns

Start with the history of the Algarve, which gets its name from the Arabic phrase 'Al-Gharb,' which means 'the west,' because it was formerly the westernmost outpost of the Moorish dominion. 

Silves, one of Portugal's oldest cities and the historical capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve, is a charming walled town nestled among citrus orchards and vineyards in the Monchique Mountains.

Silves Fortress, a magnificent red-brick Moorish castle from which the Moors controlled the whole Algarve, is the highlight of the visit. The city walls and the Sé Cathedral, which was erected on the site of a large mosque, are well worth seeing.

Porches Potter is a 15-minute drive from Silves, where traditional Iberian patterns have been dusted off and revived by the skilled hands of two sisters.

Fresh salads are served on the pottery's own ceramics in the Bacchus Bar.

After leaving Silves and driving 30 minutes through the foothills of the Serra de Monchique, you'll arrive in Monchique, a town tucked away among pine, oak, and eucalyptus trees.

monchique

After spending some time visiting the tranquil village and its cobblestone alleyways, climb Mount Fóia, the Algarve's highest summit at 902 meters. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the entire region as well as its rich vegetation.

Visiting Silves and Monchique allows you to appreciate the Algarvian countryside and witness a world separate from the Algarve's famed beach resorts.

Another option for day 6:

olhao

Olhão is a seaside town in the Algarve's eastern region. 

Two markets (Mercados de Olhão) are located on the town's shoreline. 

The first building offers vegetables, fruits, and spices, while the second holds Algarve's largest fish market. 

As soon as you approach the fish market, you'll see a large selection of regional fish, such as black scabbardfish, monkfish (tamboril), bream (dourada), posta corvina, dried codfish (bacalhau), white seabream (sargo), sole (linguado), and turbot (pregado).

Tavira is a town in the state of Portugal, east of Olhão. The village, which spans the GilãoRiver, is a wonderful area to stroll, buy, and dine.

São Brás de Alportel is a small village in Algarve's Barrocal district. Tourism has little impact here, which is one of the reasons why we liked it.

Day 7
Albufeira

albufeira

You'll spend the final day of your Algarve vacation at Albufeira.

It's a former fishing community that's grown into a popular vacation spot, complete with sandy beaches and a bustling nightlife district. Candy-colored apartments surround this coastal city.

The local fishermen now use the modern marina which also serves as a base for dolphin watching, diving, and boat rides. 

praia da falesia

If you have time before your flight, I recommend visiting Praia da Falésia, Albufeira's longest beach, which is lined with dark red and white sand cliffs capped with green trees.

Quad-biking is a great way to get a rush of excitement. It's a fantastic chance to experience the Algarve beyond the beaches.

After visiting the Algarve, you'll see why it's such a popular destination.

Of course, this is only a suggestion for a 7-day itinerary in the Algarve; you may tailor it to your own interests, budget, and schedule.

These instructions, I believe, will make planning and enjoying your vacation much simpler.

Have a great time in Portugal and be safe.

Best Time to Visit the Algarve

In the Algarve, the seasons can be shown using flowers, with pink almond blossoms in February, blue-blossomed jacaranda trees along the streets in May, stunning pink bougainvilleas in July, and fiery red poinsettia trees in December, all set against a blue sky.

In short, the Algarve has rather nice temperatures throughout the year.

Come outside of school holidays to find empty beaches. May, June, or October are the ideal months to visit since the sun is shining and there are few people.

Summer in the central Algarve might be busy but drive inland to enjoy a peaceful rural paradise that hasn't changed much over the years.

Although it is cooler at night in December and January, there is typically bright sunshine during the day — and, of course, significantly reduced hotel costs. Swimming is only for the genuinely brave. 

If your trip is centered on dining and touring, keep in mind that many restaurants, as well as tourist sites such as zoos and water parks, close in the winter. 

In the winter, several airlines reduce their travel schedules, resulting in higher pricing for the flights that do run, so book early to get the best deals.

Late October and November are the most likely months for significant rain.

The Hidden Gems of Algarve

You may associate the Algarve with large resorts, but you won't have to travel far to see small, hidden beaches, lakes with flamingos, and mountainous spa villages. 

Hold on to your seats as we tell you more about our 5 favorite hidden treasures in southern Portugal.

Pego do Inferno

To get there, make sure you're wearing proper footwear. This hidden gem is a 15-minute dirt trail walk from the parking lot to the lake itself. This lovely retreat has remained a mystery due to the lack of signs.

Pego do Inferno

Rota Vicentina, West Coast Trails

The Rota Vicentina is a huge walking route network that connects the Algarve and the region of the Alentejo for individuals who prefer to walk rather than resort hop. The Fisherman's Trail follows the coastline and offers stunning vistas; an alternate inland route offers a tour of Portugal's highlands.

Fisherman's Trail

Monchique

If you come during the summer, some of the local springs may have dried up, but if you're looking for a place to relax, the old health resorts in Caldas de Monchique are a terrific place to go. 

This portion of the Algarve, surrounded by lush woods and massive rocks, is quite different from the coast and is a wonderful place to stay if you want to travel to the Alentejo region next. 

Monchique

Fontes, Estombar

Locals go to this municipal park to get away from the beach and have a picnic meal in the natural setting. There are 12+ picnic tables that rapidly fill up on a sunny day and six BBQs that are free to use.

The main sights include an old water wheel, a miller’s house, and an amphitheater. 

The park is also home to a variety of fauna and birds, with flamingos being a wonderful addition throughout the season.

Estoi

Estoi, a tiny parish that is just outside Faro, has Roman ruins in Milreu as well as restored buildings. The inside of the Pousada de Faro has been refurbished.

You don't have to be a visitor to see the main rooms and gardens of this 18th-century castle, but a cold glass of wine on the veranda adds a touch of opulence that you won't find anywhere else in the Algarve.

18th century castle in Estoi

Getting Around the Algarve

Plane 

If you did not drive to the Algarve via your car, and you traveled by plane, then you will most probably be arriving at Faro Airport. From there you can either rent a car, use a taxi, or take Bus #16 to Faro City.

In the Algarve, there is another little airport in Portimão, although it gets significantly fewer flights.

Buses

In the Algarve, there are three bus companies to choose from Próximo, Eva, and Frota Azul Algarve.

Tickets may be purchased at bus terminals, and it's a good idea to have some (little) cash on hand to pay for them. Both Portuguese and English signs are utilized in the major cities: paragem/bus stop.

All of the major towns in the Algarve may be reached by bus. The bus company Eva operates the majority of intercity buses in the Algarve. The white, orange and green color scheme distinguishes the buses.

Trains

Train stations may be found in all of the major cities between Lagos and Vila Real de Santo António. 

The main towns where the train passes: Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira, and Vila Real de Santo António. 

Taxis

If the taxis are beige or black and green, fare lists should be presented inside each one.

Taxis run 24 hours a day, carrying up to four people. You can request a bigger car if you order a taxi over the phone.

Additional charges: a 20% increase between 22:00 and 06:00 on weekdays and weekends, and a fixed extra charge for any luggage transported in the trunk.

Uber

Uber has dominated the global transportation business. It is also very popular in the Algarve, with both visitors and residents. It is a simple way to go about the towns. 

One of the biggest advantages is that you don't require cash because the fees are deducted immediately from your credit or debit card. 

Another advantage is that you can see the price upfront and decide whether or not to accept it.

Car Rental

This is more expensive than taking public transportation, but if speed and independence are more important to you than cost, renting a car is a terrific option to get around the Algarve. 

All main centers, hotels, and travel companies provide car hire/car rental services (with or without a driver). In the Algarve, there are various different rental vehicle businesses, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

What does it cost to travel to Algarve? 

How much should I budget for a trip to Algarve, Portugal? How much spending money will I need for a week in Portugal? Is Algarve, Portugal expensive?

Your answers to these questions have been categorized according to three different budgets, and this will help you with planning your own holiday in the Algarve.

Let’s see how much money you will need to take with you on your trip. Please keep in mind that the costs below are for a single individual.

 Daily costs, on average, excluding accommodation to consider when planning your trip:

a) Budget-friendly: €35-45

b) Mid-range budget: €100-110

c) High budget: €250, more or less

A.   Accommodation:

The Algarve has a wide range of housing alternatives, ranging from five-star luxury villas to single beds in a hostel.

a) Budget-friendly:

·  hotel or hostel for one person: around €20 per night

b) Mid-range budget:

·  hotel room for one person: around €50 per night

c) High budget:

·  hotel room for one person: around €100 per night

B. Food:

The cost of food in the Algarve per day varies depending on what you decide to go for. Breakfast is frequently less expensive than lunch or dinner. Food in restaurants in Portugal is typically more expensive than fast food or street food.

a) Budget-friendly:

·  meals for one day: around €15

·  Convenience store: about €15 for water (1.5L=€0.78), coffee beans, bread, cheese, and two kinds of fruit altogether

b) Mid-range budget:

·  meals for one day: around €35

c) High budget:

·  meals for one day: around €75

C. Transportation:

 a) Budget-friendly: on average about €8 per day

·  Public transportation: single bus fares around €5, depending on destination

·  Bus Tourist pass: a 3-day pass is about €30 / a 7-day pass is around €40

b) Mid-range budget: on average about €20 per day

·  Taxi cars: around €10-15 per trip that is 15 minutes long on average

·  Train tickets: single fare rates: around €10

·  Train tickets: tourist travel card=unlimited travel with the train: 2-day pass is around €20 / 3-day pass is around €30

·  Car rental: around €25 per day

c) High budget: on average about €55 per day

·  Taxi cars: around €55 per trip that is 40 minutes long on average

The above list of prices will provide you with a better understanding of what to expect on your Algarve holiday.

Must-Try Foods in the Algarve

The best thing about a trip is the food. Whether you are traveling solo or with your travel buddies, good food always makes the experiences more memorable. Do you know that feeling when you eat something that tastes unbelievably good and you start moving your head with joy? 

Here is a list of the must-try specialties from Portuguese cuisine:

Please note: fresh fish and fruits are a delight due to the Algarve climate.

Grilled Sardines

Grilled Sardines

Grilled Piri-Piri Chicken

Grilled Piri-Piri Chicken

Cataplana 

(stew with meat or fish or seafood)

Fish Cataplana

Dom Rodrigo

Dom Rodrigo

Bolinhos de Amêndoa

Bolinhos de Amendoa

Pastéis de Nata

Pasteis de Nata

Some recommendations on where to eat in the Algarve? 

Other than Portuguese restaurants, you will find ones that serve Japanese, Indian, Italian, or even Thai cuisines. 

We have compiled a list of restaurants and bars recommended by our TripLeaders: 

Monte da Eira

It is located 4 kilometers south of Querença. Its Portuguese specialties, such as caçarola de coelho e ameixas (rabbit and plum casserole) and estfado de javali (wild boar stew with local herbs) can be combined with hundreds of Portuguese wines.

Jardim das Oliveiras

This hidden gem in Monchique's hills offers dining rooms with open fireplaces, as well as a lovely garden with tables among the olive and cork trees.

Cabrito assado (roast baby goat), ensopado de borrego (lamb stew), and pezinhos de porco (pigs' trotters) are some of the daily delicacies prepared in the wood-fired oven or over coals.

Caniço

To reach this hidden bar, you must first go through several steps. It is on a small beach that is tucked between towering cliffs.

DJs spin every night, while people dance on the sand and the cliffs are lit up with neon lights. The restaurant's specialty is barbecued fish, as well as traditional cataplanas (seafood stew).

The Garden

You will find this well-known place in Lagos. This magnificent beer garden, which is filled with flowering hibiscus, bougainvillea, and citrus trees and has a mural of a barreling wave, is a great place to relax with a drink on a sunny afternoon. 

You'll be enticed to remain for a meal due to the smell of barbecuing seafood and meat. 

On the outer wall, look for the kissing snails.

O Sargo

In Aljezur, you will find this highly-rated bar. With cold-pressed juices, artisan beers, ciders, local wines, and white and red sangrias, O Sargo is a terrific location to quench your post-surf thirst, with glass walls shielding you from the wind and sand. 

From June through September, live music ranging from fado to Spanish flamenco and funk is played on weekends, and the pub also organizes frequent full-moon parties.

Ceviche, grilled octopus, and salads with scallop and prawn are ocean-fresh items that can be found on the menu.

Travel Tips for Algarve

Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when visiting the Algarve:

Culture 

In Portugal, a tip is usually between 5% and 15% of the bill.

Language

Portuguese is the native language. English, Spanish, French, and German are commonly spoken.

Services

Banks 

Monday to Friday: 08:30 – 15:00

Closed on Saturdays and official holidays.

Post Offices

Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 18:00

Central post offices and those at airports are open on Saturdays.

Pharmacies

Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 13:00 / 15:00 – 19:00

Saturday: 09:00 – 13:00

Shops

Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 13:00 / 15:00 - 19:00 From January to November, shops close at 13:00 on Saturdays; 

In December, they are open Monday to Saturday, from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00. 

There are also several malls with shops that open from 10:00 to 23:00.

Restaurants, cafés, and cake shops

For lunch: 12:00 to 15:00

For dinner: 19:00 to 02:00

No admissions after 1 am.

National Museums

Wednesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00

Tuesdays: 14:00 - 18:00

Closed on Mondays, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25 December.

National Palaces

Closed on Wednesdays 

Payment 

The majority of Portuguese stores accept credit and debit cards, such as: 

Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Eurocard, Euro-Cheque, and Diners Club.

There are several cash ATMs located around the country. The term "MB" is used to identify these cash machines.

Currency

Portugal, like most other European Union nations, uses the Euro as its currency.

Fun fact: 

There are 8 coins: one, two, five, ten, twenty, and fifty cents, as well as one and two Euros. One side of each coin is the same for all EU nations, but the other side varies from country to country.

Safety

You can relax and enjoy your vacation knowing that the Algarve has a very low crime rate and that you will see police on the streets! 

The only concern to be cautious of is petty theft. Do not leave anything on display in your car, keep valuables in a bag near to your body, and do not carry too much cash.

Transportation

Bus

Please notice that there are no route/line numbers on the buses. On the front of the bus, you should find the destination display. 

The majority of buses run between the hours of 7:00 and 20:30. 

The bus service is less frequent on weekends than it is during the week. During the weekends and public holidays, many smaller towns in the countryside do not even have a bus service. 

Weekend and holiday service is available on the main intercity bus lines, however, it is less frequent.

Car

Do you have a rental car? Remain on the EN 125, which follows the coastline. It allows you to avoid tolls on the highway while also giving you a better view of the Algarve.

Boat

You may take a speedboat shuttle from Faro, the Algarve's capital, to the Deserted Isle (Ilha Deserta), where you'll be carried to its pristine sands and waters, in only 15 minutes. Cais das Portas do Mar is where the boat departs.

As featured in