There are so many reasons why the Algarve is a top holiday destination – these are just a few!

The Algarve remains a very popular destination and with so many recent holiday enquiries to explore this ‘sunshine region’, I thought I would like to share just some of the highlights awaiting
The Algarve is the southernmost region in Portugal framed by a beautiful 200km coastline. Some of the best beaches in the world can be found in the Algarve with golden sands and clear waters. The coast offers endless fun and exploration for families. The calm waters of the East coast and the blue flagged and golden quality awarded beaches of Barril, Tavira, Manta Rota and Altura highlight the quality of the beach and water environments. These beaches are manned by lifeguards, have a number of restaurants nearby and are well equipped with shower facilities and sports equipment for hire.

Beautiful Beaches

In fact, the Algarve is home to over 130 beaches; 88 of which are blue flag beaches. It is best known for its promise of 300 days of sun, beautiful beaches, food, outdoor activities and award-winning golf courses. However, there is more to the Algarve than first meets the eye.

All year round the region’s beaches, nature reserves, picturesque villages, golf courses, castles and fortresses can be enjoyed in all their splendour. Day or night, visitors to the region can enjoy history, culture and the popular local cuisine.

Here are a top 5 list of beaches not to be missed:

  • D. Ana beach, Lagos;
  • Praia da Marinha, Lagoa
  • Praia da Falésia, Albufeira
  • Meia Praia, Lagos
  • Tavira Island, Tavira

Perfect for Families

The clear blue waters are ideal for water sportswhere thrill-seekers can find windsurfing, kite boarding, diving and jet skiing readily available. The Algarve coast also provides a haven for wildlife with the Ria Formosa Nature Park, home to a variety of species, situated between the beach of Ancão and the beach of Manta Rota. This area of outstanding natural beauty is ideal for hiking and boating.

No matter how young or old the children are, the Algarve is the perfect holiday destination for families. There’s always something to suit everyone’s taste from racing tracks and ocean safaris to 4D cinemas and nature trails! With warm weather all year round, the Algarve is the perfect choice for a fun-filled family holiday.
Just outside Albufeira, head to the Zoomarine, a combination of family entertainment, educational activities and exhilarating experiences, with top attractions including water slides, a 4D cinema show, a interactive dolphin programme and an aquarium teaming with marine life.  Aquashow Water and Theme Park, located in Quarteira, is also well worth a visit and has attractions for all ages to enjoy from slides, pools and waves to exotic birds and even Europe’s biggest watercoaster which stands at 23.5 meters high!

A Golfer’s Paradise

The Algarve is home to almost half of Portugal’s entire golf inventory, with over 40 high quality and award- winning golf courses. It is often referred to as a golfers’ paradise and has been voted Europe’s No. 1 golf destination by professional golf tour operators; the southern region of Portugal offers its visitors an exceptional golfing experience. With perfect weather, beautiful scenery paired with immaculate fairways and smooth greens, it is no wonder golfers return year after year to the Algarve for a golf break.

However, there are so many more from which to choose, right across the region, and all of them in the most beautiful settings imaginable. Whatever a player’s handicap, the Algarve offers golfers the opportunity to experience the best the game has to offer in breath-taking surroundings all year round.

The Algarve has also become a popular tourist spot for nature enthusiasts and attracts visitors from all around the world. It has some beautiful wildlife and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean to offer, which will delight all types of nature enthusiast.

One of the best nature activities to participate in is hiking. With the scenic background of the Atlantic Ocean and hidden forests, hiking around the Algarve couldn’t be more enjoyable.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park is situated near Faro and is one of two national parks in the Algarve. The park is famous for its bird watching, with many birds resting and feeding here during the winter months. One of the most popular species of bird that you can spot here is the Flamingo.

The other national park in the Algarve is the Costa Vicentina National Park. The park extends along the Algarve west coast and is characterized by its unexplored countryside. The main attraction to this area is the natural beauty of its beaches and the scenery of its high cliffs.

An abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna can be found in the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, the Algarve’s secret west coast, where the stunning rugged coastline framing the Atlantic Ocean is a dramatic backdrop.

On the western side visit the most south-westerly point of mainland Europe, Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St. Vincent) which boasts dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery and was considered the ‘world’s end’ in the Middle Ages. Nearby, it was in Sagres that the epic maritime adventures of the Portuguese began under the command of Prince Henry the Navigator. Here you can enjoy a fantastic view over the Atlantic Ocean from the headland. Stunning coves and beaches can be found along the western side including the magical limestone cliffs at Ponta da Piedade where the view from the top is brilliant, but if you take the steps down it is even better!

A Gastronomic Feast!

Last and by no means least, the Algarve boasts a wealth of gastronomic highlights including fine seafood. Drawing on fresh catch including cockles, clams, oysters and squid, local maritime delights are sure to excite every visitor’s palate on the Algarve.

The annual Festival do Marisco is held in August each year in the town of Olhão just five kilometres from Faro. This gastronomic event is an opportunity for local fishermen to show off their catch on one of the hundreds of stalls that line the fishing port, and also gives visitors the chance to sample some of the local delicacies. A wide range of seafood is available ranging from grilled sardines to fried shrimps and of course the traditional cataplana, a much loved Portuguese dish. Music and folk dancing accompany the festival, with performers encouraging both locals and visitors to eat, drink and enjoy the superb atmosphere.

In the summer fig and orange trees are ready to be harvested and fill the air with a delicate sweet scent. In September it is time for the traditional almond crop. Un-skinned, they wait to dry in the sun on roof terraces. When autumn is in full swing, the chestnuts are ripe. Locals enjoy them most at the traditional “magustos” festivals with new wine and watered grape brandy.
Due to its geographical location and countryside, the mild climate all year round ensures the grapes ripen sun-kissed to produce high quality wines all throughout the Algarve region. The traditional Aguardente de Medronho brandy (traditional fruit brandy) and various types of liqueurs complement the long list of aromatic liquid delights from the Algarve.

The Algarve has so much to offer that one visit is definitely not enough! So if you are thinking about some winder warmth in the sunshine, or  planning a perfect family holiday for next year, give me Travel Tony a call and let’s discuss what the Algarve has in stall for you.

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