With a soft climate tempered by the Atlantic Ocean, exhilarating coastal scenery and mouth-watering local cuisine, it’s no wonder why the Western Algarve is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations. Here are some of the best things to do, from unwinding on the dreamlike coastlines to exploring the Monchique mountains.
Roaming through the historic centre of Lagos is a complete joy. Between the 16th and 18th centuries it was the capital of the Western Algarve. You can explore the museum to gain an insight into the town’s status, which has hundreds of artefacts including an impressive range of coins that date back to the 4th century.
You could also spend some time wandering around the narrow cobblestone streets, taking a look at the historic buildings or visiting the Baroque Church of Santo António which is beautifully decorated with blue azulejos.
Waterparks are an obligatory activity if you’re on holiday with children, and fortunately enough, the Algarve has a couple that compete with the best in Europe.
Slide & Splash is the largest waterpark in Portugal. It has 16 slides, multiple pools and almost 2 hectares of open areas for sunbathing.
Zoomarine Algarve meanwhile has an animal park, wave pool and beach area and loads of water slides that are suitable for younger children to enjoy.
Aquashow Park is more suited for older children as some of the slides are not for the faint-hearted such as Free Fall which stands at 32 metres, making it the highest in Europe.
When visiting Cape St Vincent, you’ll be at Europe’s most south-western point. However, beyond its geographical significance, it’s a beautiful setting that boasts cinematic views of the rocky coastline.
Lots of naval battles have been fought in this area and there’s a lighthouse that was built in 1846. There is also a small museum about the history of the cape and a few gift shops.
The Monchique mountains offer beautiful views over the landscape and is an excellent area for those who love a walk amongst nature so, if you’re looking for the ultimate way to relax during your time in the Western Algarve, then look no further. When visiting the area, you’ll find a unique combination of nature and craftsmanship that cannot be found anywhere else in Portugal.
With the Algarve being on the Atlantic, it will come as no surprise that seafood is the most popular delicacy. The fish that is served the most is the sardine which is typically grilled and served alongside a salad and a glass of white wine. Piri-Piri chicken is also another popular dish which is marinated and then barbecued.
For an accompaniment to your morning coffee, you could get a pastel de nata at a local bakery which is a custard tart complemented with almonds.
There are many golf courses in the Algarve with each of them bringing their own unique experience. From private clubs for professional challenges to public courses for casual golfing, the Algarve has something for everyone.