A prime slice of Portugal

Portugal’s southernmost strip isn’t just about ribbons of golden sand and world-famous golf courses. It’s also got an edgy mix of modern, got-it-all resorts and traditional towns. Plus, families are more than catered for with a superb line-up of waterparks, theme parks, and restaurants where little ones are always welcome.

Albufeira – the best of both worlds

If having everything on your doorstep is a priority, try the Algarve’s largest holiday spot, Albufeira. It ticks off a 5-kilometre beach, restaurants galore, and nightlife as loud as you want it. On the other hand, you can also go local in its old cobbled town or walk along cliff-top paths in search of hidden bays.

Down-tempo towns

If you prefer things a bit quieter, Sao Rafael is ideal. Its main beach has Blue Flag status and this modern resort is home to a clutch of beachfront bars and restaurants. To experience authentic Portugal, meanwhile, head for Olhos D’Agua – it’s a working fishing village with cobbled lanes and traditional waterside restaurants. The beach is a big hit with kids, with rock pools to explore and freshwater springs that bubble up through the sand.

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Set on Portugal’s southern coast, Albufeira is the Algarve’s biggest holiday hotspot. It’s a really clued-up resort, pulling together a modern seafront with a traditional old town stacked with shops, bars and restaurants. And it’s also come up with a can’t-lose combo – an all-you-can-handle nightlife and a coastline crammed with Blue Flag beaches.


Alvor likes to mix things up. Set on the western Algarve in Portugal, it’s a traditional fishing village with its own lagoon and river, but it also comes with modern music bars and some of the best restaurants around these parts. As for the beach, well that serves up plenty of golden sand.

Sao Joao

Sao Joao is an area in Albufeira, the resort that put Portugal’s Algarve Coast on the tourist map. And one of the reasons jet-setters migrate to these parts is for the beach. Sao Joao’s stretch – one of Albufeira’s medley of 25 – is a cliff-hugged, kilometre-long swathe of sand that’s the colour of honey

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Top 5 resorts in Algarve