A holiday to the Algarve gives you first-rate beaches, chic cities and Moorish villages. Factor in 300 days of sun a year and it’s no wonder this place is Portugal’s top holiday playground.
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.
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.
Balaia isn’t one for hogging the limelight – it’s hidden away between the livelier resorts of Albufeira and Vilamoura on Portugal’s Algarve coast. Golfers have known about this place for years – they just forgot to let everyone else know about its dinky terracotta-tiled houses and easy access to the rest of the area. Oh, and that it’s got 2 of the best beaches around.
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