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.
Alvor’s coastline comes with wide open beaches, secluded coves, dunes and dramatic cliffs. Torralta Beach is nearest to the town centre – it’s a long, sandy number that comes with a Blue Flag. It’s popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers. Next door is the sheltered, rocky Praia de Tres Irmados, while a 30-minute drive gets you to Meia Praia – one of the longest stretches in the Algarve.
Off the beach, the estuary lagoon is a great place for canoeing. It gets you up close to the birds, plants and wildlife – and is a top place to see the fishermen collecting shellfish, too. For dry-land activities, local stables offer horse riding trips, or you can hire bikes to cycle along the wooden boardwalk that runs by the side of the dunes.
Daytrip to Silves
From Alvor, you can take a boat trip to Silves, about an hour away. Once you’re there, you’ve got a cobbled old town that comes with a Gothic cathedral, and right next door there’s an 11-towered castle. The place also has plenty of coffee shops plus a Michelin-starred restaurant.