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A historic Portuguese town

It may be a laid-back Algarve resort today, but Alvor has a rich and dramatic history of occupation that spans many centuries. Those who want to learn more about this town’s turbulent past can visit the ruins of its medieval castle and its 16th-century church. There is also much to keep nature-lovers happy on Alvor holidays, as the town overlooks the protected Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve and is surrounded by sandy beaches.

Birdwatchers will enjoy spotting marine birds during a stroll along the famous boardwalk, which starts by the little harbour and meanders through wetlands and shallow lagoons. Angling also remains at the heart of this historic fishing village, and having a go is another fun way to spend an afternoon. And even if you don’t fancy that, sampling the catch of the day is a must. For a relatively small place, the range of bars, restaurants and cultural experiences on offer is impressive, making holidays to Alvor a great choice for those who want to spend time both relaxing and exploring.

Your Alvor questions, answered

Away from the bright lights of nearby Portimao and party resorts such as Albufeira, Alvor will suit those looking for a quieter break. Nearby spacious beaches make it good for families, too.
Alvor is less than an hour from Faro airport, and Portugal’s quiet, straight motorways make it simple to discover the whole coast by car. There’s also a good bus network.
Once a major port, Alvor was hot property for invaders: it has been occupied by Romans and North African Moors, seized by Crusaders and attacked by pirates.

Best things to do in Alvor

Catch your own dinner

Get back to the roots of this town’s existence by hiring a rod and going fishing. Expert anglers flock here from all over, but local guides are on hand to help beginners.

Sail the high seas

You’ll see traditional Portuguese sailing boats gliding along Alvor’s pretty coastline, and plenty of local tour companies offer the chance for you to hop on board.

Revel in Alvor’s past

Alvor’s complex history dates back to around the 4th century. To get a taste of days gone by, stroll its cobbled streets, past ancient churches, and check out the ruins of its Moorish castle.