The Algarve is famous for its long, golden, sandy beaches – but you don’t have to go far inland to discover all the other things this magical part of Portugal has to offer. Spend a few days soaking up the cultural and culinary scenes in the capital city, Faro, or step back in time in beautifully cobbled historic towns like Silves, where the pristine castles and ancient Moorish ruins are equally impressive and act as magnets for history fans.
Year-round sunshine and mild winter temperatures make Algarve holidays a popular choice for families and groups alike, particularly parties of golfers who flock to the region for its impressively lush golf resorts and luxury spas. Anyone wanting to turn the adrenaline up a notch should head to the Atlantic coast, where beaches boasting world-famous surf are a paradise not only for surfers, but also for bird-watchers.
Thriving party towns like Albufeira offer lively nightlife with a local flavour, or you can seek more peaceful escapes inland among vineyards and hillside trails. But you’ll probably end up wending your way back to the coast at some point, where there are magical caves to be discovered and fresh sardines to be eaten right on the seafront. Holidays to the Algarve promise days full of sunshine, adventure and great food.
The charming town of Silves is home to one of the best surviving Moorish castles in Portugal. With architecture dating back to Roman times, visits here make a great day out.
This is just one of many fascinating natural cave formations in the region – get there by renting a kayak or paddleboard, or join a motorboat tour from Benagil beach.
Cape St Vincent
You’re at the very edge of Europe, facing out to sea from these iconic cliffs. The lighthouse here is a must-see, not to mention the adjacent museum and cliff-top bar.