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Algarve
Algarve

Magnificent landscapes, typical villages and dream beaches: the Algarve will blow your mind!

Algarve in short

In a nutshell:

So you're finally looking for the 'perfect' destination for your next holiday? Look no further, we've found the perfect place for your next trip with family or friends (the one that will make all your office colleagues jealous, I promise 😉 ) How about a trip to the south of Portugal, and more specifically to the Algarve? There, you'll find everything you need for a successful holiday: (almost) year-round sunshine, breathtaking scenery, beaches worthy of the most beautiful postcards, charming little villages where it's great to stroll around whatever the time of day... and a super-friendly local population!

First of all, a little 'geography' is in order. The Algarve region stretches across the whole of southern Portugal. There's nothing better than a short road trip to discover each of its emblematic towns, as well as all the places not to be missed. The trip will start in Faro. Then, in your hire car, you'll travel almost 200 km to the extreme south-western tip of Portugal: Cape St Vincent.

Magnificent view of the Benagil cave in Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal.

- © Nido Huebl / Shutterstock

From east to west, you'll stop off at some of Portugal's main attractions, including :

  • The Ria Formosa Lagoon and its small paradise islands: ilha de Tavira, ilha da Culatra, ilha Barreta...

  • Faro, the regional capital of the Algarve. Don't forget to look up as you pass under the Arco da Vila: there are sure to be storks hatching their future offspring.

  • The Praia Marinha, the beach famous for its double arch and "perfect" for swimming in a dream setting!

  • The Benagil cave, with its sublime beach lit up by a shaft of natural light. Perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the world?

  • Carvoeiro, a small fishing village straight out of a colourful postcard. Believe us, you're bound to fall under its spell!

  • The majestic Ponta da Piedade... a place that's... just wow! Impossible to describe, it's so beautiful... (Mind your eyes, it's sublime! You've been warned... 😉 )

  • Lagos, the 2nd largest town in the Algarve. You're bound to enjoy wandering through its pretty little streets.

  • Sagres and Cape Saint Vincent, Portugal's 'end of the line'! It feels like the end of the world.

Vue panoramique, Ponta da Piedade, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.

- © DaLiu / Shutterstock

At this stage, all you want is for us to give you all the details so you can plan your next road trip to the Algarve straight away? Don't panic, we've got it covered 🙂 See you a little further down in this article for all the details on each of the key stages of your next holiday in sunny Portugal!

And I promise, after a road trip like this, you'll easily be able to tick off lots of boxes on your Portuguese bucket-list! And, as we said earlier, you'll be able to make all your friends and family jealous when you tell them about your incredible week in the Algarve!

How to get there?

From Paris, there are numerous flights that will take you to the Algarve's capital, Faro, in less than 3 hours. Sunny days are just a click away!

Once you're there, hop in your hire car and explore every corner of the Algarve.

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Where to stay?

If you want to discover all the must-see places in the Algarve in comfort, there's nothing better than staying in several different types of accommodation throughout your road trip. Ideally, you should opt for 2 points of call: Faro and Lagos. These 2 towns will give you easy access to the surrounding area.

Practical information

When should you visit the Algarve?

The Algarve is a region that can be visited all year round. However, the 'perfect' time to visit is from April to October. Whichever time you choose to go, there's a very good chance you'll find some glorious sunshine! 🙂

How long does it take to visit the Algarve?

In 1 week, you can easily discover all the must-see places in southern Portugal. And if you want to make the pleasure last a little longer, opt for 10 days there.

Is there a time difference between France and the Algarve?

Portugal is not in the same time zone as France, so there is a 1-hour time difference between Paris and the towns in the Algarve. And if you were wondering, yes, there is summer and winter time in Portugal... so the time difference applies all year round.

Getting around the Algarve

To make visiting the Algarve easier, there's nothing better than hiring a car locally. Your French driving licence will be just fine for Portuguese roads. To use the motorways, your hire car will probably have a special box so that you can pay the bill when you return the vehicle. If you're driving a vehicle registered in France, you can find full explanations on this site (link: https://www.portugaltolls.com/fr/?utm_source=easyvoyage ).

Not much of a driver? Don't panic, you can travel around the Algarve by train! To get around the whole region, opt for the Portugal Rail Pass ( link: https://www.interrail.eu/fr/interrail-passes/one-country-pass/portugal?utm_source=easyvoyage )

Administrative formalities before leaving for Portugal!

Before you leave for the Algarve, remember to check :

  • The validity of your identity document. As you are travelling in Europe, your French identity card will suffice. If, unfortunately, this is out of date, you can fall back on your passport (which is valid, of course).
  • If anything goes wrong, remember to take your carte vitale with you. Better still, combine it with the European Health Insurance Card, which will allow you to receive treatment throughout Europe. Note that the latter is completely free, so don't forget it.
  • No vaccinations are required.
  • You don't need a visa either!

What is the currency in Portugal?

Portugal is part of the European Union, so you 'll pay in euros in the Algarve. Bank cards are accepted almost everywhere, but don't be afraid to carry some cash in your wallet just in case. ATMs are also readily available in all the Algarve's major towns.

What are the Algarve's culinary specialities?

Portuguese tastings: a delight! From cod to seafood and fish soups, the Algarve's number one speciality is of course the "cataplana", a pot that gives the dish its name. Grilled sardines can be enjoyed at any meal. And don't hesitate to choose the catch of the day. Desserts are often made with almonds, combined with eggs or figs.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Watching the sunrise and sunset is THE must-do of any trip to the Algarve. Here are our two favourite places to get the best shots! For sunrise, head for Praia do Camilo. And for a superb sunset, Cap Saint Vincent is the perfect spot.

Useful links
Algarve Tourist Office:

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