The beaches of Portugal's Algarve region leave an impression; you'll be thinking about them for the rest of your life. Above all, the Algarve has natural landscapes, iconic villages, and charming local culture, all of which will have you wanting to stay forever in this magical paradise.
Believe the hype! Considered one of the most important cities in the Algarve, Portimão is worth visiting. It's great for tourists yet still keeps its Portugese essence: everything is made easy and convenient. You'll even find menus in English or Spanish! As you stroll through the centre, you'll adjust pretty quickly to Portugese life, far from the tourist crowds. Beach lovers will fall in love with this place, especially after visiting the Praia da Rocha, one of the most famous beaches in the Algarve. This beach has great weather, a perfect stretch of sand and wild nightlife. The water is crystal clear and there are also great sporting facilities such as basketball courts, volleyball courts and a football field, so you can practice your favourite sports amidst the beautiful scenery. Many other beaches are just around the corner, including Praia dos Coreanos, Praia do Vau and Praia do Barranco das Canas.
Praia da Rocha
If you're the type who's always longing for a relaxing holiday, Praia da Rocha is undoubtedly the most suitable place in the Algarve for you. Many people staying in Portimão will spend the day at this beach, even though it isn't in the city. For years, it has been one of the most frequented places in Portugal by tourists from all over the world. In fact, it's considered the main beach of Portimão, and although the city is just over a mile from Praia da Rocha, most people tend to look for accommodation on the beach itself. It's also full of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues to keep visitors of all stripes entertained. Praia da Rocha is famous for its large stretch of golden sand, as well as the wall of cliffs that surround it.
Although it's one of the least visited spots during the summer season, some say Faro is Portugal's best-kept secret. To visit Faro is to go back in time through Portuguese history, as it has a walled historical centre with a cathedral that's really worth a look. The oldest part of the city welcomes modern life, as it's the main hang-out spot for young locals. Most flights to the Algarve go directly to Faro's airport, so it's easy to visit this serene city before heading onto your next destination.
Albufeira is probably the most visited place in the south of Portugal. Years ago, it was a small village of fishermen's houses, but today everything has changed! Tourists are now aware of its charms, strolling through each of its corners and enjoying plates of octopus and bacalhau (Portuguese salted cod). Most people choose to visit this city during the hotter months, but Albufeira can without a doubt be visited any time of the year. A visit during autumn and winter will also help you avoid the crowds. But those looking for sun, sand and sea find that Albufeira is the perfect place to spend your summer holidays. And since it's the high season, there's a wider variety of accomodation for the huge number of visitors.
Portugal is one of those countries that attracts all kinds of visitors as it's home to such a wide variety of places. With cute independent shops and the largest fishing port in the Algarve, Olhao has something for everyone. This city has few monuments, but the most interesting things to see in Olhao are the Arab-style flat roofed houses. Being one of the key places of Portugal's fishing industry, you'll find excellent restaurants where you can enjoy all different types of seafood. This town is an excellent place from which to access the Ría Formosa Natural Park, a marsh that extends 37 miles, boasting numerous coves, islands, dunes and a large wetland.