Summer is here and Portugal is calling!
If you still don’t know where to go this summer, but you know you want sandy beaches, blue waters, extraordinary cliffy landscapes, lots of sea food and an affordable destination, Algarve might be for you.
Algarve is the Southernmost region of Portugal and is the most popular tourist destination in the country and perhaps in the whole Europe. In this article, I want to share my experience there and 7 tips that you might take into consideration before planning your trip.
The best way to reach Algarve is with the first flight to Lisbon and then you need to take the train or bus for three hours direction South. You can check here the train’s schedule and here the bus schedule of Rede Expressos.
When I went there, it was part of my Erasmus experience in Lisbon, therefore, I did not do any planning. However, I can still recommend you some tips. I’ve stayed in Algarve for 4 days with my base in Portimão.
Once in Algarve, the most important regions that you need to see are Loulé – Faro – Portimão – Olhão- Albufeira – Silves – Lagos – Tavira – Lagao.
Just kidding. This is too much and you need to go in the best places.
7 things you need to know before going to Algarve:
Tip no. 2. Albufeira is the most touristic city and this is the place to find a vivid life, full of foreigners, especially British. You can as well choose this place as a base and take the bus to different places around.
Tip no. 3.
Lagos is the place not to miss. This is a pretty, small-coquette city with traditional architecture and one of the best smoothie bars ever. From here you can go to Praia do Camilo, Ponta da Piedade and take a day trip to Silves
, one of the most amazing cities in the region thanks to its Moorish influences.
Tip no. 4.
The most photographed beach in Portugal is accessible with the bus
from Portimão or Lagos. Take the hikes above it and enjoy the stunning views of this amazing paradise corner.
Tip no. 5. Don’t miss Fortaleza de Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente – which is the most Western Point of Europe. In the past, the explorers considered this point “O Fim do Mundo” – The End of The World. It will feel indeed this way. You can see the lighthouse in the distance, beautiful sunsets, large beaches and big, big waves. This is a surfer’s paradise.
Tip no. 6.
One of the most beautiful caves in Portugal is Benagil Cave
which is not to be missed. This is in fact, my reason to go back in Algarve. I missed it because I went with the organized Erasmus trip (here is the official after movie
– lots of fireworks and parties involved). However, I know that you can only reach it with a boat tour
, it is a four hours trip from Portimão and it costs around 30-40 euros. Ask the tour operator if the tour allows the tourists to get off the boat once inside the cave. Some tours only go inside and don’t let you get off the boat and take your photos in peace.
Tip no. 7.
If you have a lot of time, you can set your base in Faro, the most southern city in Portugal and make a road trip to Spain to Seville & Granada
. With a car, it takes maximum 3 hours to reach Andalusia.
I hope these tips were useful and you’ll visit more spots than I did :) Curious to see more? Check out the video that I made from Algarve. You’ll spot the beaches I was talking about and all the Erasmus amazing parties.