Making up the southernmost region in Portugal is the Algarve. Known for its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes and tropical weather, this region sees its population swell during the height of the tourist season as visitors flock to the area. In total, about 10 million people visit the region each year. However, it was not known as a popular tourist destination until the 1960s. In the time since the area has been completely modernized and visitors will find all the luxuries of home.
With its temperate climate, the region experiences beautiful weather throughout much of the year. However, for those looking to experience the nearby ocean waters, it is best to visit during the summer months when sea surface temperatures have finally warmed to averages between 19°C (66°F) in June to 21°C (70°F) in both August and September. On land, temperatures never fall below the freezing mark, although January is the coolest month with average lows of 6°C (43°F) and highs of 16°C (61°F). In comparison, the peak months experience temperatures between 24°C and 30°C with 12 glorious hours of sunshine per day!
Summer is also a great time to visit because the chance of rain is virtually nonexistent. January and December are the two wettest months with over 100mm of precipitation expected in the region during the last month of the year.
The beaches of the Algarve are one of the biggest reasons why so many people visit the region year after year. Visitors have their choice between peaceful, unspoiled coves or beaches lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Overall, there is a beach for everyone’s individual tastes.
Vacationers who are looking for a little bit of everything on a beach will enjoy Meia Praia. Located near Lagos, this is the perfect beach for families with children of all ages. While the younger children will enjoy playing in the sand, the older ones will want to try and “hang ten” on the surf that pounds just offshore. With an easy slope, the beach is also perfect for those who want to take a stroll and just enjoy the view. Good parking and numerous nearby restaurants help to complete the overall experience.
For those who are very interested in surfing, the most popular beach is Praia do Amado. Located in the western Algarve, the waves here are not to be taken lightly thanks to high surf and strong currents. However, the area is becoming more and more popular with those who aren’t looking to catch a wave. This particular beach is wild and unspoiled and an excellent spot to enjoy nature at its finest as well as search for the many coloured stones that dot the beach.
On the opposite side of the Algarve is Praia Tres Irmaos. This is a lovely spot for a little bit of exploring at low tides. At that point, visitors can explore numerous beach coves and can take advantage of the scenery as well as miles of white sand. This sheltered spot is one that will provide plenty of photo opportunities to show those back home.
Snorkelers and scuba divers will want to pay a visit to Praia de Marinha. Located between Carvoeiro and Albufeira, the area is home to one of the most photographed spots in the region as well as a crystal clear sea making it easy to view the life underwater. One of the best ways to enjoy this beach is by taking a boat trip along the coast.
Those looking for a great swimming location will appreciate Ilha de Tavira. With warm waters and uninterrupted sea views, this beach is perfect for couples or for families looking to spend some time in the water. The beach also sits across from Ria Formosa Natural Park and is accessible by ferry.
In contrast, Faro Island is accessible by a narrow bridge and offers two distinct beach experiences. Visitors are able to enjoy miles of white sand on the Atlantic side and marine packed, calmer waters on the other side.
Gale Beach is a very popular spot for families during the summer months. It is during this time that parents often take their children out to the numerous rock formations just offshore for a chance for a little exploration. Whereas windsurfers will want to take advantage of the windy conditions at Martinhal to practice the sport. This beach is also home to great restaurants and elegant resorts like the luxury Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Hotel.
The beauty of Praia do Vau is something that all vacationers to the region should enjoy. This popular beach is usually crowded with tourists who are busy covering themselves with the area’s yellow mud that is said to be good for arthritis and a number of skin conditions.
Vacationers who just want to relax and enjoy a stroll along the beach will enjoy Praia de Falesia. With a large number of golden sands as well as a backdrop of dramatic cliffs, this is the perfect spot to take in a romantic sunset with that special someone.
With such a lot of sunshine and warm weather available, a trip to the Algarve is clearly a good idea this summer – and if you’re a beach lover, this is definitely the place for you! The variety of beautiful beaches means you will definitely find the perfect spot for you, regardless of whether you want to swim, snorkel, surf, sunbathe or just watch the world go by sat with a cold beer in the beachside bar!