There is a reason why the Algarve is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. With visitors from throughout Portugal, Europe and overseas, there is something for everyone in this little slice of Heaven right here on Earth.
Located along the southern coast of the country, the Algarve is made up of 16 municipalities and home to several hundred thousand people. With most of the cities lining the coast, there are plenty of luxurious accommodations as well as attractions that are perfect for the honeymooning couple or the family with children.
One of the best reasons to visit the region is because of the weather. With over 3,000 hours of sunshine each year as well as mild temperatures, there is a lot to like about the Algarve. The best time of the year to visit is during the summer months, but be prepared to share that same thought with several thousand other vacationers. During this season, temperatures range from 28°C (82°F) in June for highs to a warm 32°C (90°F) in August. Summer also sees the most sunshine with an average of 12 hours of sun per day. The coolest month is January with an average afternoon high of 16°C (61°F) and a low of 6°C (43°F). Rainfall is almost nonexistent in the summer months, while December is the wettest with an average of 117mm over a 12-day period spread across the region.
Of course, another great reason to visit is because of the beautiful beaches. While the beaches can be enjoyed year round (maybe with a jacket in the winter months), the water is only warm enough to enjoy in the summer. The warmest water is felt in August and September when sea temperatures average 21°C (70°F). However, when it does warm up, the beaches are filled with tourists enjoying the white sand, clear water and, in some cases, large waves.
The beaches in the Algarve are actually some of the prettiest in the world. Many contain amazing rock formations in addition to gorgeous views of sunrises and sunsets. One of the best beaches is Praia de Marinha. A favorite of scuba divers and snorkelers, this particular beach is also one of the regions most photographed thanks to a unique double rock formation just off shore.
Snorkelers and scuba divers will also want to take advantage of one of the world’s largest underwater artificial reefs. Opened just a few years ago, this reef located just off Portimao is a great place for divers to explore two decommissioned ships that have been sunk to provide a habitat for local fish and other creatures of the sea.
Of course, there is also plenty to do on land. One of the biggest festivals takes place in the month of August and is the Silves Medieval Festival. Lasting for several days, the narrow cobbled streets of the city of Algarve come alive with knights, mistrals and more. For those who love to see history come alive, this is an event that is not to be missed.
Another great activity is one that can’t be found anywhere else in Europe. Algarve is the only place on the continent where visitors can swim and play with dolphins. At Zoomarine Theme Park, visitors get to hop in the water and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Of course, vacationers will need to eat and drink while on holiday and the area has no shortage of some of the best restaurants in the region as well as a plethora of beach bars to enjoy while listening to music and enjoying a beverage or two. On the Rocks, Canico Bar and Restaurant and the No Solo Agua Beach Club are all some of the area’s best places to get a drink. All sit close to the beach and offer views that go on for miles. Thanks to a laidback vibe, there is no need to hurry while enjoying the atmosphere. Additionally, many bars take advantage of the nearby sea and offer patrons some of the best fresh seafood there is the area. One of the best restaurants in the region is Solar do Farelo. With a daily menu customers always know they are getting the freshest food possible.
There is also no shortage of high-end hotels and resorts that are sure to please even the toughest costumer. Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve and Bella Vista Hotel and Spa are all five-star resorts that offer a wide range of activities and amenities for adults and children. Thanks to the region being a fairly young tourist destination, many of the hotels are new and modern with all the luxuries that guests will find in their own homes.
There are numerous reasons to visit the Algarve. A wonderful place to get married, there are any number of breathtaking backdrops and activities for a young couple. Families will also enjoy the fact that there are fun places to take children as well as numerous beaches to explore and outdoor adventures to be had. It is only a 3 hour flight from the UK to Faro and with such gorgeous scenery and equally perfect weather, a visit to the Algarve is not to be missed!