9 Unmissable places to visit in the Algarve

The Algarve region in Portugal is one of the best places to escape to during the winter months.

A sensational holiday destination all year round, the Algarve’s appealing temperatures make this beautiful corner of the country a perfect retreat away from the often ghastly weather back home.

The region is also a popular destination with solo travellers seeking that perfect combination of both sun and adventure.

There is much to discover in this beautiful part of Portugal, one of the most southern points on the European continent.

We take a look at just some of the highlights this beautiful region has to offer.

1. Silves

Silves Algarve

The Moorish town of Silves is one of the region’s most popular places to visit.

Once a fortress settlement, the town’s architecture, particularly Silves Castle, is a reminder of town’s long history.

With sections believed to have dated back to the Roman period, Silves Castle is an intimidating structure that dominates the town’s skyline.

Accessible to visitors, we thoroughly recommend exploring the castle.

Scale the fortifications and you will be met with incredible views of the surrounding countryside.

There is also a museum available, providing some background on the castle and town it was originally built to protect.

View all Algarve holidays

2. Alte

Alte Algarve

One of the most picturesque villages in the entire Algarve, Alte is very photogenic.

Characterised by whitewashed houses, one of the main attractions in town is the canal in Fonte Garden.

Take some time out to relax along either side of the canal and soak up the fantastic Algarve sun.

This area is a favourite picnic spot for both locals and tourist alike.

Be sure to pack plenty of water as it is a short walk from the centre of town under the hot sun.

For the more adventurous, Bike and Buggy expeditions are available that take you around the surrounding countryside, through some supremely scenic countryside.

Another popular attraction is the relatively small but idyllic Vigario Falls.

A short waterfall that falls into a lagoon, this is a popular swimming area.

View all Algarve holidays

3. Cape St. Vincent

Cape St Vincent

One of the most iconic spots in the Algarve region, Cape St, Vincent, known locally as Cabo de Sao Vicente, is one of the most southern points in Europe.

The waves of the powerful Atlantic Ocean have taken its toll on the cliffs in the area, battering the rocks into weird and ragged shapes.

These intimidating cliffs are watched over by the local lighthouse that warns vessels in the area of the potential dangers close by.

White-washed with a red beacon turret, the lighthouse can be seen for miles around.

Once a crucial launching area for explorers, one of the most famous Portuguese explorers, Henry the Navigator, famously spent time in the area before setting off on long voyages.

View all Algarve holidays

4. Lagos

Think of the Algarve and your mind’s eye may conjure up images of Lagos famous beaches and cliffs.

A stunning part of the country, Lagos is perfect for relaxing on the beach and swimming in some rich blue waters.

Allow time on your holiday to take in some of the best beaches available around the world.

One of Portugal’s, never mind just the Algarve, most famous landmarks, the stunning sandstone cliffs of both Praia Dona Ana and Ponta da Piedade are truly mega in scale.

Ponta de Piedade is concealing some secrets.

Take a scenic boat trip and you will be taken into some Grottos that can become so narrow you may think you are on aboard the Millennium Falcon as you squeeze through some, at first glance, implausible spaces.

View all Algarve holidays

5. Praia de Marinha

Another fantastic beach location, Praia de Marinha, known for its rock sea arch formation, is an unbelievable Algarve location.

Tours are available if you are looking to learn more about the coastline.

Take to the high seas by boat for several hours.

Be careful, back on land, it is a steep descent down to the main beach.

Work on your photography skills with the perfect subject, one of the best beaches in the world.

View all Algarve holidays

6. Ria Formosa

Ria Formosa

Famed lagoon, Ria Formosa is a fantastic network of islands, some man-made, some natural.

A Nature Park, visitors can expect fantastic scenery and the chance to encounter some fabulous wildlife.

Ria Formosa is a Bird haven and is also known for its Seahorse population.

Boat trips and guided walks are available throughout the Nature Park, allowing you to witness some of these fantastic sights.

Parts of the Park may remind some holidaymakers of the famed Florida Everglades.

View all Algarve holidays

7. Algar Seco Rock Formations

A fan of the fascinating results of coastal erosion? Us too.

Algar Seco is one of the most fascinating places in the Algarve.

Explore the coastline here and you will come across some strange looking naturally occurring formations.

A main highlight is definitely Benagil Cave.

With a hole allowing sunlight to cascade down into the cave, you can trace the erosion process along the different exposed layers of sandstone.

Benagil Cave is a great for indulging in a spot of photography.

This is a must when holidaying in the Algarve region.

Be careful, some of the rock surface can be sharp and ragged!

View all Algarve holidays

8. Albufeira

Algarve Albufeira

One of the key spots along the Algarve’s scenic coastline, Albufeira is a southern gem. Another city featuring impressive wehite-washed buildings, Albufeira , once a major fishing hub, is today one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Algarve.

Within convenient reach of the city, visitors can access a number of stunning beaches, some tucked away in coves, all offering pristine sand and lovely swimming spots rivalling some of the world’s greatest beaches.

9. Ponta da Piedade

A stunning natural landmark, the collective rock formations known as Ponta da Piedade can be found close to Lagos.

The fame of this stunning spot along the Algarve coastline deserves its own special mention.

Reached by carefully following a stepped walkway, the formations here are the result of violent storms that have laid siege to the coastline, gradually wearing the rocks here into distinct formations.

Simply a must-visit when spending time in the Algarve!

Visit the Algarve

View all of our available holidays to the Algarve here.

Similar Features

Discovering the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’, Madeira

5 historic sights in Classical Spain

Time to grab your boots! 10 ‘Maravilloso’ Spanish walking holidays


Follow us on Facebook or on Instagram @DCThomsonTravel. Got a travel suggestion or story you want to share, email us at holidayenquiries@dcttravel.co.uk.