Algarve Travel Guide: Things to Do and See

Artem Zhukov
December 29
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover the best things to do and see in Algarve. Plan your perfect trip with this comprehensive travel guide.

Algarve is one of the most stunning destinations in Portugal, offering a mix of beautiful beaches, breathtaking natural landscapes, and charming cities. If you're planning a trip to Algarve, you won't want to miss out on its wide range of activities and must-visit places.

From relaxing on its incredible golden sandy beaches and engaging in water sports such as surfing or diving, to exploring picturesque fishing villages and indulging in delicious local cuisine, Algarve has something for everyone.

Discover the magic of Algarve and everything this destination has to offer. In this article, we'll take you through a comprehensive travel guide, so you can plan your visit in the best possible way.

1. Praia da Marinha

Natural Spaces and Parks
brown rock formation on sea shore during sunset
Praia da Marinha / Tim ten Cate, Unsplash

Experience the beauty of Praia da Marinha

Praia da Marinha is a beach located in the Algarve region of Portugal. It is famous for its golden cliffs and crystal-clear waters, making it a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This stunning beach has been recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world, thanks to its picturesque surroundings and natural beauty.

When visiting Praia da Marinha, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the cliffs and explore the caves and rock formations that surround it. You can also relax on the golden sand and take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

2. Benagil Cave in Algarve

Natural Spaces and Parks
brown rock formation during daytime
Benagil Cave in Algarve / Hasmik Ghazaryan Olson, Unsplash

The Benagil Cave in Algarve is one of the most fascinating natural wonders in Portugal. Located on the southern coast of Algarve, this amazing cave has become a must-visit destination for nature and adventure lovers.

What makes Benagil Cave so special are its breathtaking rock formations and its dazzling beach with crystal-clear waters. You can access this cave by sea, either by kayak or boat, and upon arrival, you will be greeted with a unique visual spectacle.

In addition to enjoying the natural beauty of the cave, you can also swim, dive, or simply relax on the beach. Without a doubt, Benagil Cave is one of the most impressive things to do in Algarve.

3. Ponta da Piedade

Natural Spaces and Parks
a beach with a rocky cliff
Ponta da Piedade / Sokmean Nou, Unsplash

Ponta da Piedade is one of the most astonishing and picturesque spots in Algarve. Located in Lagos, this fabulous tourist attraction offers a unique experience for all visitors.

What makes Ponta da Piedade so special are its impressive rock formations. The sea has shaped these creations over centuries, creating a dramatic and fascinating landscape. From its cliffs, you can enjoy incredible panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and its turquoise shades.

In addition to its stunning rock formations, Ponta da Piedade also features coves with crystal clear waters, perfect for kayaking or enjoying a relaxing swim. Visitors can rent boats or join a boat tour to explore the hidden sea caves and secluded beaches in the area.

4. Tavira Island

Natural Spaces and Parks

Tavira Island is a hidden gem on the southern coast of Algarve, Portugal. Situated in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, this beautiful island is known for its golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.

A stroll around the island will take you through dunes and natural trails, providing breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Algarve coastline. You can relax on the beach, swim in the calm waters, or simply soak up the sun and sea breeze.

Don't miss the opportunity to try the delicious local cuisine at the island's restaurants. From fresh fish and seafood to traditional Portuguese dishes, there is something for every taste.

5. Cape St. Vincent

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a body of water
Cape St. Vincent / Nick Kane, Unsplash

Cape St. Vincent, located on the southwestern tip of Portugal, is one of the most impressive and iconic places in the Algarve. It is of great geographical and historical interest.

Surrounded by rugged cliffs that rise above the Atlantic Ocean, Cape St. Vincent offers breathtaking panoramic views. It is the perfect place to enjoy stunning sunsets and contemplate the immensity of the ocean and the imposing cliffs that surround it.

As an important maritime stronghold since ancient times, Cape St. Vincent has witnessed numerous historical events. Here you will find the St. Vincent Lighthouse, which dates back to the 19th century and stands as a symbol of navigation and maritime safety.

6. Faro Old Town

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a statue in a room with a large ceiling and stained glass windows
Faro Old Town / micheile henderson, Unsplash

Faro Old Town is one of the top destinations for visitors to Algarve. With its historical charm and architectural beauty, this quaint town offers a unique experience you won't want to miss. Stroll through its cobblestone streets and discover its captivating corners, marveling at the details of its past.

Explore Faro Old Town's stunning historical architecture as you venture into its narrow alleyways. The ancient buildings will transport you to another era and allow you to appreciate the cultural richness of this region. Don't forget to visit Faro Cathedral, an impressive example of Gothic architecture that's worth enjoying.

Immerse yourself in the local culture of Algarve as you wander through lively markets and encounter friendly locals. Indulge in traditional cuisine at local restaurants and let yourself be carried away by the music and dance at one of the many festivals held here.

7. Silves Castle

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Silves Castle, also known as Al Hamra, is a historic fortress built during the Arab occupation in Portugal. Located in the city of Silves, in the Algarve region, this imposing castle is one of the top tourist attractions in the area.

With its stone walls and defensive towers, Silves Castle is an impressive testament to Portugal's medieval past. From the top of the fortress, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

In addition to its historical and architectural value, Silves Castle also hosts cultural events and exhibitions. During your visit, don't miss the opportunity to explore the impressive underground cistern, which used to supply water to the fortress.

8. Zoomarine Algarve

Entertainment and Pop Culture$$$

Zoomarine Algarve is an exciting theme park located in the Algarve region of Portugal. Considered one of the most important tourist attractions in the area, it offers a unique experience for the whole family.

At Zoomarine Algarve, you can enjoy incredible dolphin and sea lion shows, where you can learn about their behavior and appreciate their elegance and skill. You can also explore the aquarium with its fascinating marine creatures and marvel at the diversity of species it houses.

Dive into the wave pool and experience the thrill of ocean waves in a safe and fun environment. Additionally, the park offers a wide variety of water attractions, slides, and relaxation areas for you to make the most of your visit.

9. Vilamoura Marina

Outdoor Activities and Sports$$$
white boats in a pier
Vilamoura Marina / Peter Idowu, Unsplash

Vilamoura Marina, located in Algarve, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. With its beautiful surroundings and numerous activities to enjoy, it's the perfect place to spend an unforgettable day in Algarve.

At Vilamoura Marina, you can take boat rides and enjoy stunning views of the sea. You'll also find a variety of restaurants offering local and international culinary delights. Additionally, you can visit exclusive shops and luxury boutiques, where you'll find unique products.

In addition to its beauty and activities, Vilamoura Marina is also famous for its vibrant nightlife. With bars and nightclubs along the coast, there are options for all tastes and ages.

10. Ria Formosa Natural Park

Natural Spaces and Parks
a close-up of some plants
Ria Formosa Natural Park / Anthony R., Unsplash

Things to do in Algarve: Ria Formosa Natural Park is a must-visit place in Algarve. With its extensive network of channels, islands, salt pans, and beaches, this park is a true paradise for nature lovers. Here, you can enjoy boat rides, birdwatching, and marine wildlife spotting, and relax on its white sandy beaches.

Discover natural diversity: Ria Formosa Natural Park is home to a wide variety of ecosystems, such as dunes, marshes, lagoons, and forests. Its rich biodiversity includes migratory birds, aquatic species, and a large amount of endemic flora. Don't miss the opportunity to explore this natural wonder.

A place of conservation: Ria Formosa Natural Park plays a crucial role in the conservation of local fauna and flora. This protected area is home to endangered species and strives to preserve ecological balance. Join us in supporting the preservation of this beautiful place.