WHAT TO DO AT THE ALGARVE
- Main Attractions in South Portugal -
Sebastian and I recently have been to the Algarve in Portugal (Check out my blog post about all those magical beaches in South Portugal here). And what was supposed to be a short, little get away, turned out to be a dreamy vacation. The Algarve is the coastline of South Portugal that is known for its steep cliffs, harsh waves, green nature and warm weather. Even in April, we had more than 23°C every day, sunshine and no clouds to be seen anywhere. With a little bit of wind, it couldn't have been more perfect. While lounging at the beach, working on your tan, is great, there are many other fun activities to do at the Algarve.
"A paradise for water sport activities"
Because of the huge waves, the Atlantic Ocean is great for surfing! While it may not be ideal to try out surfing for the first time in 2 meter high waves, the Algarve sure is a surfer's paradise for anyone looking for a thrill. Surf school are to be found anywhere. But as it's a long, sandy beach I saw a lot of surfers at the beach in Portimao.
If surfing isn't your thing, don't fret. There are plenty of other fun activities to choose from. Stand-up paddling, banana boat riding, jet skiing or scuba diving - You decide.
While being at the Algarve, you most definitely need to check out the BENAGIL CAVES (check out boat tours here). When waves are too high, the boats can't go out from the beach. However, we were informed that we could take a boat leaving from the haven in Portimao. I have to advise you though: If you get sea sick easily (like me), this will not be a good idea. Even though Sebastian had a great time and enjoyed going into all the 20 caves along the Algarve, I counted them down one by one and couldn't wait for the boat tour to be over. High waves, boats and me just don't get along. I do enjoy looking at the pictures we took though now. If the wind wouldn't have picked up that day, I'm sure I would have had a great time as well.
"A relaxing beach vacation or an action-filled adventure - you decide."
All activities can be planned from the comfort of your home before going on vacation. Check out GetYourGuide to see all fun activities around the Algarve. You can do guided bike rides, watch dolphins in their natural habitat, go on a pirate ship cruise, rent scooters to explore the area or go on a jeep safari and much more. I compared online and offline prices, they are exactly same for the boat tour, so it's much more convenient to buy tickets in advance.
A cute little town to visit is CARVOEIRO (left & above). One adorable house next to the other and a small beach curved into the cliffs made for a beautiful panorama. LAGOS was the town furthest to the west we've visited. A cute haven with many fisher and sailing boats made this town special.
"Make an understated destination
your dream vacation."
Just up the hill, close to Lagos, you will want to watch the beautiful pink sunset at PONTA DA PEDADE (below). We got ourselves some precut melon from a local supermarket and drove up to this beautiful place. A spot on the cliffs was quickly found. We sat down to enjoy each other's company with the greatest view in the area and a sunset that promised another beautiful day in paradise.
All in all, I feel like Portugal and the Algarve is highly underrated. Everybody goes on vacation to Spain while Portugal isn't much advertised. That may be, because of the colder water temperature. But while the Mediterranean Sea can get a bit lukewarm, the Atlantic serves as a nice cool down on a hot summer (or even spring) day. Portugal is not so crowded and it's a lot cheaper as well, without being any less magical.