The Algarve region of Portugal is one of my absolute favourite places to visit in Europe.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit this gorgeous region many, many times. It’s close proximity to my home in Scotland, and it’s infinitely better weather, makes it an ideal destination for me to escape to for a few days or more. Having been there so often (probably around 20 times!), I’ve discovered a lot about the area and know some really great things to do and see there.

Here are my favourite things to do in The Algarve…

Head to the beach 

things to do in the algarve
The Algarve has more than 200 kilometers worth of coastline and literally hundreds of beaches. Along the coast, there are beaches to suit every type of beach lover. There are stretches of gloriously unspoiled sand in the quieter areas, beaches with gorgeous rocky cliffs surrounding them and beaches that are surrounded by beach bars and teaming with life.

Some of the prettiest beaches I’ve discovered in The Algarve have been in and around Lagos. I adore the rocky outcrops and seeing the cliffs plunging dramatically into the sea whilst lying on the soft sand. If you’re visiting the beaches to the west of the city you’ll find them much quieter and more peaceful than the main beach of Lagos.
things to do in the algarve

The beach at Albufeira is also gorgeous, although can get rather busy in the height of summer. For something a little quieter I love the beaches around Vale do Lobo.

Eat and drink 

Portuguese food is nothing short of delicious and tasting the local flavours is one of my favourite things to do on a visit there. 

Thanks to its sprawling coastline, The Algarve has some seriously fresh and delicious seafood. If you’re a fan of fish you definitely won’t be disappointed.
things to do in the algarve

There are some really incredible restaurants all across the region. There are Michelin-starred restaurants, family-run restaurants and even cool street food style places too. You’ll find something to suit everyone’s tastes easily.

If you like cooking and are staying somewhere with access to a kitchen then you’ll be rather happy in The Algarve. Like much of Europe, there are loads of local markets with fresh produce on offer, so you can buy it and cook it in the same day.

The Algarve is also home to several fantastic vineyards that create delicious wines. Local wines are so reasonably priced (so much cheaper than in The UK!), so it’s not difficult to pick a great bottle. I’d advise trying lots of the local wines to get an appreciation for the different flavours created by the unique soil and environment here.

There’s also the opportunity to go wine tasting in this great region if that’s your type of thing. I’m already planning some wine tasting tours for my next trip there in just 10 days!

Explore

One of my favourite things to do in this region is to hire a car and get exploring. The roads in The Algarve are pretty quiet and really easy to navigate, especially if you aren’t an overly-confident driver. Car hire is also pretty inexpensive (we’re paying around £70 for a week with all the insurance etc) and it’s so worth it to have the freedom.

There are so many pretty towns and villages to discover. Hop in the car and head out for the day to see what you can find!

Get out on the golf course 

If you’re a golfer then book yourself a plane fare and secure some oversized luggage allowance for your clubs – the golf courses in the Algarve are incredible!
things to do in the algarve
There are more than 40 golf courses in the region, many of which are located in and around Vilamoura, making the town very popular with golfers. There are exclusive (and very expensive!) golf courses, as well as more reasonably priced ones too, so there’s something to suit everyone.

Set sail!

With a sprawling coastline meeting The Atlantic Ocean, getting out onto the water is one of the best things to do in The Algarve.
things to do in the algarve

Book onto one of the many boat tours or hire a boat yourself if you’re feeling adventurous. Depending on the area you’re staying in, there’ll be different points of interest to head to when going out on the water. In many areas of the region there are caves and rock formations that are of interest, so boat trips will head there. Or, there are plenty of boat tours who head out to gorgeous spots where they stop so you can have a chance to swim in the deep blue waters of the ocean. Bliss.
 

One of my top tips is to visit in shoulder season – the time just before, and just after the height of summer. The Algarve is blessed with such beautiful weather that you can visit in shoulder season and still enjoy beautiful sunshine, but without it being too busy. Perfect if you’re a fan of peace and quiet when you’re on holiday (or just the cheaper prices that come with visiting outside the busiest times!).

Have you been to The Algarve region of Portugal before? Do you have any more tips to share? Let me know in the comments below…