9 Bucket List Things To Do in Algarve, Portugal 9 Bucket List Things To Do in Algarve, Portugal

9 Bucket List Things To Do in Algarve, Portugal

The southern Algarve region is the jewel of Portugal, boasting a breathtaking coastline, epic caves and archways, year-round great weather, and waves that make it a surfers paradise. The surrounding nature will steal your heart, and the charming whitewashed villages are no exception. Spend your days hiking, at the countless beaches, and wandering the cobbled streets in the balmy afternoon sun. Discover our bucket list of things to do in the Algarve.

1. Cliff walk at Praia da Marinha

Arguably the most picturesque beach in Portugal; Marinha Beach and its surrounding cliffs are one of the things you must do in the Algarve. The beach is a stretch of soft sand surrounded by limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.

But the real highlight here is the path along the cliffsides giving you jaw-dropping views. Follow a 1.5-kilometer walk where you pass the Arco Natural, the so-called heart-shaped rock, which is actually an optical illusion towards the popular Benagil Cave. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a kayak to discover Marinha Beach and the Benagil Caves.

best things to do algarve portugal saltinourhair

2. Algarve’s beautiful beaches

The main reason for visiting the Algarve is the endless number of beautiful beaches. There’s something for every kind of beach lover, from protected coves with limestone caves to long sweeping white-sand bays. The beaches that lie close to Lagos are beautiful for swimming and relaxing, but for excellent surfing, head a bit further out of town.

algarve portugal most beautiful beaches

Praia de Dona Ana

One of the closest beaches to Lagos town, Praia de Dona Ana, is popular with locals and travelers. It’s a medium-sized yellow sand beach with beautiful calm turquoise waters shadowed by the Algarves’ token limestone cliffs.

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algarve portugal beaches Praia de Dona Ana

Because the beach is sheltered and the water is calm, it’s perfect for snorkeling and swimming. What’s more, it’s described as one of the best beaches in the Algarve!

Praia do Camilo

A bit further up the coast from Dona Ana is the sandy paradise of Praia do Camilo. Discover its crystal clear emerald and turquoise ocean and the incredible rock formations that surround the beach. Over time, the weather has created holes in the cliffs, forming natural tunnels and archways through other beaches.

algarve most beautiful beaches Praia do Camilo

Praia do Vau

The city of Portimão owns its own set of incredible beaches. Mostly occupied by locals instead of tourists with many secluded hidden beaches to be found.

algarve portugal lagos best things to do

Albufeira Beach

Besides Albufeira’s good party scene and charming old town, it also has beautiful beaches to offer. Wide beaches with relatively calm waters make for a lovely swim. However, you might want to avoid the high season (June – Aug) as these beaches will be packed with people.

albufeira beach

3. A Day Trip to Ferragudo and Carvoeiro 


Ferragudo is a charming fishing village that has kept its traditional charm with its whitewashed houses, narrow streets covered with flowers, and a fishing boat-filled harbor. Bring your camera because the town is very picturesque. It also is a great place to sit in the sun and enjoy some pastries. Ferragudo is a 40-minute drive east of Lagos.

algarve portugal Ferragudo fishing village


The picture-perfect village named Carvoeiro lies 10 minutes away from Ferragudo. Carvoeiro’s small beach and its traditional houses are tucked away between two towering cliffs.
Different from Ferragudo, Carvoeiro is very lively, with a lot of good restaurants and shops. Tip: Get a fantastic lunch at Organic.

to do algarve Carvoeiro

4. Benagil Caves

The otherworldly Benagil Cave is one of the unique places in the Algarve. The cave is created by natural erosion, with a worn circle in the ceiling providing a unique light incidence.

Benagil Cave algarve

Visiting the cave is only advisable by SUP to rent at the beach or join a boat tour. Although it’s a very short distance from Benagil Beach, swimming is inadvisable due to quickly changing tides.

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9 Bucket List Things To Do in Algarve, Portugal

5. Algarve’s rough West Coast

The fresh breeze and rough coastline of the West Coast of the Algarve are something not to miss. The enormous sand beaches are rougher and often much quieter!

algarve portugal lagos Bordeiras Beach

Estrada da Praia

Follow the scenic loop named Estrada da Praia. The dirt road takes you along 10 different viewpoints indicated by letters ranging from A to J. The road is only accessible by regular cars and not allowed to access with a motorhome. We’ve added the exact loop to our Google Maps Locations.

Praia do Amado

Praia do Amado is a huge sweeping bay backed by rolling green hills and earthy red cliffs. The high winds here make it a very popular spot for water sports fanatics, particularly for surfers, with many international surf competitions.

portugal algarve things to do Praia do Amado

Bordeira’s Beach

Not far away from Praia do Amado lies the stunning 3km long beach of Bordeira. Follow the wooden walkways across the flat cliffs and down to the wide, open beach. Because of its huge size, the beach always feels quiet and secluded.

algarve beautiful beach Bordeiras Beach

6. Discover the Algarve’s surfing culture

Incredible beaches, high winds, and waves of the Algarve make it a hub for all kinds of watersports. The most popular are surfing and kitesurfing, and there are a ton of schools to choose from.

best surfing cascais portugal

On the other hand, the smaller, more protected coves around Lagos have beautiful calm water, perfect for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. This is a popular way to discover the caves and cliffs that make the Algarve famous. Not only that but there is also the chance of seeing some amazing marine life, like dolphins!  

7. Visit Ponta da Piedade

Ponta da Piedade is one of the most well-known things to do in the Algarve. These rocky cliffs offer breathtaking views across both sides of the coastline, all the way down to Sagres. Enjoy the views, or descend the many steep stairs down to the water’s edge. However, the best way to admire the rock formations and caves is to see them from the water by joining a boat or kayak tour.

8. Sagres

This tiny but charming surfers’ village Sagres is home to the most southwestern point of Europe. Sagres has a handful of sunbathing beaches, but it has rougher waves at most times of the year due to its location. At this same location stands the impressive Cabo de São Vicente lighthouse. You will also experience some of the most spectacular sunset locations here (book a sunset tour here).

9. Shop Ceramics

If you don’t know Portuguese ceramics yet, they are beautiful. The designs are a blend of traditional and modern crafts and are available in any kind of color and design. Take gifts or, even better: tableware for your own house. Our favorite place is Ceramica Paraiso. Note: Take cash with you as there is no option to pay by card. (Jan 2021)

portugese ceramics

How to visit the Algarve

Faro is the main airport in the Algarve. This is where you will arrive from any international flight to the Algarve.

Find flights to the Algarve ✈️

To move around the Algarve easily, we highly recommend renting a car or a campervan! A campervan is a great option if you want to save on accommodation and have surfboards or other equipment to carry with you. Read more about how to travel through Portugal by campervan.

how to travel algarve portugal

Where to Stay

The Algarve is a traveler’s paradise, especially for the ones who love to surf or spend time at the beach in the European summer. Because of this, there are lots of hostels and guesthouses for a very reasonable price throughout the entire south coast. However, you’ll also find lots of beautiful hotels and resorts with stunning ocean views.

If you have a campervan in Portugal, there are lots of great spots to park up on the clifftops outside. Use the park4night app to find all campsites, including reviews and amenities.

Salema Eco Camp

An absolute campsite gem where we personally spend way longer than intended was Salema Eco Camp. It’s a stunning hill and forest area with a relaxed atmosphere and a fantastic trendy restaurant on site. It’s advisable to book this campsite in advance as they are usually fully booked throughout the entire year!


Best Time to Visit the Algarve

September/October is the best time to visit the Algarve. It’s at the end of the main tourist summer season, so things are much quieter and cheaper. This means you can enjoy the beauty of the coastline with few tourists but still have nice warm sunny days.


Alternatively, April and May are great months to visit too. Be aware, though, that the water in Portugal is pretty cold all year round! 

26/02/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/portugal/algarve/
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