Are you on holidays and want to discover the region that welcomes most of the tourists in Portugal? Would you like to visit the points of interest and get to know a true and authentic Algarve?
In this article I’m going to show you the best itinerary that will allow you to visit the most beautiful places in this region (beaches, unknown villages, amazing walking routes and much more).
To help you plan your holidays to the Algarve I’ve prepared a 5-day itinerary (not counting with the day of arrival and the day of departure) for you to discover this beautiful region.
Itinerary to spend 5 days of holidays in the Algarve
Each day of this itinerary was prepared taking into account that Lagos was where we stayed for the night.
During my stay in Lagos area, I’ve decided to sleep in the hotel Estrela da Luz (affiliate link) and I loved every minute spent there. If this hotel is not what you’re looking for then I suggest that you take a minute and check here The 3 Best Hotels in Algarve.
Day 1: Lagos, Ponta da Piedade
Start your day by going to the wonderful historic centre of Lagos. Here you can visit the true and authentic city market; then you should lose yourself through the beautiful streets of this city.
After your visit to the historic centre, discover Ponta da Bandeira fortress (to the right of the street Miguel Bombarda), built in the 17th century. Here, you can admire the small chapel of Santa Bárbara, decorated with glazed tiles, and the astonishing view over the sea.
Just 3 km from the historic centre you will discover one of the most beautiful places in the Algarve, Ponta da Piedade – you just need to go towards the end of the road of Ponta da Piedade.
Prepare yourself to be overwhelmed by the beauty of this place!
In the afternoon, you can take some time off and relax in Dona Ana beach or in Camilo beach (both located next to the road of Ponta da Piedade). If these beaches are crowded, don’t worry! Choose Porto de Mós beach, located west of Ponta da Piedade.
Day 2 : Sagres and Cape St. Vincent
34 km from Lagos you’ll find the village of Sagres and its fortress where Henry the Navigator founded a naval school. Great navigators were trained here and it was also here that the caravel was created – a Portuguese ship with lateen sails designed to enable backwind.
After visiting the fortress, discover Europe’s southwestern point, Cape St. Vincent.
It is an amazing place where you can admire the beautiful landscape, Sagres Lighthouse and the old monastery.
On your way back, make a stop in Beliche beach, located just 3 km away from Cape St. Vincent. This beach is not as well-known as other beaches in the Algarve, but it has a unique charm that will pull you in. Do not miss it!
Beliche beach is one of a kind. However, if you want to go there and appreciate its natural beauty, you’ll have to climb down a hundred steps.
After having a picnic or going to the nearest restaurant, facing Belich beach, you can choose whether to stay and relax at the beach (Beliche, Mareta or Martinhal beaches) or to take the 6 km round walking route (Telheiro Beach Circuit) and discover this amazing landscape (see photo below).
Day 3 : Aljezur, Bordeira, Carrapateira
This day will be dedicated to the discovery of the Vicentine Coast.
Start your day in the picturesque village of Aljezur, founded by the Moors in 10th century. The village was completely destroyed after the huge earthquake of 1755. Since then, a new village was born 500 metres away, around the main church of Nossa Senhora da Alva.
During your visit lose yourself in the narrow and photogenic streets of the old part of the village (surrounding Aljezur castle).
Next, you should visit Monte Clérigo beach located in the small fishing village with the same name. After that, go down to Arrifana beach to enjoy the marvelous landscape.
After lunch (at the beach or in Aljezur), continue to the beautiful Bordeira beach, where you can stay for the afternoon or go on a 10 km round walking route – 3h30 (Pontal da Carrapateira Circuit) to discover incredible landscapes.
The route crosses the small village of Carrapateira (from one end to the other), Bordeira and Amado beaches and, when returning, you’ll see a completely different landscape.
On your way back to Lagos, don’t miss the opportunity to stop at the small village of Bensafrim to admire its authenticity.
Day 4 : Monchique, Alvor
Start your fourth day of holidays in the Algarve by going to the tallest peak – Fóia peak (902 m).
After admiring the amazing view over the Algarve (up to Cape St. Vincent), go to Monchique and lose yourself in the alleyways surrounding the church street.
To explore the surrounding area you should take the mills walking route (10 km – 3 hours). Throughout this route you’ll see the Convent of Nossa Senhora do Desterro and the Mill of Poucochinho.
Informtion: if you don’t want to take the walking route, know that you can still visit the mill, you’ll just have to drive there. (GPS : 37°20’02.4″N 8°34’03.0″W).
After lunch, continue to the small village of Alvor and enjoy its alleyways and the main church.
While you’re in Alvor take some time to relax at the beach, located 1 km from the historic centre. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll through the wooden walkway from the Alvor beach to the Três Irmãos beach (6 km).
When you get to the west end of the beach, instead of returning through the same walkway, stroll by the Ria de Alvor where you can admire 350 hectares of dunes, birds and flora.
Day 5 : Silves, Benagil
On the fifth and last day of holidays in the Algarve, start your journey by going to the amazing city of Silves. The places to go are: Al-Hamra Castle, built by the Moors, and the beautiful cathedral.
After visiting these two places, stroll down the cathedral street to Silves City Gates.
When you return to the cathedral (you can leave your car nearby), lose yourself in the narrow streets to feel the air of Silves.
The best way to finish your day is by going to Carvoeiro beach.
My suggestion is that you take a tour on a small boat (10 people) to discover the amazing caves (Benagil is the most famous one), beaches, such as the Marinha beah which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Alfazinha Lighthouse.
The tour from Carvoeiro beach to Marinha beach is 25 euros and takes 1h30. If you visit Algarve in July or August don’t forget to book your tour the day before – you just have to click here.
Do you want to see all these wonderful places without having to book a boat tour?
Then, you should go on 7 Hanging Valleys walking route that connects Marinha beach to Vale Centeanes beach (3 km from Carvoeiro beach).
The walking route goes along the cliffs for 5,7 km (11,4 both ways), which will be perfect for you – this way you’re going to see amazing landscapes and if you want to you’ll even have the chance to stop and relax in one of these beaches: Marinha, Benagil and Vale Centeanes.
Check here if you want to see the map of the walking route.
Are you going on holidays to the Algarve? Then don’t hesitate to book your hotel room and your car by clicking the links below. This way I’ll be able to continue to give you free tips and travel guides so you can better prepare your visit to Portugal. Thank you!