Algarve is one of the favourite destinations for tourists and Portuguese people due to its beautiful beaches. But if you visit Algarve you’ll soon realize that this region has much more to show than some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Join me in my visit to this region and discover some of the most beautiful places here.
Visit Algarve and discover these amazing places:
1. Ponta da Piedade
Located near the port city of Lagos, Ponta da Piedade is an exceptional natural place. Ponta da Piedade offers a stunning view over Cape St. Vincent, with beautiful cliffs, arches and caves. Before you visit this natural beauty you should talk to the local fishermen.
Tip: The place is accessible by land and by sea, however, to really feel the atmosphere, choose the fishing boats. Security is paramount so be careful, especially if you take your kids.
2. Cacela Velha
Located 11 km from Tavira, the picturesque village of Cacela Velha offers its visitors some of the most amazing views over the sea and the islands of Ria Formosa Natural Park.
Apart from the panoramic view of the Ria, you will also find in this village the beautiful church and the fort of Cacela Velha, built in the 17th century.
3. Ria Formosa Natural Park
Nature reserve since 1978, and natural park since 1987, Ria Formosa has a considerable biodiversity and comprises 60 km of length and over 18.000 ha total. The wetland area is composed mainly of isles, swamps and canals – a spectacle like no other in the world.
Tip: Before you explore the isles of this park, visit Marim Environment Education Centre (Centro de Educação Ambiental de Marim) and go on a stroll through its 3 km trail to admire the local fauna and flora.
- Location: Google Maps
Tavira is definitely the most picturesque city in Algarve. Its origins date back to the Roman occupation but it was during the Moors’ occupation that it gained more importance up until the 17th century, when Portugal leaft its North African territories.
When you visit Tavira, you’ll discover a city with 21 churches, an old Arab quarter, ruins of a castle where you can enjoy the most fantastic view over Tavira, a Roman bridge and alleys where you’ll love to lose yourself.
5. Silves Castle
One of the places you can’t miss if you visit Algarve is Silves Castle. Built between the 8th and the 10th century by the Moors, its unique architecture is a trace of the Muslim presence there. The castle, also known as the “red fortress” because of its colour, is on the top of the hill, facing the city of Silves.
We can also admire from the various and different viewpoints the whole city, from the Serra de Monchique to the orchards. Considered one of the most important monuments in the Iberian Peninsula, it was listed as a national monument in 1910.
The city of Faro is the entry point for those who want to visit Algarve and travel by plane. However, this city is often forgotten by tourists who go directly to the various resorts in the region.
Located just 6 km east of the airport, the historic centre of Faro will amaze you with all its alleys frozen in time and its beautiful cathedral where you can enjoy the most magnificent view over Ria Formosa.
Tip: after your visit to the historic centre, don’t miss the opportunity to go on a boat tour to discover the wonders of Ria Formosa Natural Park. Aside from admiring the fauna and flora, you’ll also have the chance to visit 4 islands, some of them inhabited by fishermen.
7. Cape St. Vincent
A paradise for nature lovers, Cape St. Vincent is, not surprisingly, a nature reserve since 1988 given the number of species that make this place their home: sea otters, herons, Bonelli’s eagles, etc.
This part of the coast has its history. Since the Middle Ages that this edge of Europe was considered as “the end of the world”. Along with the beauty of the surrounding landscape you must visit Sagres fortress, the lighthouse and the old monastery.
Lagos is one of the cities in Algarve tourists love the most and, contrary to the others, this city has maintained its authenticity.
When you visit Lagos, take some time to lose yourself in the alleys of its historic centre and enjoy the air of this city. Afterwards, visit the authentic Mercado Municipal (city market).
After visiting the historic centre, discover the fort of Ponta da Bandeira, built in the 17th century. Here you can admire the small but beautiful chapel of Santa Bárbara, covered with glazed tiles, and the magnificent view over the sea.
9. São Lourenço de Almancil Church
Built in the 18th century in honour of São Lourenço, this church, located in Almancil, may look ordinary on the outside.
Completely white, in baroque style and with a square tower, it is only inside of the church that you can discover its secret: the depiction of the life of the saint in glazed tiles and statues dating from the time of the construction of the church.
Are you going to visit the Algarve? Then I suggest you read this detailed itinerary (click here) so that you can better prepare your trip and discover this wonderful region in 6 days.
10. 7 Hanging Valleys Walk
If, like me, you love beautiful landscapes, know that you can’t leave Algarve without doing the 7 Hanging Valleys Walk. This is a must do when you visit Algarve!
This 5.7 km walking route (11.4 km both ways) goes hand in hand with the cliffs from Marinha beach to Vale Centeanes beach. If you go on this walk know that you’ll be amazed with the fantastic landscapes and, if you want to, you can also stop at one of 3 beautiful beaches (Marinha, Vale Centeanes and Benagil).
To access the trail map, please click here.
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