We cannot deny that we already have summer in our minds and the plans begin to enjoy the summer, the quintessential vacation period that seems so long before it begins and turns out to be so short after it ends, with so many things pending for the next year.

Like every year, one of the dilemmas that one finds is where to go, where to spend that long-awaited month of vacation where you can enjoy the sun, the beach and the sea and that it is a destination that everyone likes. The Algarve is, without a doubt, one of the best possible options to live an unforgettable summer, as it has landscapes whose beauty leaves you speechless.

And it is that in the south of Portugal we find a region with a quite exuberant nature, infarct cliffs, charming towns, extensive beaches of fine sand and coves that can only be seen in the movies. They all have in common that the water is quite cold and that they usually have impressive turquoise colors.

There are 240 kilometers of coastline that go a long way, so if you have enough time you can explore the Algarve by car. There are more than 100 beaches to choose from and numerous corners that are worth a visit.

The name of the Algarve comes from the Arabic “al-Garb” which literally means “to the West”, referring to its geographical location, to the west of the Al-Andalus kingdom , during the Muslim occupation. After the Reconquest it became part of Portugal. It was not an excessively prominent kingdom within the Portuguese territory until the 20th century when it gained great importance due to the fishing and canning industry, first, and the tourist industry, later.

With regard to which area is the best to stay in the Algarve, we recommend that the most enthusiastic travelers guide their trip between Albufeira and Lagos . Most of the tourists go there and it is the area with the best hotels and services. In addition, the beaches are quite crowded in summer and there is a lot of animation.

Of course, you cannot leave the south of Portugal without visiting Tavira and its historic quarter, the Ponta da Piedade complex, the Benagil and Marinha caves or the Cape of São Vicente.

At the essence of Albufeira

Albufeira is a coastal city that belongs to the district of Faro. It is an area that is characterized by its incredible coasts bathed by infinite cliffs and white sand beaches . Originally it was a small fishing village and today it has become one of the most popular tourist spots in Portugal.

Despite this, the essence of those times is still evident in the white houses of the urban center that decorate its cliffs , always watched over by the church tower. It was a typical village in the Algarve area that has become a city with a wide variety of restaurants, boutiques and all kinds of services.

Outside the high-occupancy seasons , Albufeira becomes a haven of peace where you can enjoy its shops and landscapes . Get lost in its streets and explore its most famous taverns and restaurants where you can taste fish dishes, of course, cod is among its specialties. In addition to taking a walk through its streets, you will find a wide variety of options and activities to do in the surroundings of Albufeira.

Undoubtedly, one of the “must” is to discover its beaches or “praias”, small charming coves surrounded by cliffs and rocky shapes that will lead you to imagine them as different animals, among them the Santa Eulália Beach, the Gale Leste Beach , Falesia Beach or Praia dos Olhos d’água . It is the town with the largest number of beaches awarded the blue flag in Portugal.

On the other hand, the old town and the boulevard (The Strip) of this beautiful town offer a lively and intense nightlife, especially in the summer, where thousands of tourists from countless countries seek to have fun.

Postcards in Lagos

The city of Lagos is one of the most important in Portugal because it played a very important role during the time of the Portuguese Discoveries . In addition, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, such as Porto de Mós Beach, Meia Playa, Camilo Beach and Dona Ana Beach.

Another excellent option is to trace a route on foot or even take a kayak to explore caves along the coast such as the famous Benagil, the most impressive in the Algarve. If you are passionate about marine fauna, do not miss any boat excursion that will give you the opportunity to see dolphins in their natural habitat, in the open sea. These routes depart from the port of Albufeira Marina.

In terms of heritage, the Ruins of the City of Laccobriga, the Parish Church of Santa María de Lagos, the Church of Santo Antonio (Municipal Museum), the Castle of the Governors (Castelo dos Governadores) and the Fortaleza da Ponta da Bandeira stand out.

It is also worth visiting the natural monument of Ponta da Piedade , some cliffs with spectacular views of pinnacles and rocky outcrops shaped by the action of the sea, among which grottos, caves and arches are hidden that complete a surprising landscape.

And it is that Lagos stands out for its cultural heritage and its coast with a unique natural beauty . Despite the fact that the city depends a lot on tourist activity, it has been able to keep its identity, its symbols, its traditions and its culture intact.

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