For your next summer holidays, you’ve chosen to visit Portugal and discover its best region: the Algarve! Find out in which city to stay in the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal!
Portugal’s southern coast – boasting an impressive historical heritage, heavenly beaches and a warm, dry Mediterranean climate – is one of Southern Europe’s most popular destinations for tourists of all ages. The Algarve region, nestled between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean influences of neighbouring Andalusia, offers an eyeful of contrasts, from its urbanized coastline to its forested, rural and authentic mainland. With just over 450,000 inhabitants spread over 4988 km², the region draws most of its resources from tourism.
The region is divided into two areas: a western part called Barlavento – whose capital is Portimão – and an eastern part called Sotavento, whose capital is Faro. Whether you are exploring Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, Faro, the west coast and its beaches, the mainland or the flamboyant Guadiana valley, southern Portugal has something for everyone. Here is a presentation of these places to stay in the Algarve region.
Vila Real de Santo António
Photo credit: Flickr – Jose A.
The best way to discover the eastern Algarve and the Guadiana Valley is to book accommodation in Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal’s largest eastern city, not far from the Spanish border. This eastern part of the Algarve gives access to the Castro Marim and the Vila Real de Santo António Marsh Natural Reserve. Enjoy great walks or bike rides to discover an amazingly rich fauna and flora, featuring 439 varieties of plants and 153 different species of birds. The abundance of fish in the marshes makes this nature reserve – called the sopal – the preferred habitat of storks, oystercatchers, flamingos, and woodcocks. Vila Real de Santo António is an ideal choice to spend a peaceful holiday in the Algarve.
Photo credit: Flickr – Lorenmart
A city of 65,000 inhabitants, Faro welcomes millions of tourists with its second largest airport in Portugal. In Sotavento, the beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters will sublimate your stay in the Algarve. The Ria Formosa Natural Park is a coastal ribbon offering its visitor an enchanting setting: beaches as far as the eye can see, extraordinary fauna and flora and picturesque villages full of colour and flavour. Rent an apartment to stay in Faro and its surroundings and get a taste of traditional Portugal.
Photo credit: Flickr – Antonio da Silva Martins
Most tourists rush to Portimão because this city of over 63,000 inhabitants is particularly lively throughout the year, day and night. Beaches lined with turquoise waters, intimate coves, ochre-coloured cliffs, snorkeling spots, golf clubs, bars and nightclubs, seafood restaurants and Portuguese specialties: there is something for everyone. There is plenty of accommodation available in Portimão, and you can find hotel rooms at unbeatable prices. Don’t miss the city’s most famous beach: the Praia da Rocha.
The west coast of the Algarve
Photo credit: Flickr – Lucas Zerma
Knowing where to stay in an unknown destination is an essential question. In the Algarve, if you are looking for natural landscapes and to spend a quiet holiday far from civilization, then don’t hesitate any longer and rent a room or an apartment along this immense strip of land going from Cape St. Vincent (near Sagres) – the south-westernmost point of Europe – to the national park of south-west Alentejo and the Vicentine Coast. You will find many rooms to rent or hotels in typical villages, and most of all, enjoy gorgeous landscapes, sublime beaches, and memorable hikes. Rates can, however, be high, and you will need to rent a car if you want to get the most of your stay in the Algarve’s west coast.
Main photo credit : Flickr – ian_woodhead1