Photo: Algarve, credits to Oliver Clarke
It’s no secret that come summer, the appealing coastline of southern Portugal – Algarve- practically falls under the crush of holidaymakers who crowd its vacation villages, resort hotels, marinas, beachwear boutiques, souvenir shops, seaside cafes and seasonal discos.
Blame the friendly and welcoming locals and Algarve’s tempting looks. Nearly 100 miles along the Atlantic coast, the seaside is blessed with exposed dunes and natural grottoes. Some two-thirds of the flights to Faro, the gateway to the region, arrive from London, Liverpool or Dublin, transforming popular towns like Albufeira in one of the most full of life cities in summer.
There’s no shortage of high quality beaches, sandy stretches as far as the eye can see, framed by golden cliffs, virtually deserted islands marking the boundary between Ria Formosa and the sea, and small coves sheltered by the rocks. The ocean, in every shade of blue and mostly calm and warm, invites you for long swims and to indulge in water sports.
And there are also the mountains, where people live in harmony with nature and maintain traditions that they love to share. And the cities. Silves preserves traces of its Arab past and Lagos from the time of the Discoveries. More cosmopolitan Portimão and Albufeira are bustling towns by night and day. Tavira is a showcase for traditional architecture and Faro deserves a long stop to discover its beautiful historic center.
To relax, you can have various treatments in the spas centers and in the Monchique Thermal Baths. There are also many internationally acclaimed golf courses where you can enjoy a spot of exercise. And hotels, tourist villages, resorts, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. In short, a varied array sharing a genuine love for hospitality.
Source: Monchique, credits to Lorna Mitchel
You can use footpaths and cycle trails to get to know the region, such as the Algarve Way inland or the Vicentine Route along one of the best preserved coastal stretches. And boat rides are another ecological way to observe the flora and fauna.
Algarve also has a laid-back atmosphere, some empty beaches, quiet and cozy environmental, full of locals, lots of street grilled fish and seafood, most of that authentic Portuguese holiday feeling. This is why you should try Algarve for your summer holidays!
Algarve is full of fisherman towns, like Tavira. In some of those places, English is not the commonly spoken language, but locals will try their best to understand you and help you.
Generations and generations of Portuguese families, couples, and relaxed youngsters have been coming to Algarve for this same reason. Its calm beaches, gentle ocean and peaceful feeling. Just imagine yourself in bathing shorts and with a nice golden brown tan, sitting by the sea side, eating a street grilled sardine with corn bread in one hand and a glass of white wine filled up to brim on the other. Delightful, right?
You don’t have to go to Brazil, Maldives or even the Philippines to find empty white sand beaches. The eastern part of the Algarve has a natural pure white sand formation that stretches from Faro all the way to Spanish bordering town Vila Real de Santo António.
Fish and seafood is as fresh as you can get them. There are streets full of grills where the locals and the restaurant owners grill the fresh fish and seafood that the fisherman catch in the morning. Those places have a modest ambient and reasonably priced freshly cooked fish.
Photo: Fresh fish, credits to Harold Navarro
The air temperature in the summer rounds 30º – 34º, which is just the perfect summer weather. Not too hot, where you can’t stand in the sun for 5 minutes, neither too cold as you start thinking why did you come on holiday in the first place? During the summer solstice you can enjoy 15 hours of sun in its full splendor from 6 am until 9pm, and even after sunset the temperature doesn’t go below 25ºC.
You’ll be amazed with the “Bola de Berlim”, something like doughnuts with egg cream on the beach. You will hear the seller man call across the beaches (except the desert ones): “Olhá Boliiinha!!”, and then you know that your body will never be so happy to eat empty calories as when you give that first bite after being in the water for some time.
Source: Bolas de Berlim and conquilhas, credits to Vitor Neto, Sara F. Soares and Ricardo Bernardo
To finish, try to do the picking of conquilhas and cook your own dinner. Conquilhas are sort of small flat calm, which usually grow on the beach break southern Portuguese coasts. They are easy to catch and make the best sea flavored starter to your home cooked meal. Is you mouthwatering?
We have 3 suggestions of lovelly accommodations in Algarve where you can enjoy your vacations:
Offers a themed accommodation, and 3 swimming pools. The unit is decorated in the spirit of a traditional country house and is located a 10-minute drive from Fuseta Beach.
Is spread over 2 separate hills, 15 km from Tavira. The main country house has a large garden with outdoor pool and sun terrace, while the house with junior suites is surrounded by nature.
Is settled among green pine trees, and offers an outdoor pool 800 meters from Praia Verde beach. It includes a buffet restaurant and a bar just a 5-minute drive from Monte Gordo and its casino.