The Algarve region of southern Portugal is home to over 150 beaches, ranging from endless stretches of sand backed by towering red cliffs such as the beaches of Falesia, Quarteira and Rocha, to the deserted bays of Albandeira and Fuseta. Families love the calm waters of the east coast while water sports enthusiasts head to the west for wild waves ideal for surfing.
Beyond the beaches, you will find world-class golf courses and fantastic luxury hotels ideal for blissful R&R in the sunshine. The tiny village of Sagres, located on Europe’s most westerly point, is home to a historical lighthouse perched on Cabo Sao Vicente, a wonderful sunset spot where you can watch the fearless local fisherman balancing precariously on the cliff’s edge to draw in that day’s dinner.
Further east, Vilamoura’s glamorous marina comes alive at night with a plethora of fine-dining restaurants – watch the glitterati bustle between their yachts from one of the vibrant waterfront bars. Venture inland to explore cork forests and pretty hilltop villages including Monchique, a quaint market hamlet, or tour the coastline to discover ancient Moorish towns and traditional fishing communities. Fresh seafood is at the heart of Algarvian cuisine, freshly barbecued or slow cooked in a cataplana, while the internationally-acclaimed peri-peri sauce adds a fiery kick to grilled meats.
The charming resort of Porches keeps the region’s traditions alive, with artisan pottery and patchworks of vineyards. The wetlands of Ria Formosa Natural Park, located just east of Faro, is popular with nature enthusiasts - take a boat or kayak tour through the canals and marshes to witness the wide variety of bird species, or grab a snorkel to observe sea horses in their natural habitat.