Five top regions to visit in the Algarve | Private jet charter
The Algarve on Portugal’s southern coast offers visitors superb beaches and invitingly warm seas. With a backdrop of golden cliffs, sandbar islands and hidden lagoons, the Algarve is a yachting haven and a surfing paradise, as well as a favourite destination for gastronomes who appreciate the region’s world-class seafood.
The Algarve’s capital, Faro has remained largely unspoilt with more historic buildings and monuments than any other city in the region. Follow the cobbled streets in this authentic Portuguese city towards Faro Cathedral where you can climb the tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city across to the Atlantic. Discover more about Faro’s history at the Municipal Museum and take a walk in the Manuel Bivar gardens. The Faro area is also a magnet for golfers with the top courses located in Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, while the Praia de Faro is a 5km beach lined with traditional Portuguese restaurants and a ferry to take you to more remote beaches.
Located in the western Algarve, Lagos offers visitors sun-kissed beaches with stunning rock formations, a fascinating historical legacy and the chance to explore nearby inlets and coast on one of the many boat trips from Lagos Marina. Kayaking and snorkelling are also popular here. Lagos’s Old Town is easy to explore on foot – head for Santo Antonio church with its vaulted ceiling and gilded woodwork, as well as the 17th-century Bandeira Fort, and the Mercado dos Escravos. The Ponta da Piedade headland south of Lagos is renowned for its beautiful sandstone cliff formations. Best beaches around Lagos include the expansive Meia Praia, the surfing mecca of Porto de Mós and the beautiful Praia Dona Ana.
This stunning town lies in the eastern Algarve, around 30km from Faro. Lesser known than some of its Algarve neighbours, Tavira offers visitor an authentic mix of Moorish and traditional Portuguese influences, situated along the banks of the Gilão River. Tavira has 36 churches to explore ranging in styles from Gothic to Renaissance, and charming plazas and cobbled street. Tavira’s best beaches are the Ilha de Tavira, which form part of the protected Ria Formosa Nature Park.
The former fishing village of Albufeira is now the Algarve’s most popular resort with an ever-expanding expat community. Superb beaches, an eclectic nightlife, coupled with a vibrant restaurant and bar scene makes Albufeira a magnet for younger visitors, yet the resort is equally popular with families who enjoy the water and theme parks. Albufeira’s Old Town is the authentic, historic heart of the city with its cobbled streets and plazas leading to the Praia dos Pescadores, a family-friendly beach. To the city’s east is the New Town where the scene is distinctly party central. A popular sailing destination, take a boat ride from Albufeira’s port and go dolphin watching and deep sea fishing.
Located 15km from the sea in rolling countryside, Silves is a beautiful fortified town and the former ancient capital of the Algarve. Take a couple of hours to explore its hilly streets, red-brick castle, Gothic cathedral, shops and open-air cafés. Wander down from the castle to the banks Arade river and take in the unspoilt atmosphere of this undeveloped town.
On your way to Silves, drive through the mountainous Serra da Monchique area and visit the delightful market town of Monchique. The local liqueur here is made from the fruits of the arbutus tree.
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