Parque Natural da Ria Formosa: a large lagoon with marshes, salt pans and untouched islands. Since 1987 the area is a nature reserve. It covers an area of over 18,000 hectares and is of great importance for migratory birds. It is an internationally recognized ‘wetland’. It is one of the most beautiful natural attractions of the Algarve! The area has numerous islands and hosts a striking number of bird species like European flamingos, spoonbills and many wading birds. A paradise for birdwatchers! The salt is also mined and is possibly in the little container on your table (at home and in restaurants). A beautiful walk leads you through this area from Cacela Velha. One of the most unspoilt attractions of the Algarve with an 18th – century fortress on a hill surrounded by meadows and fields to complete the picture.
Tavira is at the mouth of the River Segura surrounded by the remains of the city wall built by King Dinis. An earthquake in 1755 destroyed almost the whole town. Tavira was an important center for fishing tuna. If you are interested in churches, you can indulge yourself here, the town has 37 churches! Tavira is a nice town to wander through. Many people consider Tavira to be the most beautiful city in eastern Algarve. It has many cultural and culinary festivities and also many fine restaurants.
Faro has a beautiful harbor, an old town full of cafes, medieval neighborhoods, parks and boulevards. Set in a former convent you will find the Museu Arqueológico, one of the finest museums in the Algarve.
Estói is a quiet village in the countryside, known for its palace (which is also a Pousada hotel). The gardens are definitely worth a visit thanks to the azulejos and busts that have been incorporated in the gardens. The stairs lead to the lower part of the garden where a grotto is hidden, tiled with mosaics . In Estói there is also a church that was built in the 16th century and was renovated. In Milreu you will find archaeological finds from the Roman city Ossonoba .
Vila Real de Santo António was destroyed by a tidal wave in the 17th century. The Marquis of Pombal rebuilt the town on the basis of a unique grid pattern of Lisbon. The central square of Vila Real de Santo António is surrounded by orange trees and low-rise shops and restaurants. You will find nearby the Museu de Manuel Cabanas, he was a local artist who is known as the best wood craftsman of Portugal.
Castro Marim is a historic border town at the mouth of the Guadiana Rive. There are a fortress from the 13th century and two castles. Beautiful views!
Santa Luzia is known for the ‘Covos’ or octopus pots. You can enjoy the catch in one of the many restaurants along the promenade. In the summer, you can start a boat trip in Santa Luzia to visit the waters and beaches around Ilha de Tavira .
Silves is the historic Moorish capital of the Algarve with a cathedral and a castle. The’Castelo dos Mouros’ stands on top of a mountain, it is here where you can have a beautiful view of the surroundings. It is a picturesque, medieval town with cobbled streets. Sit and relax on a terrace in the center. In the evening the town is beautiful lighted, just like in a fairy- tale.
Albufeira is very touristic and has all the amenities a tourist could dream of. Even if you do not like the crowds, the hotels, bars and restaurants, you really should not miss the beautiful beaches. They are definitely worth a visit !
In Salir in spring all the fields are full of colorful flowers. It is definitely worth a visit because of the Moorish castle ruins and terraces between it.
Alte is a place you should not miss during a tour. It is a rustic picturesque white village, nicely situated on the waterfront .
Vilamoura is known as the resort for the rich. It is modern and very touristic. If you are looking for authentic Portuguese atmosphere, you had better avoid this place. Still you might enjoy the harbour with its large vessels.
Loule is a nice and cozy place that has a great Saturday fruit and vegetable market .
Portimão, the most famous entertainment center of the Algarve. The town itself is characterized mainly by the mix of 19th and 20th century buildings. On the promenade you will find a vibrant nightlife with many bars and clubs. The more luxurious clubs with sushi and sofas you will find at the harbor. There are several excursions possible to the caves, but there are also dolphin watching and fishing trips. The center is definitely worth visiting. It has some nice shops and terraces. The city of Portimão is well known to sailors. There are some large and prestigious sailing events like the ‘World Match Racing Tour’.
Alvor is known for its many seafood restaurants on the banks of the river. The village is situated on a sheltered bay and is known for its seafood dishes.
Quarteira has a large beach. It is worth visiting the port where the morning boats return with their catch.
Almancil: the Igreja Matriz de São Lourenço is just outside Almancil and has some beautiful tiles panels and a beautifully decorated dome. Some people find this dome the finest in Europe after Rome.
The Serra de Monchique has valleys full of cork oaks and wild flowers. It has great possibilities to walk and cycle. You have some stunning views towards the Atlantic Ocean from the tops Fóia (902 m ) and Picota (773 m). Besides forests of cork oaks, walnuts and many other native trees, you will mainly see eucalyptus trees here.
Caldas de Monchique is known as a wellness and health resort. In the beautiful valley of the Serra de Monchique mountains you can find spring water of about 33˚C at the thermal center of Caldas de Monchique. The area is very green and quiet. There are several hiking through this beautiful piece of nature. The town of Monchique itself is still very traditional .
Praia da Luz and environment is a good choice for an active day out. Along the coastline there are many diving schools and surf schools. You can you make cliff walks with stunning views. You can also enjoy here water skiing, horseback riding, tennis, sailing, mountain biking and paragliding.
Lagos is a vibrant yet charming town with a nicely paved historic center, good restaurants and a entertaining nightlife. Various forts and castles can be visited in this beautiful town. In particular, the fort on the harbor is worth a visit .
Ponte da Piedade: at the lighthouse of Lagos are ocher cliffs and strange formations of sandstone . You can descend to the sea and the cliffs via a long staircase that offers stunning views of the ocean. This is one of the most beautiful natural attractions of the Algarve. You can also make a wonderful boat tour along the impressive cliffs and caves . Good to combine with a trip to Cabo de Sao Vincente.
Cabo de São Vicente is one of the most spectacular sights of the Algarve because of the cliffs, the rugged landscape, the lighthouse and its beautiful, romantic (!), sunsets.
Sagres is known for its beaches and surfing. The small harbor town arouses the feeling you are at the end of the world and that makes the atmosphere very special. Around Sagres you can walk and you will find monumental menhirs from 3000 BC .
Vila do Bispo: around Vila do Bispo Algarve you will find many prehistoric sites. The landscape is dotted with mysterious megaliths and menhirs.