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The Locals Guide To Algarve

Written by Local Experts

My Guide Algarve is part of the global My Guide Network of Online & Mobile travel guides.

A secret awaiting discovery, the Algarve has Roman ruins, Moorish castles and traditional villages as well as an amazing coastline, mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine and over 30 golf courses.

My Guide Algarve is focused on offering unrivalled levels of local information. This is what we pride ourselves on, and it's our promise to our users. Algarve is run by a team on the ground who have their fingers on the pulse and write from a first-hand experience.


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Mini Guides

Alvor - Things to Do, Restaurants, Beaches and Bars

19 items · Local Expert · Public

Alvor is a fishing village on the southern coast of Portugal that charms visitors with a mix of old-world serenity and top travel experiences with excellent restaurants and bars and plenty of fun things to do. Visitors from around the world rub shoulders with generations of local Alvor folk, old men sitting in the shade playing cards and discussing football, young children chasing seagulls, and they return year after year as Alvor works its magic. Check out our suggestions below for some of the best restaurants and bars, things to do and places to stay in Alvor.

The huge beach and estuary boardwalk are top attractions in Alvor. This is one of the
best beaches in the Algarve. The boardwalk meanders between the ocean and the river estuary, and can be accessed from the village harbour as well as from the beach. The beach is several kilometres long, made of fine golden sand. To the east, known as Praia dos Tres Irmãos, there are cove beaches and cliffs to explore to low tide, with some spectacular caves and arches connecting this part of Alvor beach to Prainha. To the west the curving bay is expansive with ocean to the front and the river to the back. This is the favoured spot with kite surfers who speed across the water. There are some great restaurants on the beach - perfect for a cold drink, a quick snack or a delicious meal as the sun sets.

Alvor is a wonderful family destination. Aside from the fun on the beach there are plenty of things to do that appeal to all ages. The dinosaurs at Alvor Adventure Golf appeal to the kids while the adults enjoy the more challenging than expected course. Adrenaline junkies can jump out of airplanes with SkyDive Algarve and those looking for more relaxed fun can take a sunny cruise along the coast with Alvor Boat Trips.

Alvor may be small but it has a huge number of restaurants to tempt you. The standard of food served is generally very high and there is a great range of cusines - from typical portuguese fare and freshly grilled fish to Italian, Indian and modern steakhouses. Many restaurants have open air terraces or patios which are perfect for summer evenings. After dinner, wander the streets and enjoy a drink or two at one of the many bars.

Being a very picturesque village, Alvor is a popular wedding destination. The village church is charming and the resort has some very good hotel wedding venues.

Check out these Alvor suggestions:

Best Honeymoon Places in Algarve

15 items · Local Expert · Public

The Algarve is a super place for destination weddings and as a honeymoon destination. From luxurious honeymoon suites to breathtaking natural scenery, the region has plenty to offer honeymooners. Check out these suggestions for honeymoon hotels and villas, romantic restaurants and scenic spots.

For luxurious privacy, the ocean-facing Residence Grand Suite at
VILA VITA Parc ticks all the boxes. The contemporary styling and timeless elegance of the suite, in hues of sea blue and sandy beige, match perfectly with the stunning views from the ample terrace. The suite has its own private garden with wondrous views of the Atlantic and coastline. From dawn to dusk, as the sun moves through the sky, nature treats you to an ever-changing light show. Also located at VILA VITA Parc is the Cave dos Vinhos - the Wine Cellar. 9 metres below ground is a treasure trove of wines from around the world and the Cave dos Vinhos sommelier will guide you through the arched vaults, home to about 7,000 bottles of amazing wine. You don't have to be a resident at the resort to enjoy this experience - you can book your visit with VILA VITA Parc reception.

The sumptuous honeymoon suite at Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda, in Lagos, is a spacious, colourful and private oasis, with gorgeous sea and coast views from the terrace. Even the shower room has a sea-view! Perched on top of the cliffs overlooking the ocean, Boutique Hotel Vivenda Miranda is small and intimate with a spectacularly scenic pool and sun area as well as an excellent restaurant that offers vegetarian, vegan and raw food menus.

Vale do Lobo resort is a fabulous honeymoon destination. It's private and tranquil, with miles of beautiful beach to explore, fresh air to breathe and top class facilities. There are the famous golf courses, tennis and padel courts, for active fun and the natural beauty of blue skies, golden sands and green pine trees is very conducive to relaxation.

At the Eastern end of the Algarve, in the border town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, is the newly opened and refurbished Grand House Hotel. Dating from 1926, the hotel has been beautifully restored, mantaining original features wherever possible, while also offering top level comfort for modern travellers. This is a hotel with romantic charm in abundance and a perfect setting for your honeymoon.

With such fabulous scenery all around, it is no surprise to find so many great romantic restaurants as well as restaurants with great views in the Algarve. Opt for day to night pool and beach clubs like Medusis and NoSolo Agua, the serene elegance of Quinta do Lago's Casa Velha or the unique cliff  and beach location of Caniço. Charter a yacht for a day of relaxed sailing along the coast, visiting the amazing Benagil sea cave , exploring the Ria Formosa or Ponta da Piedade. See more details below.

The Algarve isn't just a great honeymoon destination. It offers excellent wedding venues and great day after possibilities such as a fun BBQ on the beach. and it's a great place to pop the question - check out our Algarve proposal ideas below.

Best For Stag & Hens in Algarve

18 items · Local Expert · Public

Hen and Stag parties in the Algarve have lots of fun activities to choose from. Hire a luxury yacht or a speed boat for a few hours of cruising along the coast, do a tandem skydive from 14.000 ft or stay on land but off road in a jeep safari. Pampering is on offer at the region's spas or some friendly bowling or mini golf competition or speedy fun on the karting track.

For great Hen and Stag party ideas, also see Hen and Stag Parties in the Algarve and How to Throw a Stag and Hen Weekend.

Best Sunset Spots in Algarve

15 items · Local Expert · Public

Enjoy sunset parties at the Algarve's best beach bars and clubs. Drink in hand, toes in sand, watch the day wind down while enjoying live music or DJ sets. Sunday is a favourite day for Sunset Sessions - check out our Events Calendar so you don't miss the party. And the best parties aren't always on land - the are some fabulous sunset boat parties to enjoy too!
Special shout out for the Afro Nation festival at Praia da Rocha in August and the huge BPM Festival in September in Portimão at NoSolo Agua.
If you're looking for a more tranquil sunset experience, simply get to a beach and face west - we recommend the Costa Vicentina (the West Coast) for fabulous sunset viewing.

Restaurant Take Away Service during Coronavirus Outbreak

13 items · Local Expert · Public

Although restaurants in the Algarve are closed to the public at the moment due to the Coronavirus outbreak, they can still offer take away services. There is a great range to choose from - healthy, immune-boosting juices, tasty italian, home-cooked comfort food, spicy Nepalese and Indian dishes. Check out the information below for menus and contacts. While we try to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date, do check with each restaurant to ask about collection and/or delivery options, as well as up to date menus.
Find information resources on Coronavirus in Portugal.

Algarve in March Travel Tips

20 items · Local Expert · Public

Is March a good month to visit the Algarve? Yes it is! Golfers love the Algarve in March – it’s perfect golfing weather with sunny days (usually) and plenty of daylight hours. See below for some great golf and club rental offers. In March, the Algarve is green and floral with wild poppies covering the fields – perfect for road trips and scenic walks. The weather in March in Algarve is generally mild although there may be some rainfall.
March in the Algarve isn’t as buzzing as summer so it’s a great time to visit to enjoy a romantic getaway or a short escape at an Algarve hotel.  There are some great events and concerts such as the Jazz in the Wineries programme and wine tasting at Vale do Lobo. Find out what's on in March in the Algarve.

Cosy Winter Restaurants in the Algarve

12 items · Local Expert · Public

Looking for cosy Algarve restaurants where you can tuck into tasty food during a winter getaway? These restaurants are super summer eateries as well as being cosy and welcoming in the autumn and winter. Move from the garden terraces to the fireside tables at Vabagondo and Casa do Campo, enjoy the stylish inside decor of Bovino, Parrilla Natural, Medusis and Wildfire, or watch the winter tides and waves at Ababuja and Parrilla Beach Club.

Algarve in February travel tips

18 items · Local Expert · Public

Is February a good month to visit the Algarve? Yes! February in the Algarve has the feeling of spring, with longer days and, usually, plenty of sunshine. Plus, it's perfect weather for golf, all kinds of sports and for walks along the coast. There's Carnival to celebrate, Valentine's for romance - check our Events Calendar to see what's on Valentine's Day - and plenty of special offers to take advantage of. Check out the suggestions below for the best things to do in February in the Algarve along with some early bird discount offers.

Michelin Star Restaurants in Algarve

7 items · Local Expert · Public

Read about the restaurants holding 9 Michelin Stars in the Algarve. Spread across the Algarve, from Praia da Rocha to Quinta do Lago and the Eastern Algarve at Vila Nova de Cacela, with emphasis on local produce and fabulous seafood these restaurants should be on your foodie must-do list.

The Michelin Gala announcing the stars attributed for 2020 was held in November 2019. In total, 27 restaurants across Portugal have been awarded Michelin stars.

Portugal's reputation as a foodie destination is growing. The abundance of fresh and quality local produce, from the sea and the land, has wooed some of Europe's best chefs to the country as well as inspiring a genearation of home-grown talents. Portuguese wines too are being recognized for their quality and their quality/price. Check out these recommendations for the best Portuguese white wines and the best Portuguese red wines and fnd out more about the Michelin star restaurants in the Algarve below.

Note - in November 2019, when the new list of Michelin star restaurants is announced, Restaurant Henrique Leis will no longer hold a star. Of his own volition, chef Henrique Leis will return the star which he has held continuously for 19 years.

Where to Watch the Rugby World Cup in the Algarve

7 items · Local Expert · Public

Wondering where to watch the Rugby World Cup action in the Algarve?  Here are some suggestions on good spots to cheer on your team. Both the England and the Ireland Rugby teams choose the Algarve for some pre-season training with Eddie Jones' English side training in Vilamoura while Irish Rugby choose to train at the high performance centre at The Campus in Quinta do Lago.

While soccer is the sport of choice and one of the things Portugal is most famous for (thanks Cristiano) rugby is growing in popularity. If you want to catch all the action from Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup here are some suggestions on venues where you can follow the action and enjoy a big match atmosphere. Wile most venues will be showing all the matches, given the time difference between Portugal and Japan, some may not show the earliest matches live, so we advise checking for these beforehand.

Where to Watch the World Cup in the Algarve

10 items · Local Expert · Public

Wondering where to watch the World Cup in the Algarve? Portugal is a football crazy country and you can be pretty sure that all the World Cup 2018 action will be on a TV screen near you. Enjoy the best of both worlds by watching the football at a beach bar - check out The Beach Bar at Vale do Lobo praça and The Shack at Quinta do Lago lake. If you want to add some yachts to the mix, then the views at O'Neills and The Irish Pub at Vilamoura marina, and Strikers Bar at Albufeira marina should tick the boxes. Let the kids off to play on the beach while you watch the footie at SeaDeck and Salsada do Zé beach restaurants. And of course, for added cráic and a few pints to go with the football, it's got to be an Irish bar....
Towns along the Algarve, like Portimão and Faro, will have Fan Zones - public viewing areas with big screens and pop up bars - so you can join the locals.

Best Restaurants with a View in Algarve

10 items · Local Expert · Public

Many restaurants in the Algarve have fabulous views to suit the amazing food they serve. Restaurants with beach views, cliff top views, views of sleek yachts and beautiful people. Check out these recommendations for restaurants with views to die for.

The Algarve coast is one of the most beautiful in Europe and these restaurants offer amazing views. Ababuja looks out on the Ria de Alvor and the old fish market. Caniço reveals its view with a suspenseful walk through a cliff tunnel before opening upon the ocean. Salsada do Ze  is tucked away at the base of Praia da Rocha's cliffs, looking out to the golden sands and wide blue ocean, while Parrilla Beach Club overlooks the dunes and endless horizon on Ancão beach.

Top 5 Things Your Kids will Love in Algarve

14 items · Local Expert · Public

Here's our pick of fun activities and things to do that the kids will love to do while in the Algarve. Waterparks, adventure golf, boat trips and more....If the kids are happy, the parents are happy!
How to keep the kids happy in the Algarve – 5 things your kids will love.
Check out the links below for details on each suggestion.

Water Parks and Theme Parks
For pure waterpark fun, a visit to Aqualand is in order. There are slides for thrill seekers and relaxation as well as a great water playground for junior visitors. Check their online ticket shop for offers and promotions.
Lagos Zoo is an excellent spot to spend a few hours and children of all ages enjoy it. Home to a wide range of animals, pelicans, peacocks and even wallabies wander the pathways. There is a fabulous pool where humans and penguins can swim side by side, separated only by a glass wall. 
A holiday essential!  Zoomarine, the Algarve’s biggest attraction, is a marine theme park where you can learn about the ocean world, see the amazing dolphins and seals in action, as well as enjoy time on the slides and rides and Zoomarine’s urban beach. Visit the aquarium, feed the rays and watch out for the pirates….

Mini Golf
So you’ve heard the Algarve has superb golf courses? That’s true of the mini golf courses too. There are two Roman themed courses in Vilamoura at the Family Golf Park and Dinosaur inspired fun at Adventure Golf Alvor. While the kids will love the courses, they are perfect for adults too, as the golf is more challenging than you might think. And for something different, why not try Algarve Footgolf? This is exactly what is says – a game of golf played with your feet and a football on a mini course. Great fun for groups.

Boat Trips
There are boat trips to suit all tastes on offer. Relaxing trips aboard a graceful sailing boat such as the Condor, or speedy trips in a RIB that heads out to sea to search for dolphins in the wild. Board a pirate boat like the Santa Bernarda for a sea-adventure and visit the amazing caves along the coast or take a family fun trip with Alvor Boat Trips.

Fun on Wheels
Kids love to move! Junior, teen and adult drivers can test their skills at karting tracks. Hot Wheels is an indoor karting track at Albufeira marina (bonus fun – Hot Shots Bowling is next door) or you can drive in the sun at Karting Almancil Family Park. There are karts to suit a range of ages, including two-seater karts so that under 8’s can drive with an adult. If you prefer off-road fun, you can take a Buggy Safari into the hills for some dusty fun.

Beach Days
Always a crowd-pleaser, kids of any age love time on the beach. Go in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid peak sunshine hours. There are family friendly beaches with rock pools to explore, beaches with waves to ride, particularly on the Costa Vicentina (west coast). Towards the East, the Ria Formosa is where the waters are calmer and warmer. Be sure to bring a sun umbrella for naps in the shade. If ice-cream is required (and maybe a cold beer for Mum and Dad) most beaches have great beach bars and restaurants where you can recharge.

Check these links for more details.

Fun Activities in Algarve

18 items · Local Expert · Public

Suggestions for active fun in the Algarve - boat trips, off road adventures, water parks, footgolf and speedy fun on an indoor karting track. Great for when a break from the beach is needed or if you need suggestions for rainy day fun in the Algarve.
These fun activities are great for families and groups, even for Hen & Stag parties.

While the Algarve coast gets most of the attention, take an off road trip with Alsafari to explore the countryside by jeep. For a bird's eye view, a tandem jump from 15.000ft above Alvor beach is about as good as it gets - head to SkyDive Algarve for this unforgettable experience. In the water, explore the coast by boat or kayak with Seacret Tours or join the Dolphin Emotions programme for some in-pool dolphin interaction at Zoomarine.

Kids Party Venues in the Algarve

9 items · Local Expert · Public

Looking for somewhere to hold a kids party? Check out these great childrens' party venues where the kids are sure to have a blast, which means the adults will be happy too!
From younger children to pre-teens and almost-adults, there are options here to suit a range of ages. Everything from Dinosaur inspired mini golf, dolphins and pirates at
Zoomarine, speedy fun on the karting track or at the bowling alley. Of course, a party at the beach is a great option too - and there are some fab family friendly beaches in the Algarve where the kids can play games, run around and generally work off some energy. 
Or bring the family and friends together for a meal at one of the Algarve's child friendly restaurants - great food and few drinks for the adults and supervised play areas for the kids sounds like the perfect kids party!

Best Golf Courses in Algarve

6 items · Local Expert · Public

The Algarve is an award winning golf destination, considered to be among the best in the world. Portugal has won the World Golf Awards for World's and Europe's Best Golf Destination four years in a row! This golfer's paradise offers superb facilities and services along with outstanding courses.Algarve golf attracts thousands of travel loving golfers each year. And it's not just the courses that make the Algarve such an great golf destination - it's the choice of accommodation, the aprés golf entertainment and some excellent services like My Caddy Master golf club hire.

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