22 Things to Do in the Algarve in 2022
Below is some inspiration for things to do on your next visit to the Algarve. In Southern Portugal, much of life is enjoyed outdoors especially during the summer, and there are many glorious experiences awaiting you here.
Walk the cliffs at João d’Arens – located between Praia da Rocha and Alvor, this is an unspoilt area of cliff-top trails, pine trees and stunning views. Perfect for picnics, amazing sunsets and selfies! Start the walk by Praia do Vau, follow the wooden path to Praia do Alemão, then follow the dirt trails along the cliffs. See more great walks in the Algarve.
Drink wine underground – the Algarve is home to several excellent wineries which you can visit. One of the most unique wine experiences is to be enjoyed at the VILA VITA Parc Cave do Vinhos. 9 metres underground, this is a secret world of wine, the brick walls hiding nooks and crannies where fabulous wines nestle. Home to over 11.000 bottles of wine, you can opt for some wine tasting and tapas or even a private, romantic dinner at the cellar.
Dance at fun sunset sessions by the sea – NoSoloÁgua in Portimão is one of the very best beach clubs around. Stylish, sunny and with great sounds by the sea, their sunset sessions are unmissable.
Pool parties – DJ sessions, live music, cocktails and champagne await you at Medusis Club, near Vale do Lobo. It’s daytime clubbing in the sun.
Sea Parties – for some crazy fun at sea join the Mysteria island-hopping boat parties around the Ria Formosa. Great sounds, drinking games and free shots. Say no more.
Take a boat trip – the Algarve coastline is ridiculously beautiful and often the best way to see it, is from the sea. Go fancy and hire a private yacht, hop aboard a speedy rib to zip along the coast, relax on a sleek catamaran or dance on board a party boat. Either way, a day at sea is one of the best things to do when visiting the Algarve. Find out about boat trips in the Algarve.
Discover the world famous Benagil cave - a massive dome shaped sea-cave, that has been propelled to fame with the help of Instagram, Benagil is beautiful and unique, the cave can only be accessed from the sea. Swimming to the cave is not recommended for safety reasons.
It’s not the only amazing spot along the coast though. Ponta da Piedade is a fantasy landscape of caves and grottoes, João d’Arens has beautiful rock formations and the Ria Formosa is endless miles of sandbanks, transparent lagoons and barrier islands.
Eat at a restaurant carved within a cliff – Caniço, located near Alvor, is one of the most spectacular restaurants you will find. Not only is it famous for delicious, fresh seafood, the setting is unique. The main dining area is set within the cliffs, with bare rocks as the walls. Just getting to Caniço is fun – you take an elevator that descends through the cliff, emerging into a tunnel that opens onto a beautiful cove beach.
Beach Days – One of the best beach destinations in the world, the only problem with beaches in the Algarve is choosing your favourite (see some top beaches). For a beach experience with all the services you could want, try the main beaches at popular resorts such as Albufeira, Vilamoura, Alvor or Vale do Lobo. The beaches are superb and there are plenty of restaurants and bars as well as watersports and sunloungers. Or…
Discover the Ria Formosa - add a little adventure to your beach day and take a ferry from Olhão or Tavira over to the beaches of the Ria Formosa. There’s even a deserted island here! The Ria Formosa is a protected area and well worth exploring all year round. It is made up of barrier islands, clear lagoons and fishing communities with deep roots.
Go west to the Costa Vicentina – the beaches on the Costa Vicentina, the west coast, are more dramatic, with bigger waves, sea-soaked air and darker cliffs, than the south coast beaches. Popular with surfers, there is a laid-back vibe along the coast with some fabulous eateries too. Favourite beaches include Monte Clerigo, Arrifana and Amado.
Ride the current at Odeceixe – located on the west coast, on the border with the Alentejo region, the sea currents here are very strong and great care is advised. However, the incoming tides that flow inland along the estuary, curving behind the beach, are calmer. Fling yourself into the estuary waters and ride the currents past the cliffs. Great fun.
Discover the best beaches to escape the crowd.
Enjoy the sunset or sunrise - The Costa Vicentina is a super spot for spectacular sunsets, as the sun sinks into the ocean, as is Ponta da Piedade, near Lagos. At Praia da Falésia, near Vilamoura, the setting sun and the cliffs share vibrant shades of orange to make it even more amazing. East facing Praia dos Arrifes near Albufeira is perfect for sunrise, as is Praia de Faro. And for a little extra magic, visit Senhora da Rocha, where the whitewashed chapel, perched atop the cliffs, reflects the hues of the sun.
Eat a Bola de Berlim on the beach – cream-filled or plain, eating a fresh sugary doughnut on the beach is an essential act of summer. Lick those sea-salty, sugary fingers for maximum enjoyment.
Try Padel – one of the fastest growing sports in the world, padel is very popular in Portugal and Spain, but less well known in much of Europe. A racket sport played on an enclosed court, it’s fun and sociable, with après-padel chilled drinks part of the fun.
Sign the kids up to play rugby with Brian O’Driscoll – yes, really. The rugby legend will host a junior rugby camp this Easter at The Campus in Quinta do Lago. Fun and action-packed, the camp is for boys and girls, aged 5 to 15.
Or if football is the sport of choice, there are Soccer Camps too throughout the year at The Campus in partnership with Football Escapes.
Play Foot Golf or Racket Golf – for something a little different, head to ATF (Algarve Tennis and Fitness Club) near Vale do Lobo. Here you can play a special kind of golf – either with your feet or with a racket! Great for all ages and for groups, no special expertise is required to play Foot Golf and Racket Golf.
Visit a fish market – every town has its own fresh produce and fish market, however one of the best-known fish markets is at Olhão, the Algarve’s largest fishing port. Expect to see all sorts of fish and shellfish, some that may not be so familiar to you.
Appreciate some art – there are several art galleries across the Algarve and a growing community of artists that have made the region their home. Art Catto in Loulé is a great gallery, housed in a lovely restored townhouse building. The gallery also holds regular pop-up exhibitions at the Conrad Algarve. For a more urban art experience, visit LiR Gallery which is located in the functioning Lagoa wine co-op.
Have a Waterpark day – always fun, and not just for kids, there are several waterparks in the Algarve. Slide and Splash and Aquashow are pure waterslide fun, while Zoomarine, the Algarve’s biggest attraction not only has water slides and rides, it is also a marine park with a strong environmental message, with an aquarium, dolphins and sea lions. And pirates, for extra fun.
Learn to surf or scuba dive – Surfing in the Algarve offers great conditions for novices and experienced surfers. There are many surf schools in the region, particularly on the west coast, where the surfing conditions are usually great. Diving is also a popular activity in the Algarve with some fabulous dive spots, including wreck dives. You can learn to dive and enjoy try-dives at Easy Divers in Albufeira.
Eat at a Michelin star restaurant – the food in the Algarve is generally very good - fresh, tasty, healthy. Gourmands can enjoy Michelin star experiences at no less than eight restaurants in the region, two of which boast two stars each – Ocean Restaurant and Vila Joya.