Algarve Top 10 Romantic Places
Fall in love with the Algarve at these incredibly romantic places
As Valentine’s Day approaches our thoughts turn to love and romance, candlelight dinners and romantic getaways. Famous as a family holiday and golfing destination, the Algarve is also a fabulously romantic spot. Crafted by nature and by man, for young love or reaffirming your vows, asking “will you marry me?” or simply saying “I love you” here are our Top 10 romantic places in the Algarve
An iconic image, the Senhora da Rocha chapel, near Porches, is one of the most picturesque places in the Algarve. Day or night it is special, but it is perhaps most beautiful at dusk, as that fleeting blue light colours the sky and the sea. The simple whitewashed chapel is perched atop the cliffs above pristine cove beaches where seagulls hover and colourful fishing boats bob in the water. Exuding a timeless tranquility, the chapel is a popular venue for weddings, both with locals and visitors. Close by you have the Pestana Viking Hotel whose cliff top location is also a perfect setting for a an Algarve wedding. And to makes things as simple as possible, there is an excellent wedding planning service on hand there too.
The natural beauty of this stretch of the Algarve coastline will leave you breathless. Mother Nature exceeded herself in carving a dome-shaped sea cave from the cliffs - the famous Benagil sea cave.. The sunlight streams though natural apertures, acting as spotlight on the constantly sea-cleaned fine golden sand. Only 150 metres from the beach at Benagil, near Carvoeiro, this cave is best accessed from the sea – at low tide! You can take a boat trip to Benagil to explore - the local captains know all the best spots.
Close to Benagil and Senhora da Rocha is the very lovely and very luxurious VILA VITA Parc Resort and Spa. Set in acres of lush gardens, VILA VITA Parc is an amazing venue for a romantic getaway. Not only is the accommodation perfect, the resort has direct access to a secluded beach, a top-notch spa, a world-class wine cellar and it's signature gourmet restaurant, Ocean, has not one, but two Michelin stars. Tempting at any time of year, VILA VITA Parc is a perfectly romantic place to celebrate Valentine's Day.
Even if you are not staying at the resort you can still enjoy some amazing experiences there. Perfect for romantics is a visit to the amazing Caves dos Vinhos or Wine Cellar. Located 9 metres underground this is a treasure trove of top wines from around the world and the resident sommelier shares insights and passion during a guided tour along with some great wine tasting and delicious food. Find out more about the VILA VITA Parc Cave dos Vinhos and about VILA VITA Parc's valentine's offers for this year.
For lovers and nature lovers, Sagres exerts an almost irresistible pull to the western tip of the Algarve. The vast horizons, the salty tang in the air, the powerful seas battering the cliffs and the ghosts of explorers past permeate the atmosphere. Memorable in many ways, it is this mix of elements at Sagres that make you feel a master of the universe and a puny human all at once. Perfect for romantic walks around the ancient fortress and watching the sun sink below the horizon, Sagres is also where you can enjoy some of the very best seafood in the Algarve, with freshly caught fish served up for your enjoyment at the local restaurants. For a fabulous view over Mareta beach and a fabulous meal, O Telheiro do Infante is an excellent option. Do try to time you visit to Sagres with the sunset - a daily spectacle that never fails to amaze. With nothing but the vast Atlantic ahead, the sunset views here are simply breathtaking.
The town of Lagos is an historical beauty spot. Old Town walls, beautiful chapels, cobbled streets and lots of atmosphere. But once again, it is Mother Nature that provides the most romantic spot. Ponta da Piedade, about 3kms from Lagos is a fairytale landscape of sea caves and grottoes, cliffs and arches, and clear, clear water. You can visit Ponta da Piedade by land – 182 steps will take you from the cliff top to the bottom, with some stunning views on the way. Or you can explore by boat, the skilled boatmen taking you into the caves and through the arches. There are boat trips from Lagos to the caves. The play of sunlight on the incredibly clear water is magical. The perfect location for a romantic declaration.
If you like your romance with sunshine and style then NoSoloÁgua is the place for you. This is a fabulous all day pool club, beach club, restaurant and nightclub. You can relax in day beds by the large circular pool and overlooking the ocean, or opt for a toes-in-sand day at the beach club. Tasty food and mouth-watering cocktails see you through the day. Set right by Praia da Rocha beach, NoSoloÁgua hosts great sunset parties and is a fabulous venue for your Algarve wedding.
Absolutely unique, Caniço Restaurant and Bar, near Portimão is carved from the cliffs and overlooks the beautiful cove beaches at Prainha. Not content with being one of the most scenic spots in the Algarve, Caniço is also one of the best restaurants and bars for those magical summer evenings. Open during the summer only, getting to Caniço is an adventure in itself – you have to take an elevator through the cliffs, walking out through a tunnel carved in the rocks to the magical scenario that is Caniço. Perfect for lingering lunches and cocktails by moonlight and a superb wedding venue too.
The Queen of Algarve towns, Tavira oozes romance. It’s got just about everything required for romantic strolls – an ancient castle with beautiful views over the town and towards the Ria Formosa natural park, churches and chapels galore, narrow cobbled streets that open into pretty squares where you can while away some time in the sunlight and a beautiful arched Roman bridge crossing the Gilão River. The 7 arch bridge, in all its ancient glory, is incredibly evocative. If you listen hard, you would swear you can hear the footfalls of the Romans and Moors that have crossed this bridge before you.
Further East of Tavira, 20kms from the Spanish border, is the tiny hamlet of Cacela Velha. It is quintessentially Algarve. Small, unassuming, bathing in the sunlight and utterly charming. With a rich history showing Roman and Moorish occupation, Cacela Velha was once quite an important town and has the vestiges of its defensive ramparts to prove it. Today however, it is a sleepy hamlet with a small chapel and the remains of some fortified walls overlooking the Ria Formosa nature park, with beautiful lagoons and sandbanks at its feet. The benches at the back of the chapel are the perfect spot to sit and relax, contemplating the wonderful views.
Please note that not all all the venues mentioned above may be open on 14th Feb...but romance shouldn't be limited to just one day a year!
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