Top 10 Free Things to do in the Algarve
10 Fun and Free Things to Do in sunny Southern PortugalFor many of us, holidays and travel are high points in a year. We plan for them, we dream about them. And we save our hard earned cash so we can have as much fun as possible. In the Algarve, not only do you get a lot more bang for your buck in restaurants and bars, there are many fun things to do that are completely free. Yes, free. Gratis. No money required. Here are our Top 10 Free Things to Do in the Algarve.
Praia da Rocha Summer Activities
Close by the colourful marina, on the long stretch of sand that is Praia da Rocha, there is a programme of activities for all ages during the summer months. There are hydrogymnastic classes, open air yoga classes, volleyball, basketball and beach football as well as Zumba and dance. All free. Just turn up and move!
All across the Algarve there are open air live music performances during the summer (as well as New Year). At Vale do Lobo Praça, there are live concerts on the central stage every evening which you can enjoy, while enjoying the ocean views or while dining on some great food at Sandbanks or Monty's. In the west Algarve, Carvoeiro square, right by the beach, also becomes a pop up concert venue for mellow summer evenings by the sea. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar so as not to miss out. this summer, there's already been free classical and jazz concerts on Praia da Rocha beach and a super concert in Albuferia featuring Bonnie Tyler with a guest appearance by Cliff Richard.
The are many festivals held across the Algarve throughout the year (check out our Events Calendar for what’s coming up). While some of them do charge an entrance fee it’s usually not too exorbitant - €3 entry to Silves Medieval Fair is great value. Some festivals are free of charge, such as the fabulous Black and White Night in Carvoeiro. 2019 will be its 4th edition and it's on 15th June - save the date! Mention too for another great festival in the same area - The Candlelight Market of Cultures. The cobble streets of Lagoa are lit by thousands of candles in a musical, cultural and sensory celebration. Check out this round up of Algarve Festivals in 2019.
Free Walking Tours
The Free Walking Tour concept has reached the Algarve! You can now enjoy free, guided walks around Faro. Every day, twice a day you can join the knowledgeable guides for a wander around the old town, learning of it's fascinating history as well as some real local insider tips, like where to find the best Pastel de Nata in town. The walks are free of charge - donations are accepted at the end of the walk but are not obligatory.
An outstanding day at the beach in the Algarve doesn’t need to cost a penny. Do as the locals and lay your towel by the water’s edge. It’s cooler and it’s free. Pick your favourite beach among the hundreds of amazing options along the coastline, pack a sandwich and sunshade and you’re all set. If you’re feeling extravagant, splash out on a Bola de Berlim (Portugal’s delicious donuts that are synonymous with summer for most locals) or a chilled beer at a beachside bar.
Take a Hike
The Algarve region is dotted with gorgeous paths and trails, both inland and by the coast, perfect for exploring on foot. Many beaches have broad wooden boardwalks, such as the one at Alvor beach that winds along the wetlands of the Ria Alvor, a favourite spot with migratory birds and sun seeking humans, or the path that runs across the cliff tops at Algar Seco near Carvoeiro. This is part of the stunning Seven Hanging Valleys walk where unbelievable natural beauty is around every curve. The Via Algarviana is a 300km long hiking and biking trail that runs from Alcoutim in the East, right over to Cape St. Vincent and Sagres, in the West. Split into 14 sections the Via Algarviana allows you to explore the often overlooked beauty of inland Algarve. Find out more about some of the Best Walks in the Algarve.
Sunsets in the Algarve tend to be spectacular. Stay on the beach that little bit longer and watch the daily light show wind down. Some of the best views are from beaches on the Costa Vicentina (the West coast) as the sun sinks into the Atlantic. For a different sunset experience, but not free, you can enjoy sunset sessions at a chic beachside bar or an off road romantic Jeep trip to view the sunset from the Algarve hills.
The fresh produce markets in the Algarve are a loud and pungent celebration of local produce. You don’t have to buy anything, just wander the stalls and experience the smells and sounds. Among the most popular markets to visit are the Loulé market (especially on a Saturday morning) and the fish markets at Olhão and Quarteira. The markets are generally open in the morning only.
After a tasty meal, maybe with a glass or two of Portuguese wine, join the locals in a relaxed ramble along the seafront avenues that dot the Algarve towns and resorts. Walk along the award winning Vilamoura marina or the walkway that links Vilamoura and Quarteira. Explore the seafront at Armação de Pêra or walk by the River Gilão at Tavira or along the River Arade in Portimão.
New Years Eve is a big party in the Algarve. Most of the larger towns and resorts will have entertainment programmes for the 31st with popular national performers giving live concerts, fireworks at midnight and DJs keeping the party going until the early hours. All open air and free of charge. The biggest party is usually in Albufeira, by the beach with plenty happening too in Portimão, Lagos, Quarteira, Faro, Tavira and Vila Real de S. Antonio.
There are plenty of summer parties too, some free, some with charges. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for details of the fabulous colour party at NoSolo Agua in Portimão - free entry, great music and lots of coloured fun!
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