Algarve, Portugal: 6 Things You Shouldn’t Miss

Algarve, Portugal has become one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country. The one-of-a-kind beaches, towering sea cliffs, lively fishing villages, and fresh seafood are just a few reasons tourists travel here. If heading to Algarve, make sure not to miss these six things:

Algarve Portugal Benagil Cave
pc: Bruno Carlos

Benagil Cave

Called the most picturesque cavern on earth by some, Benagil Cave is on many Algarve itineraries. Only accessible by water, most visitors kayak or paddle board in, and a few brave souls swim. There is a continuous stream of boats to avoid, and strong currents to watch out for if going for the swimming option. Once inside though, it’s possible to lay comfortably in the sun, and look up at the colorful domed ceiling.

Algarve Portugal Restaurant

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Beachside eating & drinking

It’s not a vacation without trying a place’s typical cuisine! The Algarve coast is sprinkled with local restaurants and cafes right on the sand or up on a sea cliff. One of the most picturesque is Caniço Bar and Restaurant located in a cove all by itself. Taste iconic dishes from the region like grilled sardines, or piri piri chicken, grab a glass of local wine, and watch the sun set over the Atlantic.

Algarve Portugal Praia dos Três Irmãos

Praia dos Três Irmãos

Located near the quaint town of Alvor, the Beach of the Three Brothers showcases interesting rock formations, arches and even a few beach restaurants. Climb one of the stairs on the cliff face for a birds-eye view and spectacular photo opportunity.

Algarve Portugal Natural Arch

Boat tour or kayak

Opting for a boat tour allows for some of the most spectacular views of the coastline. It’s possible to spend the day on an isolated beach, view islands up close, dolphin watch, or drive into some impressive sea caves depending on the tour and location. Although you won’t see as much, renting a kayak is also a great idea to explore the coast and lesser visited coves.

Algarve Portugal Cataplana

Amêijoas na cataplana

Seafood and cataplana are a staple in the Algarve and perfectly suited for one another. A cataplana is a copper hinged pan with a lid used to prepare shellfish dishes typical from the region. The clam dish is the most famous, but it is also possible to find cataplana of shrimp, lobster, mussels, fish, squid, sausage or pork. Algarve Portugal Kalena Sea Arch

Sea caves and arches

The unique coastline is what draws thousands of visitors to the region every year. The area around Benagil Cave has the largest concentration of sea caves, arches and sea stacks, but it is by no means the only area to view these incredible natural rock formations. Ponta da Piedade near Lagos is also worth a visit.

Which of these would you like to experience the most?

For other great beach vacation ideas, check out my posts on the Bahamas, Spain, or Croatia.


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