The Algarve, most known for its spectacular beaches, challenging golf courses, reliable sunshine and glorious food, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. But it offers so much more than a beach holiday with some golf thrown in.
“It has a wonderful culture, a great party vibe, and a mountain range to explore,” explains Dulce Vieira, One Select Properties’ sales consultant, who advises our clients considering buying a holiday home on the lifestyle benefits of living in Portugal.
For many the Algarve offers one of the ultimate beach holidays. More surprising perhaps are all the other activities and experiences that are on offer to the curious and more energetic traveller.
It has a well deserved reputation as a world class golfing destination. April to June is the best time to go and Quinta do Lago is where you will find Portugal’s premier golf links. It’s also likely you might bump into some professional sportsmen perfecting their swing. It is not just the setting but the quality of the courses has people coming back again and again.
But if you want to be really daring you could hurl yourself out of an aeroplane from 14,000 feet. Skydive Algarve offers a whole range of different experiences for both the complete novice to something more challenging for the experienced skydiver. Accelerated Freefall training is also available if you really want to go for it.
The beach is also a great location for fitness training. The Algarve is one of the various locations picked to host Tribal Clash, described as weekend beach festival. It is actually one of the toughest fitness competitions around but also makes a great spectator sport.
Something a little less physically demanding is to spend some time up in the Serra de Monchique, the Algarve mountains. Discover castle ruins, remains of villages, and see ancient water and windmills. People still live and work in the region and still practice traditional artisan economies, such as basket-weaving, beekeeping, brandy distillation and cheesemaking.
One way to explore the area is to book a two day off-road buggy tour. These experts will take you into mountain villages, and into terrain generally unreachable by car or bus. They promise you a memorable experience and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the local gastronomy.
From the beach and the mountains to the sea. The Algarve Coast offers an opportunity to experience marine life in its natural habitat. The magic of seeing dolphins in real life and not on a nature programme is unforgettable.
The trips also offer the chance of spotting seabirds, seahorses and other sea life. A two-hour trip can take you five miles offshore into the peaceful ocean off Ria Formosa.
Algarve wedding venues
If you are looking for an unusual but luxurious location for your wedding, a four star mountain spa resort may excite you. It offers a full package for the special day and provides a beautiful natural backdrop to the event.
“Of course you don’t have to hold your wedding here to visit – bathing in the highly alkaline waters is said to benefit the airways, and ease muscular skeletal conditions - You can simply sign up for a spa day/weekend and have your body wrapped in thermal mud.”
Dulce Vieira, One Select Properties' Sales Consultant
After taking the water, scrambling around the hills, and a round of golf, you won’t be at a loss either to enjoy some memorable nightlife. Along with its wonderful beaches the Algarve is also known for Julia’s, Izzy’s and Maria’s, legendary beach restaurants.
Throwing a sunset party just seems to happen naturally as the night rolls in. Julia’s has been hosting hungry holidaymakers for over 50 years and it’s rumoured that people have missed their flight home as they have settled down to enjoy a long lunch at Izzy’s. Maria’s was once just a beach shack, now it’s a modern and fresh restaurant by the sea.
If you're looking for a long and lenghty afternoon lunch by the sea along the Nature Reserve, popularly known restaurants such as Gigi's and 2Passos offer the best seafood in the area accompanied by a relaxing atmosphere that is unforgettable.
There are a huge variety of properties that you can consider, from a purpose-built luxury apartment in a vibrant town to a more rural retreat with acres of land. The Algarve boasts something for everyone looking for a second home, to make the very most of their vacation time and retirement years, in one of the world’s most idyllic countries.