The Algarve, a small region nestled in the extreme south of Portugal, is becoming one of the most popular sunny destinations for holidaymakers. Found between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, it offers a contrast-filled coastline: long fine sand beaches to the east, coves whipped by the sea, as well as caves to the west. Little Guest gives you some of its secrets on how you can explore this little piece of the Iberian Peninsula with your family!
The Algarve is a mixed-race region and its multiple influences are written in its landscape and culture. Moreover, the name « Algarve » comes from the Arabic word « Al-Gharb », which means « West ». The traces of Muslim occupation from the Middle Ages, are still noticeable, especially in the lines of beautifully whitewashed houses on which the bougainvillea cascade.
The region may be small but boast of a remarkable diversity of landscapes. From the coast and its lagoons to the fertile Barrocal orchards through the mountainous areas around Mount Foia, both the young and old have enough to feed their eyes!
Open to the ocean, the Algarve lives in osmosis with the deep ocean: from the great explorers who have marked its history to the fishing and aquatic activities abound on its beaches.
From east to west, numerous luxury family hotels can be found throughout the coast. To enjoy the sweetness of Portuguese life, the tribes are spoilt for choice!
Martinhal Quinta’s villas, the Portuguese art de vivre …
Wild and untamed, Praia de Cordoama is somewhat away from the tourist circuits. Being surrounded by high black cliffs, you can get there through a small winding road. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, this beach which is covered with sea spray will be appealing to surfers. In the face of this vastness, families appreciate it more for a walk in the water than for swimming.
Praia de Dona Ana is a charming cove surrounded by the iconic ocher cliffs of this part of the coast. Being quiet and protected, it is ideal for a family swim, after a visit to the seaside town of Lagoa. A stone’s throw away, the Cape of Ponta da Piedade is particularly solicited for its coastline with golden reflections, which the sea has designed in its own way!
Located at the heart of the « Algarve’s golden triangle » Praia de Quinta do Lago is particularly popular among families. A wide range of water sports is offered for the more adventurous, while the gourmands (foodies) can derive complete satisfaction on the terrace of the famous fish restaurant « Gigi ». Good news, Quinta do Laguo is located right next to the Martinhal Quinta Hotel!
Praia do Barril is, undoubtedly, our favorite! We can get to this little paradise with golden sand and clear waters by taking a nice circuit through the lagoon on foot or on a small train. Toddlers will love this seagulls and crabs seeking trip! The authentic beauty of this long strip of fine sand ensues from to the traditional houses that line it. Converted into cafes and small restaurants, they are the remnants of the tuna fishing community that once settled there.
It’s no secret that the climate in the South of Portugal is good all year round. Even in the hottest hours of the summer, the Atlantic Ocean blows in a pleasant and welcoming breeze. Throughout the year, the maximum temperatures vary between 15 and 31 degrees. During winter, the thermometer rarely drops below 0 and the sun always shines on!
July and August are the most touristic seasons, but spring and autumn are equally ideal seasons for exploring the landscapes of the southern Iberian Peninsula.
Renting a car is the best option for a visit to the Algarve and to be free to walk on the coast, as well as on the hills of Barrocal. Moreover, the road network is in very good condition. We can find the main agencies (Europcar, Sixt, Avis, …) at Faro Airport. Very convenient!
Taking the train is also a possible option: There are train stations in all major cities between Lagoa and Vila Real de Santo António. More information on the official website of the Portuguese train company.
Mylène, 28 years old, art lover and travel addict, from Strasbourg, France