Things to do and see in Algarve Portugal

things to do in algarve
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There is so much to see in the Algarve, the incredible coastline of southern Portugal. As well as offering a myriad of dreamy beaches, there is much more to the Algarve coastline than just sea and sand.

With more than 150 kilometres of beaches, as well as the huge number of towns and villages, you can learn so much about the culture and traditions of these coastal towns. The Algarve is the ideal destination for those who want to combine their love of the beach with the culture and entertainment its picturesque villages offer. Read on to discover all the wonders that this incredible jewel of the Portuguese coast has to offer.

To organise your trip we recommend using the Passporter app. Get inspiration from the experiences of other travellers and add the places that interest you to the route map. You can also keep all important documents in one place such as travel tickets or hotel reservations, among many other features, completely free of charge.

Things to see in the Algarve


Albufeira is one of the prettiest and busiest seaside towns to visit in the Algarve. This is not only due to its beauty, but also its great location making it easy for travellers to get to other nearby places of interest.

Before it became a popular destination, Albufeira was a small fishing village nestled between the cliffs. If you stroll around the area you will be able to see some of the old houses. In addition to the stunning scenery that blends the ocean with the towering cliffs, the area is home to a wide variety of restaurants and places to enjoy a good dinner or a drink. It should definitely be at the top your list of places to see in the Algarve!

Serra de Monchique

Unlike Albufeira and Tavira, Monchique is not located on the coast, but in an incredible mountain range in the middle of nature. It is one of the alternative destinations not to be missed if you want to escape the crowds.

In the Serra de Monchique you can enjoy a large rural area where you can go on an infinite number of excursions and outdoor activities, all while breathing some of Portugal’s cleanest air. One of the must-see visits is the Caldas de Monchique, where you can enjoy a relaxing swim in the thermal springs. On the other hand, you cannot leave Monchique without a trip to the Pico Fóia. Being the highest peak in the region, upon reaching the top you can enjoy spectacular views of the whole area. You will love it.


Tavira is another of the most beautiful cities to see in the Algarve. In addition to its stunning beaches that are just a short distance from the city, this town is also home to a wealth of historical monuments of Roman and Moorish origin.

The town’s history has left an enormous amount of landmarks of great architectural value, including the remains of the famous fortress of Tavira. On your trip to this beautiful city, don’t miss the area of Tavira that lies at the foot of the river. Here you’ll find some of the city’s important features, such as the famous bridge built on Roman foundations and the ancient little houses. Once you have finished your tour here, we recommend a trip to Tavira Island, which is easily accessible by ferry. 100% recommended!

things to do in algarve portugal
Tavira, Algarve @aliciaintraveland

Benagil Cave

The Benagil Cave is located near the fishing village of Benagil, one of the most beautiful places to see in the Algarve. This village is particularly famous for this cave, where thousands of travellers flock to enjoy the scenery and take stunning photos.

To access this impressive cave, you have two options: on the one hand, you can take a boat trip, either from Benagil beach or from other beaches, which has the advantage of visiting more caves. On the other hand, if you want to go on your own, you can rent a kayak or paddle board to get there. It is important to watch out for swells and check the sea conditions before embarking on this adventure.

Ponta da Piedade

Ponta da Piedade is without a doubt one of the most impressive natural sites to see in the Algarve. This cave consists of a set of rocks that have been carved out over the years by the tide and the wind.

You’ll can enjoy completely clear waters in a breathtaking cliff-filled setting that is sure to leave you in awe. Ponta de Piadade is beautiful at any time of the day, but if you visit in the evening you will be able to see some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Also, if you’re up for it, this area offers the option of hiring various boats that will take you to different points of the Lagos Marina, as well as stops for snorkelling. This is an experience not to be missed at a great price!


Once the capital of the Algarve, Silves is a town of great historical value. Although traces of its defensive and commercial past can still be seen, today Silves is one of the most beautiful places to see in the Algarve.

The city is surrounded by hills on the banks of the Arade River. Throughout your visit, you’ll see some of the city’s most emblematic sights, including its looming city walls, its impressive Gothic cathedral and even its castle, built in characteristic red brick. Once you’ve seen the highlights, you can sit down for a drink in one of the charming cafés in a truly Portuguese setting. You will end up falling in love with this small town in the south of Portugal.

Cabo São Vicente

Cape St. Vincent, also known as the “balcony at the end of the world“, is the southwestern tip of Portugal. Here you can enjoy spectacular scenery from the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to its stunning surroundings, Cape St. Vincent is home to a beautiful 28-metre lighthouse dating back to 1846, which was commissioned by Maria II of Portugal. This cape is only a short distance from Sagres, so a trip to this small town may be a good option afterwards. And if that wasn’t enough, from Cape St. Vincent you’ll be able to take some stunning, postcard-worthy photos!

Pego do Inferno

The natural wonder of Pego do Inferno is located just 7 kilometres from the town of Tavira, and is a small waterfall that falls from the Aseca River, one of the most important in the region.

In this beautiful natural spot you can enjoy a small lagoon surrounded by trees. It is easily accessible, as you only have to walk 100 metres up a wooden staircase from the parking area. You can go for a relaxing swim in its waters and, once you have finished, we recommend climbing to the highest point, where you will find the Pego viewpoint. From there you will be able to admire the lagoon from a different perspective. You will love it!

things to do in pego do inferno algarve
Pego do Inferno in Algarve @damilorenzo

The best beaches to see in the Algarve

Marinha Beach

Marinha Beach, located a short distance from Lagos and Carvoeiro, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches not only in the Algarve, but in the whole of Portugal. This beach features a stunning mix of crystal clear waters and cliffs that will leave you speechless.

Despite its small size, Marinha Beach is one of the most popular beaches for locals and travellers alike, which is why we recommend going early in the morning to find a good spot. From this beach you can also reach some of the most visited spots in the Algarve in a very short time, including the impressive Benagil Cave and other beaches just as beautiful as this one. You can’t miss it!

Praia da Rocha

Located right on the coast of Portimão, Praia da Rocha is a real paradise to see in the Algarve. With a huge expanse of sand, it is one of the most popular beaches among travellers.

Here you can enjoy not only the stunning waters and white sand, but also restaurants, bars, and even a casino! As if that wasn’t enough, this beach offers access to some sporting facilities, which can be an ideal plan if you’re travelling with children. Once you’ve finished your morning or afternoon at the beach, don’t hesitate to visit the impressive Fortress of Santa Catarina. From there you’ll get incredible views of the entire beach and the sea.

Praia da Ilha de Cabanas

Cabanas Island Beach, or Praia da Ilha de Cabanas, is a narrow stretch of sand located to the east of Tavira. Its name comes from the fact that it is located just in front of the village of Cabanas.

To reach this beautiful island, you have to get on a boat that leaves from Cabanas. The trip only takes a few minutes, and once you’re there you’ll know that it was well worth it. It provides a dreamlike spot barely 7 kilometres long, which makes it a much more intimate place. It is perfectly equipped with the necessary services for visitors, as well as being a great beach for surfing and sailing. If you like these sports, this beach is the place for you!

What to do in the Algarve in 1 day?

  • Visit Tavira
  • Discover the Benagil Cave
  • Explore Albufeira
  • Go to Marinha Beach

What to do in the Algarve in 2 days?

  • Visit Praia da Rocha
  • Discover Silves
  • Admire the Ponta da Piedade
  • Take a trip to the Serra de Monchique
  • Go up to the Cabo San Vicente
  • Escape to Praia da Ilha de Cabanas

Frequently Asked Questions Algarve Portugal

How to get to Marinha Beach?

Unfortunately, Marinha Beach is not accessible by public transport, so to get there you will have to either take a taxi or hire a car.

If you take a taxi, we recommend arranging a return time with the taxi driver, as it may be more difficult to find a taxi on the beach.

Renting a car is the most efficient option, as you will have total freedom of movement without having to worry about timings, and if you go in a group it is much cheaper.

What to eat in the Algarve?

The gastronomy of the Algarve stands out, mainly, for its seafood. Make sure to try the dishes mentioned below.

First of all, you can’t miss trying a grelhado; it is grilled pieces of meat or fish, usually sardines, sea bream or pork.

Secondly, but no less traditional, we recommend you try Cataplana, a kind of steamed stew made with broth, fish and vegetables, often accompanied by rice.

Where is the best area to stay in the Algarve?

All areas of the Algarve are good places to stay, but there are always some that stand out more than others. Here are some of the best places to look for accommodation.

First of all, we recommend Albufeira, located right on the coast, where you can choose from countless beaches and enjoy unbeatable entertainment. If you’re looking for a bit of nightlife, you’ll love it here.

Secondly, we suggest the small coastal town of Lagos, where in addition to enjoying its beaches, you can also take a more cultural trip and get to know the many landmarks within the city. It is also very well connected by public transport.

Thirdly, we recommend Portimao. Here you will find some of the most stunning beaches to see in the Algarve, as well as a wide range of leisure activities and a beautiful old town.

When is the best time to travel to the Algarve?

The Algarve has a mild and pleasant climate almost all year round. This is why we recommend travelling during the months of June and September, when the weather is great but there are not too many travellers.

things to do in ponta da piedade algarve
Ponta da Piedade @lositalianos

How to plan your itinerary of places to see in the Algarve?

Download the Passporter app and plan your trip in the most organised way, according to the number of days and places you want to see in the Algarve.

With the app you can:

  • Get inspired by other travellers’ experiences.
  • Save important information about the destinations you want to visit that you have found on the internet. Just install the Chrome extension and save everything useful for your trip.
  • Save tickets and reservations.
  • Organise your route on Google maps with your accommodation as the starting point or any other point that you choose.
  • Know the best travel option for each location.
  • Save and post your own photos and experiences as you go, so that when someone asks you “How was your trip to the Algarve?”, you can say “Visit my traveller profile on Passporter.”

If you are interested in learning more about how to use and get the most out of the Passporter app, you can read our post: How to create your travel itinerary with Passporter.

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