It’s no secret that 2018 was the year that Portugal stole my heart and Lisbon acted as surrogate home to me for weeks at a time. Yet beyond the borders of a city I have become increasingly familiar with, is a diverse and beautiful country rich in culture, scenery, food and wine, that beckons discovery.
That in mind, if you are planning a European holiday and on a quest for perfect sunshine weather, great cuisine and a relaxed atmosphere, know that you’ll find all of these in Portugals’ Algarve. Portugal’s southernmost region is known for its Atlantic beaches and holiday resorts. Whitewashed fishing villages on low cliffs overlooking sandy coves were transformed in the 1960s, and today the central coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with villas, hotels, bars and restaurants. Based in the Southern region of Portugal, it is considered a top beach destination that has it all. Whilst it’s great for relaxing on the beach, you also have the pleasure of visiting its many tourist and cultural sites too.
Here are a few reasons the Algarve should be considered as your Summer escape this year.
Enjoy the Beautiful Weather
Portugal alone is a coveted destination for many holiday-goers given the warm weather that seems to hold out all year long. Even during Winter, the temperatures rarely drop below the double figures. Mostly on the Algarve though, it hovers around the 30C mark.
Explore the Famous Caves
As the Algarve is based on the coast, the cliffside sites offer caves that are free to explore. Benagli cave is one of the most popular that tourists tend to visit and can be reached via boat for a negotiated rate. You’ll be able to look into the rock formations that have formed over time from the crashing waves and strong tides, eventually creating the brilliant sites that draw the crowds.
Indulge in the Succulent Cuisine
A holiday in Portugal wouldn’t be the full experience if you didn’t get stuck into the local cuisine. Walking along the Algarve coast, you’re bound to breathe in the fresh salty fish aromas synonymous with Portugal’s fishing industry. The local cuisine prides itself on seafood that is caught in the surrounding oceans and transformed into divine dishes. Some famous dishes include cataplana and clams in a buttery, white wine and garlic sauce. Of course, no visit to Portugal would be complete without loads of pasteis de nata.
Venture into the Castles and Cathedrals
As well as being the ultimate summer holiday getaway, the Algarve offers insight into their history and a look at local culture in the castles and cathedrals that have been standing here for years. The significant landmarks are spread across the area with some famous sites including Silves Castle and Se Cathedral in Faro. Castle and Cathedral hopping provides a great day out for exploring if you want a day off the beach.
Marvel at the Incredible Cliffsides
On the outside of the caves are the incredible cliffsides that border the coast. In particular are areas such as Sagres and Lagos, both home to stunning beaches and where you can see the instantly recognisable vistas at their best. These dramatic cliffs create a stunning setting alongside the shore and are dominated by nature’s raw power and the raging seas that carved them, not to mention the bracing winds that bring a welcome reprieve from the intense summer sun.
Easy On The Budget
One of the main attractions in the Algarve (and Portugal on the whole) is the affordability of this European destination. Anything from accommodation in a hotel or luxury Algarve villa, to eating out on a daily basis, it is possible to have a good time without worrying too much about your rand’s conversion to euros. For best value, try booking into a place that isn’t right on the tourist stretch, yet is still within walking distance of the spots you wish to visit.
Whatever the occasion, these are just some reasons why the Algarve is the perfect place to visit this Summer. Whether it’s for a family holiday or a romantic trip for two, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.
Make sure you spend some time in Lisbon before or after your visit to the Algaves. Read my Lisbon blog posts. All pics sourced on Pixabay. Guest post.