There are many places to visit in the Algarve. One of them is Faro, the regional capital which, as well as housing an international airport, is also home to a 13th century cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Portugal.
Do not forget to visit Portimão, the largest city in the Algarve, next to the Arade River. This old fishing village has in recent years established itself as one of the main tourist and commercial centres. Among the places you shouldn’t miss are the gardens of the Praça da República, and the Jardim 1. de Dezembro which displays beautiful tiles; the Church, shopping streets and, just 3 km from the town centre, the famous Praia da Rocha.
Nor should we forget the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a nature reserve of more than 18,000 hectares which is famous for being an excellent spot for bird watching. One of its peculiarities is that it is sheltered from the Atlantic by a natural barrier formed by five islands and two small peninsulas. This impressive protected area stretches along the leeward coast, occupied by the towns of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.
Another noteworthy place is the Sierra de Monchique, an area of lush vegetation in the heart of the Algarve and home to the spa town of Caldas de Monchique, which is very popular for its thermal treatments. Not far from there, there is Cerro da Picota Hill, a 774 m hill from where you can enjoy exceptional panoramic views.
We also suggest using some time during your holidays in the Algarve to take in the views at Cape St. Vincent. It is considered the most southerly point of continental Europe and is perfect to admire the coast of Sagres, full of traditional fishing ports and home to the Baleeira Fort. Another great day out is the Costa Vicentina, a wild strip of coastline which forms the largest protected area on the Portuguese coast.
In Lagos, you will fall in love with the magical Ponta da Piedade, an area full of rocks, cliffs, grottos and small lakes that will leave you breathless, and relax on the beaches of Camilo and Meia, just minutes away from the town centre. In Aljezur, visit the castle of the same name, originally from the tenth century which was in use until three centuries ago, and the Fonte das Mentiras.