1. Summer is not the best time to visit!
The Algarve is known for being a summer destination. The long coastline and hot summer days attract tourists from other Portuguese regions and all Europe (and even the world) during summer and it is exactly why, this is not the best time to visit. Beaches get crowded, coastal cities get busy and it gets so hot (special during August) that it’s not advisable to do outside activities.
Of course, I am not saying that you should not come in the summer. That’s no it! During summer, there are more events, nightlife is at its climax and if you go to the beautiful countryside, crowds are not a problem.
However, when deciding when to come consider the following:
- Temperatures are mild and dry during spring and autumn. Some April or September days are as hot as June or July!
- Out of high season, you can find better prices.
- If you are looking to do some nature activities, you will find more beautiful landscapes and bird migration events during spring and autumn.
2. There are much more than beautiful beaches and golf courses
Beaches and golf courses are what most tour operators highlight. And they are, in fact, the main reasons why tourists come to this south corner of Portugal, but there is much more to discover!
The region was home to different people along the times. From the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians to the Moors and the Romans. The presence of its different residents left vast patrimony behind. In the region, you can see Moorish arquitecture, Roman ruins, castles and even a fort that was the starting point for the Portuguese discoveries.
There are fisherman villages and towns like, Olhão and Culatra.
The region also has 3 natural parks: Ria Formosa Natural Park, Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António Marsh Natural Reserve and Costa Vicentina Natural Park.
3. It is very difficult to choose what to eat! (There are so many good options)
If you are a foodie, you will be amazed with the Algarvian dishes. Take your time choosing from the restaurant menu, as it is not an easy task. The traditional cuisine is mostly with fish and seafood. You must try some fresh fish on the grill (what about some sardines?) topped with butter sauce with garlic and parsley and with the traditional “transmontana” salad on the side. If you are more into seafood try on the bivalves recently catch at the Ria Formosa Natural Park nurseries. And leave some appetite for dessert, you can choose from different delicacies made with almond, fig or carob. The best of all: on local restaurants and taverns you can eat a delicious complete meal for less than 15€.
4. Just 2 hours away from Lisbon and Seville!
The Algarve is not in your plans because it doesn’t have big and cosmopolitan cities? Don’t let that stopping you from visiting this amazing region! Lisbon or Seville are just 2 hours away, you can easily make a day trip to visit.
5. Everything is so close and yet so far…
The small catch about the Algarve is public transport. They are old, do not run regularly (special on weekends) and the network is deficient and do not get everywhere. Although renting a car is not the best choice regarding sustainability, it may be the only option if you what to move around and you don’t have much time. Anyway, do not rule out public transport immediately, as it can serve you well if time is not an issue for you.
Trains – https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en
Buses – http://eva-bus.com/index.php
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Thank you for reading!