The Algarve isn't Portugal's most-visited region for nothing. It more than earns the title with world-famous beaches flying numerous Blue Flags, waterparks and zoos, rolling green golf resorts and fresh seafood. Round-the-clock warm weather doesn't exactly hurt, either.
Laying claim to Portugal's southern coast, the Algarve is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the whole of Europe. For that reason, many parts are exclusively dedicated to tourism, packed to the gills with glorious coastlines, waterparks and animal parks, golf courses and some seriously fabulous food and drink.
That being said there are smaller destinations where you can enjoy the charms of traditional Portuguese villages but still be close to all the action. Quiet spots can be found at places like Altura and Tavira, close to the Spanish border.
The biggest draw to this part of the world has to be the beaches. Decked with golden cliffsides and crystalline water, many fly the coveted Blue Flag for safety, cleanliness an facilities. What's more, the Algarve's year-round warmth makes stretching out on these shores just that much sweeter.
Albufeira is the vibrant heart of the Algarve, mixing both the finest in Portuguese cuisine with the most vibrant nightlife on the south coast. Visitors flock here every year to enjoy stunning beaches, infinite sunshine, the modern marina and old town culture.
The River Alvor flows right into the the sea here leaving a gorgeous lagoon in its wake. Alvor has a long, golden stretch of sandy beach backed by sand dunes and plenty of birdlife to enjoy. The cobbled-street centre has numerous restaurants and bars so there's plenty to do at night.
You'll soon find out that this small village has a big heart when it comes to holiday entertainment. Sample the local watersports, explore the region on a boat trip or simply relax on one of Carvoeiro's wonderful beaches. With its plentiful hotels, you'll have fun discovering this delightful resort.
Lagos is a lively resort with spacious sandy beaches where you can simply paddle and sunbathe or do some energetic watersports. You can take the kids to Lagos Zoo, or soak up the town's nautical history. The bustling town centre has plenty of restaurants and bars and a vibrant nightlife to enjoy.
Montechoro is a top party destination on the Algarve coast with numerous restaurants, bars and clubs along the renowned 'Strip'. It's the ideal spot for fun with a group of mates, or a lively family getaway. There's a dedicated kid's park and play area plus the long Praia da Oura beach is nearby.
Once a small fishing town, Praia da Luz is now a haven for holidaymakers looking for an appealing Algarve break. The town has classic Mediterranean architecture and enticing seafood restaurants. The pristine Blue Flag beach draws sun-seekers, plus it's on the edge of a huge natural park for more space.
Countryside and secluded stretches of shore define Praia da Oura. The golden sands curve round and are topped by cliffs that are a lovely place to walk. You can spend your evenings immersing yourself in local food and culture by frequenting the small strip of bars.
In the active resort of Praia da Rocha, they've done everything they can to maximise fun during your stay. Natural beauty and clean, modern architecture mixes stylishly in this Algarve town. The beach is backed by remarkable orange cliffs and there's a downtown area for shopping and bars.
At this top party destination all accommodation is just a short walk from the beach and the main hub of the area – a street known locally as 'The Strip'. With a wide selection of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs there's plenty to do day and night, plus Albufeira is close by.
This glamorous all-in-one resort has everything you'll need to enjoy your holiday on your doorstep. You can explore two sandy beaches, browse and shop around the large yacht marina and linger in excellent restaurants and bars. Choose from a superb range of sporting and leisure choices, including six golf courses.