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Family Holidays to the Algarve

The Algarve is brimming with things to do for families, including waterparks and karting tracks. But there's no loss of Portuguese traditions and beauty as you can also explore old towns, nature reserves and vast beaches.

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Choose your scenic base in the Algarve then immerse yourself in family fun

You'll be in the Algarve in under three hours and can transfer to popular family destinations such as Olhos De Agua in 50 minutes or even the furthest resorts like Alvor in two hours.

Olhos De Agua offers a peaceful break, and it's only 15 minutes from lively Albufeira and Vilamoura if you want to venture out. The large cliffs, freshwater springs and rock pools on the beach add a natural backdrop for the heaps of family attractions that gather in this area.

Armacao de Pera's 17th-century fort and cobbled streets contrast with the modern beach area and All Inclusive hotels, with watersports opportunities, a market and waterpark and karting track close by. Picturesque Alvor also has a cobbled centre with an excellent restaurant scene, and its marina and lagoon area beside the town's two beaches add heaps more character.

Best family friendly beaches

Among the Algarve's many clean, amenity-packed Blue Flag beaches, you'll find the following coastal offerings. Armacao de Pera's long sandy beach has cafes and restaurants on it promenade, with a fort at one end and caves at the other. For more space you can walk along to Praia Grande Beach, which reaches all the way to Albufeira. Over in Alvor, combine watersports with picturesque walks at the long beach, which is divided by the river estuary and edges a nature reserve and miles of sand dunes with walkways.

For quieter beach time, Olhos de Agua Beach will intrigue the kids with springs that bubble up on the beach. Praia Dos Salgados – a remote beach backed with marshes – is still close to some great restaurants. You can stroll the pushchair-friendly boardwalks to catch glimpses of wild birds like flamingos.

Best family activities in the Algarve

If you're staying in Armacao de Pera, you'll have Aqualand waterpark just eight-minutes' drive away and Kartodromo de Almancil for go-karting and paintballing even closer. Olhos de Agua has several waterparks all within 20 minutes, with Slide and Splash in Estombar, Aquashow Park in Quarteira and Zoomarine near Guia. Zoomarine doubles as an animal and marine park, the latter having slides, a wave pool and sandy beach, while Aquashow is a waterpark and amusement park boasting rollercoasters, a mini train, mini-golf and even a wax museum.

To be immersed in the local nature, Alvor's Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve and its lagoon beside the beach are the place for everything from watersports to wildlife spotting and scenic walks. Luso Aventura Albufeira aerial adventure park near Olhos d'Agua gives you the chance to swing about high up in the trees or on lower levels for younger kids and those less brave.

Other popular holidays in Portugal

Family holidays elsewhere in Portugal include the quieter islands of Madeira and Porto Santo. The Algarve has a lot to give to families though, as covered in our holiday guide. Read on for details of excellent family hotels in the Algarve.

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