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Before I share with you three of the best places in the Algarve region, let me give a quick overview of the Algarve to give you an idea of what to expect from the region.
When to go
The Algarve region is located on the southernmost part of Portugal, and just like places in southern Spain like Seville, and Huelva Spain, the Algarve region boasts sunny weather and lovely temperatures all year round.
During the summer months, you can expect pleasant temperatures hovering on the 30 degrees C mark, which is ideal for beach activities and outdoor activities like tours, day trips, etc.
Even during the autumn, the Algarve region offer an ideal getaway which makes the Algarve one of the most popular warm places in Europe in November.
If you are planning a trip this summer to the Algarve for the first time, you’ll be traveling during the peak season so expect airfare, hotel accommodation and attractions to be much more expensive.
For instance, the town of Albufeira has the lovely ‘Giro’ buses that you can use to get around, but if you’re looking to explore other areas in the Algarve, there isn’t really a proper transportation system, apart from private bus tours.
This is why car rental is, without a doubt, the best way of getting around in the Algarve, and with literary hundreds of car rental agencies to choose from, car rental deals are easy to come by.
Another thing to note, it’s that the Algarve is not such as large region at all, and you can actually drive from the western to eastern corners of the Algarve in less than two hours.
Despite the Algarve reputation for luxury hotel resorts and spas, if you are on a budget, there are a couple of things you can do to make a summer vacation in the Algarve more affordable:
If you’ve never considered vacation packages before, most vacation packages normally include things like your flights, car rental, hotel accommodation and tours. During the high season, booking a vacation package is one of the best things you can do for a more cost-effective vacation.
Traveling during the low season is an obvious thing to do when looking into an affordable holiday vacation.
If you travel to the Algarve between the last week of August and beginning of September, you’ll find that many holiday operators slash their prices before the new school season.
Best Places in the Algarve: Top 3
From small villages, to towns and small cities, the Algarve region has many vacation spots to suit your needs and activities.
It is true that small villages and towns are great for getting away from large crowds. However, if you are not planning on renting a car, it is worth noting that smaller towns and villages won’t always offer conveniences such as supermarkets and food markets so, it’s important to bear this in mind.
As follows, I put three of the best places in the Algarve that in my opinion offer best of both worlds:
1. Albufeira Portugal
The town of Albufeira is, definitely, one of the liveliest destinations in Portugal and one of the best places in the Algarve.
The town of Albufeira Portugal is, indeed, one of the hot tourist spots in the Algarve, attracting both young and families alike.
Albufeira Portugal has a lovely old quarter with cobblestone streets, which is a joy to stroll along, as well as lovely sandy beaches and a buzzing nightlife that includes bars, pubs, restaurants and discos.
2. Portimao Portugal
If you are planning on enjoying many water activities like jet-skiing, windsurfing, or charter rental, the city of Portimao is one of the hot spots for water enthusiasts.
Portimao Portugal is also popular for the Praia da Rocha beach where you’ll find lovely apartment rentals and hotels right by the beach.
3. Lagos Portugal
If you are looking somewhere in the Algarve a notch-down from Albufeira but with plenty of outdoor opportunities, Lagos Portugal is one of the best places in the Algarve where you’ll find fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere.
Apart from swimming, exploring the nearby grottoes are a popular past time here.
Also, if you consider basing your vacation in Lagos Portugal, the town of Lagos is one of the major towns in the Algarve closest to the beautiful Alentejano National Park where you can do bird spotting, as well as hiking.
4. Faro Portugal
Faro Portugal is the capital city of the Algarve region but it’s interestingly one of the vacation spots in the Algarve less geared towards tourism.
If you want a real taste of region and soak in Portuguese culture, Faro Portugal offers a pace of life, in par with the local population that other vacation spots in the Algarve simply don’t offer.
The main attraction in Faro is its lovely Old Quarter where you can marvel at beautiful Moorish buildings.
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