A Quick Guide to the Algarve, Portugal

A trip to Portugal isn’t complete without visiting its southernmost region, The Algarve. This place, hands down, had the best views I’ve ever seen throughout my travels.

WHEN WE WENT

We spent 3 days in the Algarve towards the end of May.  Our taxi driver told us, the best months to go are in May and September when the weather is nice and the crowds aren’t crazy.  The weather during our stay varied between 68-73 degrees.  Occasionally, it wanted to be bipolar and let out a freezing breeze though.

WHERE WE STAYED

 Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/29127

A photo of the front of our Airbnb
the cute lil house beside me is where our host slept

 This was probably the cutest Airbnb I’ve stayed in.  It was shared during the day (with the host and her adorable cats), but the host slept in a small house right next door.  If you click on the Airbnb, you’ll see it says “Sea View,” but the view was blocked by the trees as you can see in the above photo haha.  Nonetheless, I loved this place as it was very clean and cozy.  Our host went out of town during our first night staying there, so we ended up having the entire place to ourselves.  She left us with a binder filled with restaurant suggestions and things to do in the Algarve.  Super clutch!

TRANSPORTATION

Getting to the Algarve

The Algarve can be reached by plane or car, but we were lazy and chose to fly.  We booked a ticket through Tap Air Portugal and flew from Lisbon into Faro for 61 € ($71).

Getting Around the Algarve

Faro is about an hour away from the beautiful beaches so it’s best to either book a transfer service or rent a car from the airport.  We are clearly rookies and booked a transfer service, thinking we would just Uber everywhere. We were wrong and ended up renting a car the next day.  Uber is available in the Algarve, but it wasn’t instant service like it was for us in Lisbon.  Having a car for the number of places we were going to allowed us more freedom.

A photo of our car rental in the algarve portugal
why is he so cute???

If you choose to use a transport service, we used Prestige Day Transfers and they were great!  A ride from the airport to our Airbnb in Armação de Pera cost us 55 € ($64 USD).  They also provide taxi services and boat tours.

If you choose to rent a car, note that it is more expensive to rent a car for a few days rather than for a week or more.  Our Airbnb host referred us to AutoRocha where we were able to rent an automatic car for 122 € ($142 USD) for 2 days.  The place was about a 5-minute walk from our Airbnb and they made the process quick and easy for us booking so last minute.  They can have a car ready for you to pick up at the airport if you choose.

Driving through the Algarve was a breeze.  We didn’t run into any traffic and the roads/highway was a smooth ride.  Be sure to ONLY use the left lane as a passing lane though.  They take that seriously. I don’t understand why people can’t understand this in the States! Ugh.

WHERE TO EAT

Restaurante Coentros

Address: 14 Av. Beira Mar Armação de Pêra, Faro 8365-101

algarve-portugal-food-restaurantsalgarve-portugal-food-restaurants

We enjoyed the food so much we went twice during our 3-day stay in the Algarve. Our server, Axel, was very knowledgeable about the menu and took great care of us. The chef/owner was also great and stopped by our table to make sure everything was perfect.  He hooked us up with complimentary drinks and appetizers.  If you decide to pop in, tell Axel we said what’s up!

Restaurante Estrela Do Mar

Address: Armação de Pêra, Faro 8365

algarve-portugal-food-restaurants

This place was located in a small shack along the beach.  The potatoes needed a lil salt, but the seafood was fresh and yummy.

A Marisqueira

Address: Estr. do Farol 95, Carvoeiro, Portugal

algarve-portugal-food-restaurants
Piri Piri 4 life

Nosolo Italia Portimao

Address: Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes, 8500-542 Portimão, Portugal

algarve-portugal-food-restaurants-gelato
idk about their food, but their ice cream was yummy

Piccolino

Address: Armação de Pêra, Faro 8365-134

We personally did not eat here, but our host told us they have great pasta and pizza at affordable prices.

Pingo Doce

Address: 8365-182 Armacao de Pera, Portugal

This was a supermarket that was 5 minutes (driving) from our Airbnb.  We went here to stock up on water and Piri Piri sauce.

THINGS TO DO

Benagil Beach 

Address: CM1154, 8400 Lagoa, Portugal

A photo of benagil beach

BEACH NECESSITIES

  • A waterproof bag: this especially came in handy when we kayaked to the Benagil Cave.  So much water got into our kayak, but our belongings stayed dry!  It was able to fit a lot inside too.  Click here for the bag we used.
  • A waterproof phone case or pouch
  • The basics: towels, sunscreen, hat, water, etc.

Benagil Cave

A photo of the inside of the benagil cave

The Benagil Cave is one of the most stunning natural caves on the planet and can only be reached by water. There are a couple of ways to get inside, but we choose to kayak. We had no idea what we were doing so we ended up further out in the ocean than we should have and I hit my boyfriend in the head with my oar a few times, but it was a journey well worth it.

Read how to get inside here.

Praia de Marinha

Praia de Marinha

This was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. It was nominated as 1 of the top 10 best beaches in Europe and I totally understand why. Surprisingly, it was not as crowded as I imagined it would be. I couldn’t get over how translucent and calm the sea was.  If you explore a little and climb over a few rocks you can find yourself on a secluded beach.

Praia de Marinha

Algar Seco

Algar SecoAlgar SecoAlgar Seco

Walking through Algar Seco made me feel like I was on a different planet.  You’ll find incredible rock formations here.

Ponta Da Piedade

Ponta Da PiedadePontaDaPiedade

Amazing views here.  If we would have had more time, we definitely would’ve done a boat tour.

Camilo Beach

We didn’t have time to go, but the photos I’ve seen look gorgeous!

Pego Do Inferno

pego do inferno

Word on the street is, Pego do Inferno received the name “Hell’s Pit” years ago when a carriage fell in and was never recovered. Some say underneath the water, is a portal to the underworld.

pego do inferno
oh yeah, & there’s a rope swing

It is about an hour away from all of the action in Lagos, Portugal, but totally worth the drive. When you arrive you’ll find that it’s secluded in the middle of an orange tree farm. We kept questioning if we were going in the right direction because you would never think there would be a waterfall in the area. So if you feel like you’re lost, you’re probably in the right place lol.  There is a really small gravel parking lot and about a 10-minute hike down to the waterfall. There aren’t any signs or directions to the parking lot or trail so we just followed another couple who arrived at the same time as us.  Note the ground near the waterfall is steep and uneven, so be careful!

As much as I enjoy the city, this trip made me realize I am the happiest when I am outdoors.  You just can’t beat great food with a nice view.  If you have any questions that I didn’t cover in this post feel free to comment below, email me, or shoot me a DM!  I’ll be more than happy to help ❤

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