Algarve Off The Beaten Path Experiences You Don’t Want to Miss

After living in the middle of Algarve for 4 years I have become an advocate for the region. It’s the most misunderstood place in Portugal and let’s face it sometimes, Algarve gets a bad rap. If you’ve been unsure on visiting Algarve, I’m here to change your mind. It is full of one of a kind, off the beaten path experiences that you need to try! Here’s just handful of special ‘things to do’ while holidaying in Algarve.

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Best one of a kind experiences in Algarve

Watch a Spectacular Sunrise from the Ocean

Many people love a lie in when they are on holiday. If you’re one of those people I urge you to break that habit for just one day while in Algarve and I promise you won’t regret it. Everyone knows about the famous Ponta da Piedade in Lagos, but not everyone knows how to skip the crowds that come with it. The answer is to get down there for sunrise and you’ll have the place pretty much to yourself. Want to turn it up a notch? Join Nowhere2Far for a sunrise SUP tour. It’s one of the best experiences in Lagos and the Algarve!

BOOK A SUNRISE SUP TOUR


Spa Experience at Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa Resort

Annnnnd relax. As Algarve’s highest point, Monchique should already be on your list of places to see in  the region. There are some fantastic restaurants (Lua da Fóia, Paraíso Montanha to name a few) on the way up to the point, and the town itself is a quaint place to spend an afternoon. There is some great hiking too! But have you heard of the spa hotel? Villa Termal is located in Serra de Monchique Natural Park and home to a spa with thermal with 9.5ph alkaline water. The perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. The hotel itself is impressive and deserves a night or two of you time in Algarve. Also It’s worth noting that out of the main summer season this hotel has some great deals. I once stayed in November for a very impressive rate!

BOOK A ROOM AT VILLA TERMAL

Villa-termal-monchique-Portugal
Photo credit here: https://hoteltermal.monchiquetermalresort.com/en/home

Wine Tasting and Farm Stay at Morgado do Quintão

When you think of wine in Portugal Algarve probably isn’t the first region that comes to mind but before you dismiss it completely did you know Algarve has some really unique and wine experiences? Morgado do Quintão is a fourth generation family vineyard on a drop dead gorgeous estate. The estate is beautifully serene and completely underrated which makes it a perfect break from an often hectic Algarve. I visited Morgado do Quintão for a wine tasting and wrote about it here.

BOOK A TASTING OR FARM STAY


Beach Hopping on the Wild West Coast

If you’re in Algarve the chances are you’re planning on spending at least some of your time on the beach. Algarve has no shortage of coastline to explore. I spent 4 years beach hopping and I’m not even close to stepping foot on them all. Algarve is a super popular beach destination which means some beaches in summer can get sardine packed. The solution? Head west! Hire a car, drive towards Vila do Bispo and turn right to find some of Portugal’s most atmospheric and remote beaches. Spend a day taking the roads less traveled and explore this wild stretch of coast.

HOW TO HIRE A CAR IN PORTUGAL


Eat BBQ Fish Lunch at an Authentic Churrasqueira

Incase you weren’t aware, it is a top-level sin to not eat bbq fish when in Algarve, and if you‘re going to do it, you need to do it properly. Chico Zé is a bbq restaurant (churrasqueira) and local favourite in Lagos and surrounding areas. It’s also my favourite restaurant in Algarve. Chico Zé does several dishes but I highly recommend choosing a fish main, try dourada (sea bream) or robalo (sea bass). If you’re lucky enough to be there in summer then sardines are a must – obviously! Worth noting Chico Zé is only open for lunch and is closed on Sundays.


Lunch with a View of Spain – Alcoutim

This little unknown known town is well out the way of the tourist hot spots. Alcoutim is deep into north east Algarve, just a few miles south of Alentejo and only a literal stones-throw from Spain. It sit’s quietly on the Guadiana river, Portugal one side, Spain on the other. A great way to get off the beaten track and see real Portugal (and a glimpse of Spain!).

If you enjoy exploring more remote places definitely take a trip to Portugal’s most undiscovered region – Alentejo.

10-DAY ALENTEJO ITINERARY

Booking.com

So there you have it, 6 totally unique experiences to help you discover the real Algarve. Remember there is always something new to find when you come off the beaten path. Happy travels!


For transparency, I use affiliate links in my travel guides. You’ll notice I use them sparingly and only include links for services I actually use. The most common affiliate links you will see are Zest Car Hire, BookingCom and Wise, because I use those very frequently while living in and travelling around Europe. If you click through to a page using these links and make a purchase I receive a small commission (at no cost to you). If you choose to visit one of these sites from Google, Google gets that commission instead. If you find my travel guides helpful in trip planning please do use these links. The small amount (usually just a few pounds) helps me cover website hosting. If you have any questions about affiliate links or marketing I am really happy to answer them.

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