03 September 2019
Stretching from the Spanish border to the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal’s sun-drenched Algarve coast is the perfect holiday destination; whatever your interests and tastes may be. It’s also a super convenient location to get to, with flight times of roughly two and a half hours from the UK. Home to glorious beaches, spectacular scenery, exhilarating activities, delicious food and so much more besides, the Algarve is all things to all people.
Hugging both the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines, the Algarve is perhaps most famous for its blissful beaches. Ranging from long sandy shorelines bordered by promenades and cafés, to secluded sea-sculpted coves dotted with caves and interesting rock formations, you’ll find all types of beach here; each one spectacularly beautiful. Soak up the sunshine in peace and tranquillity at Praia de Albandeira, explore the coves and grottoes at Praia do Camillo, enjoy a wealth of water sports, including wind surfing and sailing, at Praia do Barril, and paddle in the river near Praia de Odeceixe. The Algarve is simply perfect for a leisurely beach holiday.
The Algarve’s picturesque Ria Formosa Nature Reserve is an 18,000-hectare natural park made up of lagoons, barrier islands and peninsulas. Tour this stunning park and look out for a wealth of wonderful wildlife, such as chameleons, seahorses, Portuguese Water Dogs and purple swamp hens. Other of the Algarve’s standout natural attractions include the vast pine forest near Albufeira, which is ideal for leisurely strolls, and the unusual rock formations of Ponta da Piedade.
If you’re a keen walker, the Algarve has a vast network of routes and trails to explore. With a dizzying variety of landscapes, historical treasures and unique flora and fauna, strap on your hiking boots and discover the Algarve that remains hidden from those who choose to take the car.
Foodies will be delighted with the mouth-watering treats that the Algarve has to offer, from chicken piri-piri to arroz de lingueirão, a juicy rice mixed with razor clams from the Ria Formosa. Plus, with the Atlantic lining its coastline, it’s hardly surprising that the Algarve’s cuisine is synonymous with seafood. For a simple, cheap but tasty culinary treat, head to one of the quaysides and sample some Sardinhas Assadas. Barbequed over charcoal in a steel drum, these grilled sardines are just perfect with some fresh, crusty bread. When in the Algarve you should not miss the Cataplana, it uses a copper cooking device also called a Cataplana which is unique to the Algarve region. There are two types of Cataplana: either seafood packed or a pork and clam version, both in a garlic, onion, pepper and tomato sauce.
Don’t leave without sampling the delicious Dom Rodrigo, it’s been made since the 18th century. It is prepared with a combination of egg yolks, sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon, fios de ovos - a traditional confectionery product consisting of thin egg threads, and of course a small glass of Medronho, a local firewater made from the fruit of the medronho tree, the Arbutus Unedo which look like small lychees. To really get to know all the flavours of the region, why not take a walking food tour? There are plenty to choose from that will tantalize your taste buds.
Contact your Travel Counsellor today to find out more about the beautiful Algarve and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.