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30, nov 23 | Reading: 10 min.

5 Reasons to Experience Winter in the Algarve

There's the notion that the Algarve is the region of sun, beaches, and warm nights, and indeed, it is all that and much more. Summer is the busiest season in the Algarve, with national and international visitors, some experiencing it for the first time, others making it their annual holiday destination, and some falling in love with the region and deciding to live here. The latter have realized that living in the winter in the Algarve brings tranquillity and quality time to experience something completely different.

Discover the 5 reasons to experience winter in the Algarve. Follow our suggestions and uncover the other side of this region.


Cover image of the article: 5 Reasons to Experience Winter in the Algarve. The image features a beach in the Algarve region.

Photo by Vlada Moscaliova – Unsplash


  1. Outdoor tours in the Algarve

Winter in the Algarve doesn't mean staying indoors for months. Despite slightly lower temperatures, rainy days are rare, and the sun invites outdoor walks. Explore the nature of the Algarve mountains or deserted beaches to discover some of the region's best-kept treasures and make the most of winter days outdoors. If you're wondering what to do in the Algarve during winter, read carefully and get ideas to enjoy this season.


Barão de São João National Forest


The Algarve is not just about beaches; it also offers vast green spaces for walks, wildlife and flora observation, sports, and family picnics. The Barão de São João National Forest, 20 minutes from Lagos, is ideal for winter activities in the Algarve. This natural monument hosts various activities, including mountain biking trails covering 260 kilometres of dirt roads through pine forests and "medronho" trees. With nine routes ranging from easy to very difficult, all marked with indicative colours of difficulty. At the forest entrance, there is a public area with stoves, tables, benches, bathrooms, and a space dedicated to children with swings and slides. Along the hiking trails, discover sculptures carved in stones and engraved poems. Enjoy a day full of activities, including picnics, adventure sports, walks, and fun with the little ones in the Barão de São João National Forest.

Discover this house for sale just 16 minutes from the Barão de São João National Forest.


Caldas de Monchique


The second suggestion for spending more time outdoors is in the highest mountain range of the Algarve. Monchique, just 20 minutes from Portimão, offers a verdant setting inhabited by friendly people and nourished by the precious Monchique water. Among the various charming places in Monchique, we highlight the Caldas de Monchique. In this picnic area, enjoy stone and wooden tables for a snack among friends. Discover the Fonte dos Amores, filled with coins tossed by visitors seeking good luck. Fill a canteen with water directly from the tap, as neighbouring populations used to do. Take in the fresh air and embark on a walk, exploring the Caldas de Monchique in any direction. Climb to the top to find a restaurant or descend to the spa area. This tranquil area is an ideal escape from urban bustle, worthy of appreciation in every season.


Invest in a 6-bedroom villa in Silves, just a few minutes from Monchique, where the outdoor space of a home takes on even more significance.



Cover image of the article: 5 Reasons to Experience Winter in the Algarve. The image features the mountains of the Monchique Range in the Algarve.

Photo by Lukas Talab – Picjumbo


  1. The best walks in the Algarve

Engaging in sports is an activity that should be considered throughout the year, not just in summer. Typically, during winter, people prefer to exercise at home or in gyms, disrupting the healthy routine of breathing fresh air and soaking up the sun. Living through winter in the Algarve provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities, such as the best hikes along the trails of the Algarve. In many of these routes, it's also possible to run and bike, depending on the characteristics of each path.


Walking trails in Alvor

This circular route along the wooden walkways that surround the Ria de Alvor offers the option to walk on the beach sand. It is an ideal place to observe various bird species throughout the year, such as flamingos. The 6-kilometer trail is flexible, allowing you to choose between the proximity to the beach or the estuary. Both landscapes are incredibly beautiful. If you prefer, bring your bike, but be mindful of pedestrians due to the limited width of the walkways when crossing paths with others.


Explore this apartment for sale in Alvor, just a few minutes from the centre of Portimão.


Route of the 7 Hanging Valleys

The second hiking suggestion in the Algarve stands out as the best trail in Europe in 2019. Located in the municipality of Lagoa, 38 minutes from Lagos, it offers magical landscapes that attract photographers in search of the perfect angle. With a length of 5.7 kilometres along the cliffs, from Vale Centeanes Beach to Marinha Beach, this trail is not recommended for running or biking. Enjoy the sea breeze, walk, and don't forget your camera. Even in winter, the landscapes are stunning. For birdwatching enthusiasts, it's the ideal spot. Keep your eyes on the sky and be amazed by flocks of birds or an incredible sunset.

See this luxury villa for sale in Lagoa, with three bedrooms, located in the Vale da Pinta resort.


Cover image of the article: 5 Reasons to Experience Winter in the Algarve. The image features the Alvor boardwalk, one of the largest in the region.



  1. Golf and Surfing in the Algarve

Because you can never have enough sports, we suggest two outdoor activities. Surfing and golf may not have much in common, but in the Algarve region, both are popular, especially in winter. Have you tried them? Discover the best places to indulge in these activities.


The top surfing beaches in the Algarve

If you haven't tried surfing in the Algarve waters yet, start with calmer beaches. Our suggestion is Porto Mós, just 5 minutes from the centre of Lagos. With mostly sandy bottoms, it's ideal for learning without worries. In winter, it's common to see surfers in the water. In summer, the beach is crowded with bathers, making it harder to catch waves. If you prefer to learn from a professional, contact a surf school in Lagos.


The second option for surfing in the Algarve is at Bordeira beach in Aljezur. It's more challenging and suitable for those with some experience. Here, the sea is rarely calm due to maritime winds. Before surfing at Bordeira, contact a local surf school for information on sea conditions. You can also explore the boardwalks and viewpoints near this beach.


Check out this 3-bedroom apartment for sale at Belmar Resort, two minutes from Porto Mós beach.


The Algarve's top golf courses

The Algarve leads in golf courses, boasting 35 out of the 90 in Portugal. In October 2023, Portugal clinched the title of the world's best golf destination at the World Golf Awards.

Whether you want to learn more about this sport or simply play with friends, discover the best golf courses in the Algarve in this article by Casas do Barlavento.


If you'd love to live near a golf course in the Algarve, take a look at one of the properties with these features in our portfolio. A five-bedroom villa, close to the Pestana golf courses.


Cover image of the article: 5 Reasons to Experience Winter in the Algarve. The image features a beach on the northern coast of the Algarve, one of the locations for surfing.

Photo by Jojo Franke - Unsplash


  1. The Algarve's top wine tastings

Aware that the Algarve experiences few rainy days throughout the year, we also acknowledge that, fortunately, they do occur. These days, nothing beats having indoor experiences to warm the soul. In Portugal, each region has its own wine with its own qualities and characteristics. The Algarve is no exception, and here, you can visit many wineries with extensive vineyards and even taste the respective Algarve wines. Have you considered that this could be one of the best activities for a rainy day? Discover two wineries in the Algarve that offer this experience.


Quinta dos Vales

Due to the founder's passion for wine and the arts, this vineyard is considered one of the best in the Algarve region. Open since 2007, with various wine-tasting options, one of them doesn't require prior booking. If, by chance, you decide at the last minute to taste this magnificent wine, just show up. Other options include a tasting accompanied by explanations from an experienced oenologist.

The vineyard area is located on an estate with 44 hectares, filled with colourful statues of contemporary art. This is not just a place for adults; children will enjoy learning to make bread in one of the various workshops available on the estate.


Quinta do Francês Winery

Another estate with excellent Algarvian wines, spanning 8 hectares. Quinta do Francês is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and is located near the Odelouca stream. Positioned advantageously in terms of sunlight and soil quality, the Trincadeira, Aragonês, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah grape varieties thrive, resulting in internationally acclaimed wines.

Similar to the previous winery, it's possible to tour the vineyards and taste each wine with matching tapas. The guided tour also includes a visit to the cellar and cave.

Are you looking to invest in land for a tourism-related business? Check out this land for sale in Ferragudo with 720 m2.


Cover image of the article: 5 Reasons to Experience Winter in the Algarve. The image features a glass of red wine, facing a vineyard.

Photo by Kym Ellis – Unsplash


  1. The Algarve's Best Restaurants

Portuguese people are known for taking pleasure in spending several hours at the table, savouring a good meal. That's why you'll find restaurants in every city or village with fresh products.

During the winter, we could recommend various restaurants, either due to lower attendance or the greater abundance of products like coastal fish. In this case, we suggest two dining establishments that stand out for Algarve comfort food. If you're looking for more restaurants in the Algarve's western region, check out the article — Gastronomic Guide through the Western Algarve.


The Tasca do Petrol restaurant

The Tasca do Petrol restaurant is already a staple in the Algarve's gastronomic journey. From early morning, delicacies are prepared in a wood-fired oven, providing a comforting flavour, perfect for chilly days. This restaurant is a hidden gem in the mountains of Monchique, in the small parish of Marmelete.

Indulge in a rich experience by starting your meal with an appetizer of typical Algarve Mountain sausages or a pig's ear salad. Continue with the wood-fired roast pork leg, Monchique-style kale stew, or pork cheeks. If you still have room, explore the dessert menu crafted daily in the restaurant. Here's a small secret for enjoying the moment: share and taste a bit of everything with family and friends. We recommend booking a table in advance at this restaurant.


Restaurant Noélia & Jerónimo

We continue with this brief list of restaurants that offer comforting Algarve cuisine. We cannot fail to mention the mecca for some chefs. The Noélia & Jerónimo restaurant is not in the western Algarve, but it certainly deserves a visit. Located in Cabanas de Tavira, this is one of those restaurants where you should book your table well in advance.

Get ready to savour portions of love in every dish served. The influence of Algarve cuisine is immediately recognized, but Chef Noélia dares to add touches of sophistication to some dishes. In others, simplicity is the key, proving to be a winner in all dishes, thanks to the talent of this chef and her team.



Cover image of the article: 5 Reasons to Experience Winter in the Algarve. The image features a dish of beef from a restaurant.

Photo by Bublikhaus – Freepik



The Algarve has much to offer throughout the year. If you aspire to live in this region, know there will always be activities and places to visit. The possibilities are endless, and these are just a few suggestions you should try during the winter in the Algarve.