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09, feb 22 | Reading: 10 min.

5 Reasons Why You Should Spend the Winter in the Algarve

There's a perception that the Algarve is the region of sun, beaches and warm nights. In reality, it's all that and much more. Summer is the season of greatest prosperity in the Algarve. There are national and foreign visitors who come here for the first time, others take their annual holiday here, and there are still those who fall in love with the region and stay here to live. They realize that the Algarve isn't only beautiful in summer and that winter brings tranquillity and time for other experiences.


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


Photo by Vlada Moscaliova – Unsplash


  1. Outdoor tours in the Algarve

Winter isn't synonymous with staying indoors for several months. Temperatures in the Algarve fall slightly, but there are few wet days, and the winter sun beckons you to go for walks in the fresh air. Discover some of the region's best-kept secrets for spending your winter days outdoors among the nature of the Algarve mountains or on quiet beaches.


Barão de São João National Forest

There are several green areas in the Algarve where you can go for a walk, discover the wildlife and flora, play sports, or enjoy a picnic with the family. The National Forest of Barão de São João is an excellent location for winter activities in the Algarve. This natural monument is located in the municipality of Barão de São João, 20 minutes from Lagos city.


There are 260 kilometres of mountain bike trails through pine and arbutus trees in the forest, which offer a variety of activities. There are nine of them in total, ranging from easy to extremely difficult, and they are all colour-coded to indicate the level of difficulty.


At the forest's entrance, there's a public area with outdoor stoves, tables, benches, toilets, and even a play area for kids with swings and a slide. There is artwork etched into the stones and poetry engraved along the numerous hiking pathways. Spend a day filled with activities in the Barão de São João National Forest, including a picnic, adventure sports, hiking, and games for the kids.



Caldas de Monchique

The second idea for spending more time outdoors is in the Algarve's tallest mountain range. Monchique is located on the Alentejo region's border and is only 20 minutes from the city of Portimão. It's a green area with pleasant people where the valuable Monchique water flows.


We could recommend various sites in Monchique where you could spend hours appreciating the area’s beauty. However, in Caldas de Monchique, we recommend the following activities. Stone and wooden tables are available for a snack with friends. The Amores spring, which offers good luck, may be found in this picnic area. Perhaps this is why you'll discover coins tossed by tourists at the bottom. Fill a water bottle with water right from the fountain, as people from neighbouring towns used to do to always have this water around.


Fill your lungs with fresh air and begin your walk there; alternatively, travel in the opposite direction of the spring; ascend to the top of Caldas de Monchique till you reach a restaurant; or walk down to the thermal baths. This location is an excellent place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and should be appreciated at any time of year.



Photo by Lukas Talab – Picjumbo


  1. The best walks in the Algarve

Sport is an activity that should be considered all year round and not just in summer. In winter, most people prefer to exercise at home or in gyms, breaking the healthy routine of getting fresh air and sun. Our suggestion to keep exercising outdoors is to walk on the various trails in the Algarve. On many of these routes, you can also run and cycle, depending on the nature of the route.


Walking trails in Alvor

This is a circular walk around the Ria de Alvor's wooden pathways. In addition to the boardwalks, you can walk on the beach's sand. You can see a variety of bird species here. Some only appear in the spring, while others, such as flamingos, are there all year.


You don't have to walk the entire 6 kilometres using this path; you can cut it short and return to the starting point. You can stroll closer to the shore or closer to the ria. Both sceneries are breathtakingly stunning and must be seen. If you prefer, take your bike with you, but always watch out for pedestrians, because the pavements aren't wide.



Route of the 7 Hanging Valleys

The second walk recommended in the Algarve was one of the greatest in Europe in 2019. It is located in the municipality of Lagoa, 38 minutes from Lagos, and offers stunning landscapes through which many photography enthusiasts travel in search of the finest angle. The whole length of the route is 5.7 kilometres, stretching from Vale Centeanes beach to Marinha beach. The path is primarily over cliffs. Running or cycling is not recommended.


Go for a walk, breathe in the sea breeze and don't forget to bring your camera. Even in the middle of winter, we guarantee you breathtaking landscapes. If you like bird watching, this is the ideal place. Keep your eyes on the sky and watch flocks of birds or, if you want, the incredible sunset.


Alvor walking ways image


  1. Golf and Surfing in the Algarve

Because you can never have too much sport, we recommend two extra activities related to outdoor sports. Surfing and golf don't have much in common, but they share the Algarve region. The south of Portugal attracts many followers of these two sports, and the coastline and golf courses are especially popular in the winter. Have you ever participated in any of these sports? You'll find the ideal place to practise them here, and who knows, maybe you'll try them for the first time on your next visit.


The top surfing beaches in the Algarve

If you've never attempted balancing on a surfboard in the middle of the Algarve Sea, start on calmer beaches first. Our recommendation begins at a beach in Lagos, 5 minutes from the city centre. Porto Mós beach is ideal for learning to surf because the bottom is primarily sandy, avoiding accidents. It's typical to see several surfers in the water throughout the winter. In the summer, the beach is crowded with bathers, making it more difficult to catch waves. Contact a surf school in Lagos if you want to learn this activity from an expert.


The second recommended surfing beach in the Algarve is in the municipality of Aljezur. It's named Bordeira Beach, and it's more demanding than the previous one. This is the beach for you if you have prior experience with the sea and surfing. Here, the days when the sea is flat are rare, due to the sea winds that pass by the beach. Take advantage of the opportunity to stroll around the boardwalks and lookout spots around the shore. Before diving into the sea at Bordeira, contact one of the local surf schools to inquire about the sea's condition.



The Algarve's top golf courses

The Algarve region of Portugal has the most golf courses of any country region. The Algarve is home to 35 of Portugal's 90 existing golf courses. The Algarve has been nominated as the Best Golf Destination in the World in 2020 due to the quality of the grass, infrastructure, and setting in which this sport is played.


Want to learn or meet up with your friends and hit a ball? Here are some of the Algarve's top golf courses.


Photo by Jojo Franke - Unsplash


  1. The Algarve's top wine tastings

We all know that rainy days are rare and far between in the Algarve all year, yet they do exist. There's nothing better on those days than indoor experiences that warm the soul. Each area of Portugal has its wine, with its traits and characteristics. The Algarve isn't left out, and you may tour the several wineries with huge vines and even taste the corresponding Algarve wines.


Have you ever considered that this could be one of the best rainy-day activities? Discover two vineyards in the Algarve that provide this activity.


Quinta dos Vales

Because the founder combined his passion for wine with art, this winery is considered one of the best in the Algarve. It's been open since 2007 and offers various wine tastings, one of which requires no booking. If you decide to try this fantastic wine at the last minute, just stop by. Other options include a tasting with explanations from an experienced winemaker.


The vineyard is set on a 44-hectare estate dotted with colourful contemporary art sculptures. This isn't only a place for grownups; children will enjoy learning how to bake bread at one of the farm's many workshops.



Quinta do Francês Winery

With 8 hectares, this is yet another superb winery in the Algarve. Quinta do Francês, located adjacent to the Odelouca stream, is recognised for its family environment. The grape types Trincadeira, Aragonês, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah thrive and make worldwide great wines in a region favoured by the sun and favourable soil features.


Aside from visiting the winery, you can also tour the vineyards and sample each wine with tapas. A visit to the winery and cellar is also included in the experience.



Photo by Kym Ellis – Unsplash


  1. The Algarve's Best Restaurants

The Portuguese are notorious for their proclivity to eat for several hours at a time. As a result, there are restaurants in every town that serve freshly prepared foods.


We can propose various places in the winter, either because there is less of a crowd or more products available, such as fish from the coast. In this scenario, we recommend two restaurants in the Algarve that are known for their comfort food. If you're looking for more restaurants in the Western Algarve, see the article - Gastronomic Tour Around the Western Algarve.



The Tasca do Petrol restaurant

The Tasca do Petrol restaurant is already a staple of the Algarve's culinary scene. First thing in the morning, the delicacies are prepared in a wood-fired oven, so everything tastes like comfort food, ideal for cold days. The restaurant is a hidden gem in the Monchique hills, in the small municipality of Marmelete.


Begin your feast with traditional Algarve sausages or a pig's ear salad. Then try the wood-fired pork knuckle, Monchique-style cabbage stew, or stewed pork cheeks. If you're still hungry after that, ask about the restaurant's dessert menu, which is produced daily. We'll let you in on a little secret to enjoy it to the fullest, share and sample a little bit of everything with your family and friends. Book a table for this restaurant well in advance.


Restaurant Noélia & Jerónimo

We'll continue with this short selection of Algarve eateries that provide comfort food. We couldn't leave out the culinary heaven for some chefs. Noélia & Jerónimo isn't in the Western Algarve, yet it is still worth a visit. It is located in Cabanas de Tavira and is one of those places where you should make a reservation well in advance.


Prepare to receive a dose of affection with each dish served. The Algarve influence is obvious, yet chef Noélia dares to add a touch of refinement to several recipes. The key to other dishes is simplicity. The chef and the rest of the team hold the key to the success present in all dishes.



Photo by Bublikhaus – Freepik



All year-round, the Algarve has a lot to offer. If you choose to reside or holiday in this area, you can be sure that there will always be activities and places to visit. The possibilities are limitless, and these are just a few ideas for you to experience.