This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website   More info

Property Search

20, jun 22 | Reading: 9 min.

Countryside Life in the Algarve | Casas do Barlavento

Do you think the word countryside doesn't fit the Algarve? In this article, we want to show the quiet side, the quality of life and the fact that it can be far away from mass tourism. Far from the hustle and bustle but close to everything when you need it, that's the Algarve, a region full of contrasts to suit every taste. Get to know the countryside life in the Algarve and fall even more in love with the south of Portugal!


image of Ameixial, a countryside area in the Algarve.

Photo by Ignacio Correia Unsplash



The Algarve still preserves the traditional culture, and above all, there are places where the landscape is free of buildings, roads and cars. It is not only the beaches that make this region one of the most sought-after places for holidays and as a permanent residence for retirees. Here you will discover how good it is to have the best of both worlds just a few kilometres away.


Want to know more about how to retire in the Algarve? Read the article "How to Retire in Portugal - Everything You Need to Know to Live in this Country".


Living in the Algarve is synonymous with a healthier lifestyle.


Eating better and exercising benefit your health and your life expectancy. High levels of stress are a common setback for those living in the hustle and bustle of big cities. The Algarve does have busy towns, but the quieter side of the interior balances out the excitement of these cities. It is possible to lead a healthier lifestyle in the region by exercising and trying Mediterranean-inspired recipes.



Sport in the Algarve


We all know that sport is essential for a fulfilled life where health is paramount, but do you know the best sports to practice in the Algarve? Save our list of the best sports to practice in the Algarve and venture out to become even healthier.


  • Golf in the Algarve


Golf has a prominent place among the favourite sports of both residents and tourists in the Algarve. Out of 90 golf courses operating in Portugal, 35 are between Vila do Bispo and Vila Real de Santo António. The region had the pleasure of receiving the distinction of Best Golf Destination in Europe 5 times in a row. The most important distinction was in 2020 when elected as the Best Golf Destination in the World, leaving no doubt about the quality of this sport in the region.


The Algarve is one of the best golf destinations because it combines the quality of life with a low cost of living. These two factors attract new tourists, permanent and non-habitual residents to the country. A third factor also influences the choice of the Algarve as one of the best golf destinations: the climate. An average of 300 days of sunshine a year invites golfers to spend hours playing on the golf courses, whether in summer, winter, spring or autumn.


As previously mentioned, there are many golf courses in the region. Therefore, if you wish to live in a more countryside area, but close to a golf course where you can practise your favourite sport, the distance will always be short, taking only minutes to reach the nearest one.


Get to know in our portfolio one of the properties in a countryside area 4 minutes away from the golf courseSanto António Golf.


Learn more about golf in the Algarve in the article "The best houses to live near a golf course".



A golf club is about to hit the ball to steer it into the hole.

Photo by Robert Ruggiero Unsplash



  • Hiking in the Algarve


In the Algarve, this is the second most popular sport. It does not require a significant investment in equipment; all that is required is the desire to improve one's health. Besides, hiking in the Algarve is a great way to know the countryside. You can walk on lesser-known paths or follow well-signposted trails in the region, part of internationally known routes. We are talking about the Rota Vicentina, a three-hiking trails series that run along the Algarve's lesser-known paths.


Historical Way — the first path leads the walker along historical paths through the villages of the Algarve landscape. It's a trail where you can take your time and appreciate the scenery. This rural trail has 263 kilometres in total and has been awarded the European certificate "Leading Quality Trails - Best of Europe".


*See the map and signposting of the Historical Way (Caminho Histórico).


Fishermen's Trail — this trail runs through the coastal areas of the Algarve and Alentejo and crosses the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. It consists of 13 stages with a total length of 226.5 kilometres and intuitive signposting. It is a demanding hiking trail due to the different surfaces, such as sandy areas. Therefore, you should only walk it if you already have some hiking experience.


*See the map and the signposting of the Fishermen's Trail.


Circular Routes — there are twenty-four circular walks between the Algarve and the Alentejo. If you are still inexperienced in walking, start with a circular route with fewer kilometres to cover. These 24 routes represent 263 kilometres of pure beauty by the beach or in the countryside, in the most inland areas of the region.


*See the maps and signposting for each circular route.


Want to buy a house near the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park? Discover these apartments for sale in Burgau in a luxury condominium.


At the end of the day, a person walks through nature.

Photo by Emma Simpson – Unsplash



Mediterranean cuisine in the Algarve


The Mediterranean diet has long been proven to be beneficial to health. The Mediterranean diet has a centuries-old tradition in the Algarve, and it is a natural part of our culture to enjoy its delicious recipes at home and in restaurants. You will easily find Mediterranean diet ingredients in the markets of the Algarve and many popular recipes in the restaurants. Discover places where you can taste the simple gastronomy of the Algarve, influenced by the Mediterranean diet. Remember that in 2013, UNESCO designated the Mediterranean diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.



O Charneco - this restaurant is located in a place called Estômbar in Lagoa. It is a must-visit as it represents well the gastronomic heritage of the Algarve. In this restaurant, you can try tuna "muxama" and mackerel with olive oil and garlic (cavalas alimadas), two recipes that contain representative ingredients for the diet.


Museu da Batata Doce - the sweet potato is also on the list of health-promoting ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, so there's nothing better than visiting a restaurant dedicated to this tubercle. It is located in Rogil, just a few minutes from the capital of the sweet potato, Aljezur. Try this side dish with a variety of fresh fish from our coast.


Algarve Municipal Markets - exist in all towns and parishes with the colours and smells of fresh produce. These markets fill up in the morning with people looking for the best fish and vegetables for lunch.

In the municipal markets, you will find some of the elements of the Mediterranean diet that are so characteristic of this region. One example is the almond, a source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. In the Algarve, olive oil is used in many recipes, and there are production sites in the region, such as award-winning Monterosa olive oil.

It is crucial to use seasonal produce, as this is the only way to ensure that the food contains all the nutrients it can develop. The municipal markets are the best place to guarantee these seasonal products. Much of the produce you find at these markets is organic and locally grown. If you have any questions, clarify them without hesitation with the traders at the market near you. See in this article which are the main municipal markets in the Algarve.


On the table is an open can of sardines, a bottle of olive oil, and a fork.

Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya – Unsplash



In the Algarve, nature is also the focus of attention.


In a world that moves at an amazing speed, we understand that nature is best friends with the Slow Living movement. If you have never heard of this concept, know that it's something new, but one that we desperately need to learn to slow down and balance our days. In the Algarve, you can spend a lot of time in nature and be even happier. Discover some places where you can spend quality time with your family.


Picnic parks in the Algarve


The picnic parks are located in strategic places, surrounded by nature and offer the conditions to barbecue or gather friends and have a nice picnic. On weekends or holidays, these parks are full of families enjoying the good weather. Get to know some of these picnic parks in the Algarve.


Aljezur - there are a few picnic parks in Aljezur that are great for leisure days. Begin in the Sta. Susana picnic park, which is on the side of the road and has an old fountain that gives the park its name. There is no barbecue area here, but there are tables and natural shades if you want to spend a different afternoon. The second park is just outside Aljezur, near a stream and with views of the mountains cutting through the horizon. Take the ingredients for the barbecue while you enjoy nature in the Aljezur picnic park.



Barão de São João - this picnic park is located in the Barão de São João National Forest and is equipped with several tables, barbecues and toilets for a day well-spent. In addition to picnicking here, you can also walk the Poets' Trail, a nature trail where the region’s poets have left their texts carved on the trail's stones.


Monchique - in Monchique, there are several places where you can rest and enjoy nature. Here we would like to highlight two picnic parks that deserve a visit soon. The first is located in Caldas de Monchique and has stone tables, plenty of space for children to play and is a very cool place in the summer. The second park we show you is Barranco dos Pisões; it runs along a stream and has one of the largest plane trees in Portugal. There are only a few tables, so you should come here first thing in the morning, bring barbecue food, and a lot of desire to relax.


If you are going on holiday and want to enjoy nature away from the beaches, stay near one of these picnic parks and enjoy the slow life for at least a day. Take a look at our holiday homes in Lagos.


A picnic table in a grassy area is illuminated in this photograph.

Fotografia de Taylor Vick – Unsplash



Rural life in the Algarve is just as interesting as the coastal regions. If you've never had the chance to visit this side of the region, we invite you to come and experience the more traditional and tranquil side of southern Portugal. Fall in love with the slow pace of life in the Algarve.

We are here to help you find the ideal home!