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03, jun 22 | Reading: 11 min.

The 12 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in the Algarve | Casas do Barlavento

Those who holiday in the Algarve know that the sun will always shine, that they will experience pleasant temperatures, see beautiful beaches, eat fresh produce in restaurants, and much more. Book your holiday home and start on one of the most exciting trips of your life! Discover the region like never before with this tour of the 12 most beautiful places in the Algarve.


A global map with a toy plane flying towards the Algarve.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio – Pexels


Visit the Algarve from one end to the other in a short amount of time by renting a car and driving on one of the two roads that cross the region. Our suggestion for a successful holiday is to book a holiday home in Lagos and go on an adventure. Create your itinerary with our suggestions and discover the most beautiful places in the Algarve.


  1. Lagos

There is nothing better than starting your holiday by getting to know the city where you will be staying for the next few days. Lagos is one of the most beautiful cities to visit. There are many tourist attractions to visit and spend a day or more in the city. Start at the Descobrimentos avenue, walk past the Lagos Marina, the Lagos Market or the Infante Dom Henrique Square and discover the history of this city through the years by visiting the Slave Market Museum (museu do Mercado dos Escravos) and the Church of Santa Maria.


A trip to Ponta da Piedade, closer to the coast, is highly recommended. This is one of the most spectacular sights you'll ever see, and the best part is that you can visit it from both land and boat. Information on tickets for boat trips to Ponta da Piedade is available at the information points at the Lagos Marina.


Ponta da Piedade image with some tourist boats moored along the rocks.

Photo by Cristiano Pinto – Unsplash

  1. Odeceixe

In an Algarve far from large tourist settlements and high-rise buildings, you will find peace in Odeceixe. This municipality borders the Alentejo, where the landscapes combine with the white houses, and there is a lot to see. First of all, you should know that the Seixe stream flows in Odeceixe, which you can get to know on a 16-kilometre circular route. It is one of the circular trails of the Rota Vicentina, which offer breathtaking panoramic views. Learn more about the Odeceixe-ao-Rio trail, and hike with your family or friends.


Continuing along the paths of the Seixe stream, visit the beach of Odeceixe and discover an excellent place for those who like the sea but don't want to give up the warm and calm waters of a stream (this is one of the many blue flag beaches in the Algarve). At the top end of the beach, there are bars with terraces overlooking the sea, a great way to enjoy the ocean vastness on this side of the Algarve. Climb up to the Odeceixe windmill to admire the views of this picturesque village and lose yourself in the immensity of the preserved landscape of the western Algarve.


Distance Lagos - Odeceixe: 49 minutes


image of a viewpoint at the top of Odeceixe beach.

Photo by Tadeas P. – Unsplash


  1. Aljezur

Are nature destinations always on your list of places to visit? Aljezur is one of the best nature destinations in Europe because it hosts different natural habitats, has great biodiversity and is an excellent place for water sports. Between the mountains and the sea, surrounded by traditional houses and a castle, Aljezur is one of the places you should visit or revisit. Let yourself be tempted here by the delicacies of fish, meat, also the famous sweet potato of Aljezur. This tubercle is celebrated every year in November with a festival. Check its schedule for 2022, which is already available.


Surfing is one of the most common sports practised on the beaches of Aljezur. On Arrifana beach and Amado beach, you can see surfers mastering the waves with flying colours. The beaches of Odeceixe, Bordeira and Amoreira, on the other hand, are quieter and are visited by dozens of families during the summer.


Distance Lagos - Aljezur: 32 minutes


image of a seaside walkway in Aljezur.

Photo by Thibault Mokuenko – Unsplash


  1. Sagres

If you want to chase the sunset, every location in Sagres is pure magic. In a town where there are several excursions to watch the sunset between snacks and wine, it would only make sense to experience this activity in a group at least once in your life. If you want to watch the sunset alone, we recommend the Miradouro do Castelejo, a viewpoint on the cliffs of Cordoama beach with a panoramic view of the sea and rock formations. Don’t forget to bring snacks, wine and a jacket for the cooler days.


Sagres is a town with many stories about the Portuguese navigators, and as proof, there are monuments from that time. Visit the Sagres Fort, the Mariner's Compass, which holds many secrets about its function, and the church on the fortress grounds. Don't leave Sagres without trying barnacles and fresh mussels in one of the many restaurants in town.


Distance Lagos - Sagres: 35 minutes


Three men are pictured walking on the dark-coloured rocks of Sagres.

Photo by Claudius Virciu – Unsplash


  1. Estômbar

This small municipality in Lagoa has some tourist attractions, including the popular Slide & Splash water park. This is a location for the whole family, whether you're bold or calm. There are slides, pools, and animal shows to keep you entertained for the entire day.


Another attraction is the Estômbar Fountains, as they are known. The official name is Parque Municipal das Fontes, and there you can enjoy nature, dip in the freshwater of the fountains and picnic in the barbecue area. Take the opportunity to get to know the natural side of the Algarve in Estômbar.


Distance Lagos - Estômbar: 30 minutes


image of a water park with three children slipping on one of the attractions' water.

Photo by Denniz Futalan – Pexels


  1. Silves

Silves was once the capital of the Algarve in Moorish times and is now one of the most historic towns in the region. In the distance, we see a castle in warm tones, built of the sandstone typical of the region. The castle is the ex-libris of Silves, and the Moorish lines have been preserved to this day. The Silves Medieval Fair is organised every summer to retain the link with the Moorish era that lasted 500 years in Silves. A festival that spans the streets inside and outside the city walls, with music, historical performances and commercial and gastronomic stalls.


Silves is surrounded by orange groves, the most produced fruit in the Algarve. With the construction of the Arade dam, production gained importance and spread to the whole country. You can go for a walk, prepare a picnic, or follow the circular trail around the water at the dam. Another place you should visit is the Bone Chapel in Alcantarilha. The chapel dates back to the 16th century and is located next to the village's parish church.


Distance Lagos - Silves: 31 minutes


A woman solving a crossword puzzle while sitting in a garden overlooking Silves castle.

Photo by Algarve Promotion



  1. Carvoeiro

Famous for its beaches, climate and Benagil Cave. It is one of the most visited places in the Algarve and holds some treasures such as the Boneca, a cave at the top of a cliff with two beautiful windows overlooking the sea. Nearby is Algar Seco, a series of rock formations sculpted by the sea and the wind, where there are also some natural pools.


One of the activities you can't miss in Carvoeiro is the boat trips. There are several routes, but the most popular is the one from Benagil beach to the same-named cave. Once in the cave, you can get out (at low tide) and admire the "chimney", a hole in the cave ceiling through which the sun shines out.


The biggest festival in town is coming up in a few days: the Carvoeiro Black & White. So dress in black and white and hit the streets on June 18th 2022.


Distance Lagos - Carvoeiro: 36 minutes


photograph taken inside the Benagil cave.

Photo by Francois Olwage – Unsplash


  1. Ferragudo

In the landscape of this village of Lagoa are the white houses, the Arade river and the art of fishing. The parish celebrated its 500th anniversary in 2020, and after so long, you can understand why its inhabitants are so proud of it. Ferragudo still preserves the traditional culture of the Algarve, even though tourism is the engine of the economy.


Ferragudo is a place where you can take your time, stroll through the cobbled streets and enjoy a drink at the end of the day in the mythical bar "Os três Macacos". Or end the day on the Praia Grande beach, in a bar with live music overlooking the fortress of São João do Arade.


If you like hiking, you can start the Caminho dos Promontórios (Promontórios Trail) in Ferragudo. This trail is part of the 7 Vales Suspensos trail and offers only natural beauty. It is 7 kilometres long and starts near the Ferragudo pier and ends at the Paraíso beach in Carvoeiro.


Distance Lagos - Ferragudo: 37 minutes


image of a fisherman watching seagulls fly over his head.

Photo by Simon Moore – Unsplash


  1. Monchique

Monchique is the highest point in the Algarve and has the freshest flora, which can be observed in the surrounding towns. It is the lungs of the region and one of the places you should definitely visit on your holiday. Start in the village and let yourself be surprised by the tastes of the mountains. From sausages to smoked ham, taste and enjoy this feast for the palate. One of the most characteristic drinks of southern Portugal can be found at the Casa do Medronho. In addition to medronho, there is also rosemary honey from the mountains, which you can find in the Mel e Medronho Shop.


In Monchique, you can spend a whole day walking in nature or relaxing in the alkaline thermal springs, which are very beneficial to your health.


Read our article "Monchique: A Complete Guide" and discover all the corners of the hills of the Algarve.


Distance Lagos - Monchique: 43 minutes


An image of the start of the Fóia trail in Monchique.

Photo by Algarve Promotion



  1. Paderne


We recommend you visit another small municipality and get to know the real Algarve. Far from mass tourism, our suggestion is in the Albufeira municipality. Paderne is an inland village, but it already has 7 centuries of history and some attractions you should not miss. Paderne Castle, which was taken by the Moors in 1248, is one of them. On the way to the castle, you will find an old washhouse where people used to meet to wash their clothes or get drinking water. Another highlight is the windmill of Leitão, from which you can see the sea, the mountains and the Barrocal landscape. In this mill, you can still observe traditional grinding.


We would like to add a fun fact about this village in the Algarve Barrocal. Here, one of the oldest philharmonic bands in southern Portugal, the Banda da Sociedade Musical e Recreio Popular de Paderne, was founded in 1859.


Distance Lagos - Paderne: 44 minutes


image of the ruins of Paderne Castle.

Photo by Algarve Promotion


  1. Alte

Alte belongs to Loulé and is a village surrounded by orange groves, its horizon punctuated by the second-highest mountain range in the Algarve, the Caldeirão Mountains. It is a small town that can be visited in an afternoon, but we recommend staying a few hours longer to enjoy the good weather and the waters of the "Queda do Vigário", a little waterfall that, at certain periods of the year, creates a natural pool. There is a green space and a picnic place near the waterfall in this location.


Take a walk through the streets of the town centre, visit the house of Alte's mascot, a friendly donkey named Baltazar, and finally take a look at Alte's fountains, another place surrounded by nature, with plenty of shade and suitable for children.


Distance Lagos - Alte: 53 minutes


image of the of Alte's Fountains Garden.

Photo by Algarve Promotion


  1. Tavira

Start in the historic centre and be inspired by the preserved heritage of this city. Stroll through the cobbled streets and arrive at the place where everyone meets, the Ribeira market on the banks of the Gilão river. Perhaps one of the two curiosities of Tavira is the number of churches in the city: there are 21 churches in total. The second curiosity is related to the castle: legend says that the daughter of the Moorish governor could not save herself from the invasions, and came to a fateful end. For this reason, on Saint John’s night (23-24 June), she appears as an enchanted Moorish to mourn her tragic fate.


In Tavira, there is a very peculiar place called "Tavira Eye". It is a camera obscura located in an old water reservoir that opened in 1931. This space works with the Algarve sun, which shines on an average of 300 days a year. Here it is possible to see Tavira from a unique 360-degree perspective.


Distance Lagos - Tavira: 1:09 minutes


Night view of one of Tavira's 21 churches.

Photo by Tanguy Sauvin – Unsplash



Enjoy the Algarve in its entirety and travel through the many characteristic cities, towns and villages of the region. If you have not booked your holiday home in the Algarve yet, talk to us. We have several options in our portfolio.