The Algarve in Southern Portugal - Walks, Sightseeing, Beach Guides and Photos.

Beautiful rock formations along The Algarve coast The Algarve has a fantastic and beautiful coastline with high cliffs, colourful rock formations as well as the "algarves" themselves and once you get a little away from the main holiday accommodation/hotel areas there are plenty of nice little beaches and coves to discover and enjoy whilst staying there on holiday. The Algarve is just a few hours flying time from England and with the mild weather you can normally expect at the bottom edge of this part of Europe, Portugal's Algarve is a good all round place for some holiday sunshine even in the Autumn and Winter.
These mild Algarve weather conditions are of course why so many people travel out to The Algarve to play golf (there are plenty of really picturesque golf courses right along the southern coastline). The Algarve beaches along the south coast are really nice to go on and extremely beautiful in places with their colourful cliffs and rock formations - particularly the beaches either side of Albufeira but they do tend to be quite busy. However for really magnificent Algarve beaches with far less people around you need to take a trip out to the Algarve's Western Atlantic Coast. Out on this coast some of the beaches occupy really huge coves but there are also plenty of smaller beaches too which are nestled in amongst the higher cliff areas. If you are a naturist and enjoy swimming and sunbathing and/or you are not too keen on crowded and organised beaches this is the area in Portugal to go too.
This South Atlantic coastline is really nice on the sea edge with spectacular beaches and lovely cliffs and there are some really nice walks to be done along the cliff edges but you have to always try and ignore the appalling amount of buildings which are often visible nearbye. Places like Portimao are terrible - the way the developers have been allowed to build their hideous hotel scrapers etc. right around the estuary and beaches is a shame. We spent some time looking around the Western Atlantic side of the Algarve - on maps this area is shown as the Parque Natural. There are some truly lovely beaches along this part of the coast - varying from huge bays down to much smaller coves. Therefore around here you can easily have your own -private- beach and enjoy a little naturist sunbathing and swimming if you so wish.
Albufeira Beaches in The Algarve The Algarve - Praia Grande beach Beautiful Algarve Coastline and Cliffs Algarve's Ponta da Piedade
Amazingly though even around what you might think is a protected "natural" area the building has started - with several small coastal villages having a nice 4 deep row of so-called "villas" around their perimeters - oh well.
However if you take a trip inland into the hills and countryside then things are very different - with small villages scattered amongst the rolling hills - quiet roads and lots of tracks and paths to walk along and enjoy.
Our various Walks are described via menus which you can find on our Algarve Walks and Photos topic.
Casas Baixas area of The AlgarveRestaurants. There are plenty of restaurants around the Square in the Old Town at Albufeira with menus offering a fairly wide choice of food varying from Pasta and Pizza to so-called Indian Curries to fish and steak orientated establishments. Generally the service is excellent and the amount of food actually on the plates quite enormous but the food can be rather bland - i.e. just not have any real go to it tastewise. The Indian restaurants near the Square seem to have no ambience and a distinct lack of the strong spicy smell of this type of food which you would normally expect. We did have a chicken curry and although described on the menu as hot and full of spice you could happily have given it to a 5 year old to eat - so lacking in any "Go". The house wines are also pretty poor but the bottled wines are considerably better and drinkable.
Transport. There was a local bus service running but we did not have need to use it - these local buses would take you to the outskirts of the town where they connect with longer distance buses which connect the main towns along the coast. Car Hire establishments are quite easy to find but it's really worth getting several quotes as prices vary enourmously - be carefull about exactly what the insurance covers or does not cover too!. Taxis are plentiful - as is normal with taxi drivers it seems, the driving can be quite manic at times.
Algarve's Roads. The roads we found to be pretty quiet even around the towns - there is a dual carriageway road which runs the length of the coastline and means you can get from A to B quite quickly. However the smaller roads have one fabulous distinction - often they are not signposted to anywhere or if they are then the signs are only visible once you actually get onto the required road. The maps are not that brilliant and helpful in some areas and it is easy to go off the wrong way - however generally the roads are very quiet which helps - it all adds to the fun. They do have a nice speed reduction system - instead of the incessant money grabbing speed cameras we suffer from in England, their system checks your speed in a restricted area and if you are going too fast the next set of lights a few hundred metres down the road will go red and stop you.
As mentioned getting around is pretty straightforward if you hire a car - the Southern Coastal main road ends up by the Spanish Border at one end - here you might like to visit the Castro Marim Wildlife Saltpans area - loads of birds like storks, herons and flamingos reside there. The saltpans themselves are still being worked so are very active and you can watch the salt being gathered by what looks like quite peculiar looking scrapers and diggers etc.
We enjoy walking whilst on holiday and The Algarve certainly does offer plenty of opportunities for this - not only on the Algarves Western and Southern coasts but perhaps even better are the walks available when you travel further inland. We have a whole series of Algarve Walks and Photos which you may care to take a look at - menus to these topics are below. These pages are packed with photographs from around The Algarve so even if you are not too interested in walking and hiking the pages do show various locations all round the Province which you might find of interest to visit perhaps on a driving tour whilst on holiday in Southern Portugal.
Also please see our Canary Islands and Algarve Walks Beaches and Holidays Home Page for all items on our site i.e. topics about holidays and walks on several Canary Islands.
Of further interest may be our other websites which cover touring, holiday guides, sightseeing and in some cases walks for The Greek Islands, Cyprus, India, England, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. Please find these via our Site Resources item.
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