Insider Tips - Algarve

  • © DuMont Photo Archive / Thomas P. Widmann

Our top insider tips for Algarve:

 

Nestled between cliffs

The picturesque beaches between Alvor and Praia da Rocha have their very own appeal. Praia do Caniço has one of the most gorgeous beach bars in the Algarve. It is built within the cliffs and you get there by taking a lift down to sea level. A fine dining restaurant is located in the storey directly above it too. Open April to Sept | Prainha Holiday Resort | Praia do Vau-Praia dos Tres Irmãos Street | Tel. 2 82 45 85 03 

 

Plunging waterfalls

The Asseca (a small river) meanders its way towards the ocean and Tavira through a series of small waterfalls. The small river flows into several waterfalls with the biggest, the Pego do Inferno, dropping into a basin that is some 20m (65 ft) in diameter. The freshwater pool also makes for a superb picnic spot in the summer.

 

Underwater world

A snorkel along the coast reveals the diversity of the Atlantic’s fauna and flora before your very eyes. Conger eels, moray eels, octopus and colourful abalone are only a fraction of the wealth of species found here. The O Cavalo Marinho scuba diving base is located outside Armação de Pêra. The owner offers qualified training for beginners and at advanced level in accordance with Atec, Padi, CMAS and SSI guidelines. The four day Open Water Course costs 490 euros with an officially recognised scuba diving permit. Tel. 9 66 28 43 84

 

Dolphin and whale watching

In the height of summer tuna fish shoals arrive in the Mediterranean with dolphins in hot pursuit. The dolphins (and killer whales if you're really lucky!) are curious and will often swim towards boats! Dophin watching is available in many places but a great option is Natura based in Olhão. Tel. 9 18 05 66 74 | Trip 45 euros

 

Portugal's 'St James Way'

The new 240 km (150 mile) long ‘Via Algarviana’ hiking trail goes all the way from the border Rio Guadiana in Alcoutim to Cabo São Vicente. It is still relatively undiscovered so you will have the stunning and unspoiled nature of the Algarve countryside virtually all to yourself. 

 

Communing with nature

The 60 km (37 mile) long Ria Formosa lagoon is a tidal water world which forms part of a nature reserve. A boat ride on the ‘Espírito-do-Sol’ is the best way to discover its attractions. Sightseeing tours are offered daily on the Ria Formosa with Portugal’s first entirely solar powered boat. The one-hour round trip costs 12.50 euros per person, the two-hour trip costs 20 euros and the three-hour trip to the lighthouse island Faro costs 30 euros. Tel. 9 10 80 18 01 

 

Gourmet fish dishes

Quatro Águas serves classy and award-winning seafood dishes. Expect the region’s finest wine and friendly service from this reputable restaurant. The desserts are delectable and segredo de figo (secret of the fig) comes highly recommended. By the Quatro Águas ferry harbour | Tel. 2 81 32 53 29 | Moderate–Expensive

 

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