10 things to do in the Algarve
Going for walks, water sports, motor sports, wine tasting and birdwatching . .. there's lots to see and do in the Algarve !! We have 10 suggestions for must-do activities !!
You can enjoy some of these activities through partner stores of the PortoBay Prestige Club. With the Prestige card, you can get discounts at the stores shown, together with advantages at hotels.
1. Algarve International Racetrack
Inaugurated in 2008 in Mexilhoeira Grande, Portimão, this innovative project was designed to provide various services within the motorsport industry, from races and competitions to test drives and product launches. Having quickly gained international recognition, the autodrome also features a karting circuit, an off-road park, a racing school and accommodation.
Put on comfortable boots, get your backpack ready and pack your camera. Walking and nature tourism are huge draws for both residents and visitors. There are plenty of walking groups, as well as routes that encourage you to discover unique sceneries. The ‘Via Algarviana’ (the Algarve Way) is the most comprehensive walking route, offering 300km of itineraries just waiting to be explored.
With a huge variety of landscapes and terrains, from straight roads to steep hills, cycling tourism has become more and more popular across the region, challenging professionals as well as amateurs. Hire a bicycle and set off to explore paths among fascinating sceneries. The Ecovia do Litoral, for example, suggests bike routes that allow you to cycle practically the length of the Algarve coast, a stretch of around 214km.
Enjoy the wonders of the underwater world in the Algarve, which offers good diving conditions whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner. Here you can dive among various species of fish, corals, walls, caves, ruins, shipwrecks and even a plane wreck. Countless companies offer everything you need to dive anywhere off the Algarve coast.
In the Algarve, tradition is still what it used to be. Locals still prefer buying fish, meat, fruit, vegetables and other traditional products with the quality and freshness that the markets offer. The most famous and most popular is still the market in Olhão, especially on Saturday mornings !! No less interesting are the markets in Loulé, Quarteira, Lagos and Santa Luzia (Tavira).
Birdwatching is considered by many to be the best way to enjoy the outdoors and be one with nature. Of the 10,000 or so species of bird in existence worldwide, 300 are regularly seen in the Algarve throughout the year. The Birdwatching Festival takes place annually in Sagres and it’s a great opportunity to see these birds on their migrating routes.
Skydiving is an experience of a lifetime, and in the Algarve, it is even more memorable thanks to the spectacular bird’s eye view over the sea. If you want to feel a mix of emotion, freedom and adrenaline, the Portimão aerodrome in Alvor offers several companies with whom you can do the jump and safely enjoy this unforgettable experience.
With more than 800km of coastline, a mild climate and regular waves all year round, you don’t have to travel far to find the perfect surf spot. The southwestern coast of Portugal – the socalled barlavento – is a surfer’s paradise. Hire the equipment from one of the many surf schools or book a lesson if you’re just getting started in the sport.
9. Wine tasting
Who would have thought that the Algarve today would be taken seriously as a wine region? But the fact is that our countryside offers some of the better terroir for the production of quality wine in Portugal, and over recent years this potential has been harnessed by a new breed of innovative and skilful wine producers. There are now over 30 wineries in the Algarve, many of which are open for visits and tastings, such as Quinta dos Vales in Estômbar where winemaking is combined with the art of sculpture.
Without a doubt the most famous theme park in the Algarve, Zoomarine covers more than 18 hectares in Guia, Albufeira. Here, visitors can swim with dolphins, watch the shows featuring seals, sea-lions, tropical birds and birds of prey or see the sharks, among many other inhabitants. It’s the perfect family destination with rides, swimming pools, entertainment and environmental awareness programmes.
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