The Algarve is best loved as a sunshine holiday heaven, perfect for long, lingering days on the beach, relaxation by the villa pool, sundowners on the apartment balcony and that salty, sunshine tingle on your skin. On average the Algarve enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year….. leaving about 60 days when the weather may be less that sunshine perfect. Summer rain in the Algarve doesn’t last too long, its usually a quick shower and then normal service is resumed. So, what to do in the Algarve when it does rain? Here are some of our favourite wet weather days out in the Algarve. Have fun!
Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean it’s cold, and if you’re going to get wet anyway…..a visit to a waterpark could be just the thing. You can be pretty sure you won’t have to queue for any of the rides. Aquashow is one of the best parks around and has some serious slides. Want to ride the highest freefall slide in Europe? It’s at Aquashow – and its fun in the rain or sunshine. Open during the summer only.
Walk the beach
Yes, the beach is gorgeous on a sunny day. But there is also an elemental attraction to walking the beach on a stormy day, admiring the white tops rolling in and crashing on the beach. And, as all that sea air is bound to give you an appetite, finish your walk with a drink or meal at a cosy beachside restaurant and watch the clouds blow by. For some dramatic scenery and lots of fresh air, head to Sagres and walk the perimeter of the fort, at the western tip of the Algarve.
Treat yourself to a lazy lunch at a chic eatery, watching the world go by and indulging in some of the great algarvian food that you can find here. Anything seafood is bound to be good – be adventurous and try something you wouldn’t have at home. And of course, wash it all down with some good Portuguese wine. Check out some of our favourite restaurants here.
Visit a winery
The Algarve is gaining a well deserved reputation for producing excellent wines. Still a relatively young industry in this region of Portugal, some of the wines have already won international awards. You can visit most of the wineries in the region. Special mention for Sir Cliff Richard’s winery Adega do Cantor, near Albufeira and the winery and sculpture garden at Quinta dos Vales, near Lagoa. In Almancil town, Feira do vinho is a very good off licence, stocking some excellent wines.
When all else fails you can always go shopping! There are chic brands at Quinta Shopping and at Lewis Andrews Lifestyle store in Almancil. There are several large shopping centres across the Algarve where you can find the usual high street brands and maybe some brands you are not so familiar with. During the summer months, many of the centres have live entertainment in the evenings too. The main shopping centres are Forum Algarve, in Faro; Algarve Shopping at Guia, near Albufeira; Aqua Shopping in Portimão.
A visit to the cinema in the Algarve is definitely one way to deal with a rainy day. Most of the main shopping centres have cinemas (except Aqua Portimão). At Forum Algarve and Algarve Shopping there are multiscreen cinemas and most of the movies are in the original language with sub-titles, except for movies for the very young (movies for under 6 years) which are dubbed. Monday is discount day at cinemas in Portugal!
At Albufeira marina there are two great indoor fun options - Indoor Karting and Ten Pin Bowling. Do one, and you get a discount on the other. Open from mid morning to late during the summer months, both activities are perfect wet weather fun for adults and kids.
Add a little culture to your holiday with a visit to a local art gallery or museum. In Loulé , Art Catto has brought some impressive international names to the Algarve with some fabulous exhibitions, often in partnership with the Conrad Algarve. The inland village of Paderne is home to the Corte Real Gallery and to the remains of a medieval castle, both well worth visiting. In Vilamoura visit the Cerro da Vila museum with the remains of a Roman villa. And visit the old town of Faro. This is an oft-forgotten but very charming town, with a beautiful main square (Largo do Sé), old town walls, a picturesque cathedral (Igreja da Sé) and a bizarre Chapel of Bones (capela dos ossos), where the bones of the long departed are displayed by the alter and decorate the walls.
There are several excellent and luxurious spas in the Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago area for some top notch pampering. Conrad Algarve offers great Aromatherapy Facials, Oxygen Therapy and much more. Vale do Lobo offers great pampering is beautiful surroundings. Opt for wellness treatments, beauty treatments, alone or with friends. As an added bonus, SandyBlue guests have a 5% discount on spa treatments at Vale do Lobo spa!