Algarve Town Tours: Discovering the traditional hidden gems
The Algarve boasts some of the most beautiful, rural and traditional towns in the whole world. Slightly off the beaten track, some of the must-see places are definitely hidden gems. While many of the SandyBlue villas are located in the more lively spots, it doesn't mean you cannot set off for a day trip to remember.
We wanted to put on our tour guide hats and give you some ideas on where to explore. We will take you to some of the most beautiful towns in the Algarve, so get ready to start adding them to your holiday itinerary.
Towns to explore in the Algarve
There is something for everyone in the Algarve. The natural beauty has to be seen to be believed. So, if you have room on your to-do list, we recommend checking these places out!
The town depicted in the image of this guide, Ferragudo sits at the Arade River’s mouth, bordered by cliffs and beaches. A traditional fishing village, it's almost as if you are stepping into the past thanks to the traditional charm at every turn. The cobbled streets make for the perfect Instagram shot, while Praça Rainha Dona Leonor offers restaurants and bars with a great atmosphere.
The cliff-top forts are also a highlight. The ancient Fort of São João de Arade is a standout - the terracotta castle is built into the rock just above the shoreline, providing an astonishing exterior you won't forget in a hurry.
An authentic Portuguese market town and a popular choice for a day trip. With plenty of historical highlights, you can walk around for hours admiring your surroundings. There is a grand fortress offering a birds-eye view, while the famous Igreja de São Lourenço de Almancil is definitely worth a visit.
On a hill along the coast, Loulé also offers a unique landscape. With beaches and grasslands aplenty, it's a great spot for nature walks.
The former capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve, the historical importance of Silves makes it a great place of interest. Complimented by the golden sands of Praia de Armação de Pêra and Praia Grande de Pêra, the beauty of the Algarve is evident here. In mid-August, you can also enjoy the annual Silves Medieval Fair.
Be sure to check out Castelo de Silves, one of the most impressive castles in southern Portugal. If you have a car, you are also a short drive away from Slide & Splash. So, the activities here are varied and exciting!
A truly charming town, situated in the eastern Algarve close to the Spanish border. As a seaside haven, it does see lots of tourist interest yet maintains its traditional charm. Admire the buildings of the Praça da República or venture to Tavira Castle to explore.
For more historical artefacts, walk along the River Gilão to discover the 12th-century bridge called Ponte Antiga Sobre o Rio Gilão.
The jaw-dropping cliffs of Sagres are a natural wonder. The area is full of natural energy, offering an ideal surf spot for keen surfers out there. The Sagres Fortress, built to protect Portugal against the Moors, can be found at the far southern tip of Sagres.
The Cabo de São Vicente Lighthouse is another mainstay in the town. Restored in the 1900's, you can learn more at the museum and visitor center. Another great activity is to rent some kayaks and explore the coast in the best way possible!
The capital city of the Algarve! With a real Portuguese vibe, delicious food and sunny beaches, there is plenty to do. Surrounded by medieval walls, the cobbled streets of Old Town are a highlight. You will find museums, cathedrals, cafes and much more.
The Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo has to be seen to be believed. Reconstructed following an earthquake in 1755, it still retains its wonder. In particular, the famous bone chapel should be on your list to see. While it may be considered macabre by some, there is no doubting the awe and wonder it brings.
Situated on the Ria Formosa lagoon, the less touristy Olhão still offers a great day out. With quieter surroundings, you can enjoy the Natural Park that stretches 60 km up the coast, where you can observe flamingos, storks and osprey.
The lively main avenue, Avenida da Republica, is full of charm. The city museum is not far from here, while nature trails will take you to more tourist attractions that are at the edge of the island.
Explore the Algarve with SandyBlue!
If you want a destination full of culture, history and beauty, there is no better place. Our portfolio of villas and apartments are the perfect base during your stay - relaxation is guaranteed after a busy day of exploring the hidden gems of the Algarve.