What to see & discover

My favorite: Praia dos Tres Irmaos/ Praia da Prainha

My absolute favorite beach in the Algarve was Praia dos Tres Irmaos or Praia da Prainha. The two beaches are adjacent to each other. Although they are not unknown, it was still nice and empty in the morning. Only a small group was doing some sport on the beach and here and there a couple strolled past us.

To get to the beautiful part of the beach, you have to park your car at the Praia de Alvor parking lot. Then walk to the left (looking out to sea), always straight ahead, until you come to rocks. Walk through the rocks until you can see the beautiful view from Praia dos Tres Irmaos to the rocks of Praia da Prainha. We found a spot for ourselves where we enjoyed our breakfast.

Probably the most famous cave: Algar de Benagil

If there's one famous cave in the Algarve, it's the Algar de Benagil! That's why tourists flock here. To avoid the crowds, you should get to the cave early. We were therefore at Praia de Benagil at 9 a.m. on time for the opening of the kayak rentals. On the way to the beach, several promoters were already advertising their offers. We compared the offers and in the end decided to hire a two-person kayak for 1 1/2 hours for €30.

The tour itself was extremely worthwhile. First we paddled to the (still deserted) Benagil cave. We then paddled towards Praia da Marinha and explored smaller caves along the way. We particularly liked one of them, so we took a short break there.

One of the most beautiful beaches: Praia da Marinha

One of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve is Praia da Marinha. The beach is best known for its rock formations, which form a heart when viewed from above, depending on the angle. After parking, we also enjoyed the impressive view of the beach.

We then made our way down the steps to the beach. It was relatively empty, considering how famous it is. However, this could also be because the main season in the Algarve had not yet started. Otherwise, there are other beaches nearby to avoid.

The beach itself, like the view from above, is very beautiful and the water was crystal clear. The perfect place to relax!

Something to marvel at: Ponta da Piedade

3 km south of Lagos lies the Ponta da Piedade, one of the most famous and beautiful rock formations in the Algarve. You can discover it not only by simply looking down from above, but you should also explore the Ponta da Piedade via its steps and hiking trails. Because a new beautiful view awaits you at every turn!

You can also take boat and kayak tours to and from Ponta da Piedade. Here too, however, you should arrive early to avoid the crowds of tourists.

Go on a hike: Algar Seco

Still haven't had enough of all the rocks? Then set off on a short hike to the Algar Seco rocks. This starts at Praia do Carvoeiro. On the way along the Carvoeiro hiking trail, you will be accompanied by great views of the rocky coast and the sea. Once you arrive at Algar Seco, you can climb along and explore the rock formation. If you still haven't had enough of hiking after that, you can simply continue walking along the coast!

Southwesternmost point of the European mainland: Cabo de São Vicente

Cabo de São Vicente is the most south-westerly point of the European mainland, which is precisely why it is so well known. However, it would not do justice to the beautiful landscape of the cape to reduce it to its location alone. If you have the time, you can take a short hike and discover the beautiful coastline.

However, the reason why tourists tend to come here is the “last bratwurst before America”. Germans have set up their own bratwurst stand on the Cape and give you a certificate every time you buy a bratwurst to prove that you have been to Cabo de São Vicente and eaten a bratwurst where there is only the sea between Europe and America.

A little childhood memory: Ponte da Quinta do Lago

Bene used to go to the Algarve with his family a few times - to Quinta do Lago. Because he had such fond memories of these vacations, he wanted to make a stop here too. No sooner said than done.

Quinta do Lago presents a completely different picture of the Algarve! Instead of orange-colored rocks, you will find white sandy beaches, many golf courses and a lagoon. The Ria Formosa Nature Park is one of the largest lagoon protected areas in Europe and one of Portugal's 7 natural wonders! An excursion here - and through the nature park - should not be missed on an Algarve vacation. You can take a boat tour for this. However, we opted for a short walk, walking to the Ponte da Quinta do Lago and admiring the lagoon along the way.

Stroll through one of the cute towns

If you've seen enough rocks and need a change of scenery, then simply head to one of the Algarve's cute towns. Stroll through Faro, Albufeira or Lagos and pop into a boutique or small shop here and there to buy souvenirs and keepsakes. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a snack in a café or restaurant.

Buy typical, beautiful ceramics

In addition to its excellent textile industry, Portugal is particularly known for its ceramics. While you can usually only buy these very expensively in Germany, you can get them at fair prices in Portugal. A good address for ceramics is Ceramica Paraiso in Sagres. You can reach the store by car and park in the large parking lot.

Other beautiful beaches

There are numerous beaches in the Algarve and all of them are beautiful. So you can't go far wrong. With perhaps one exception. The Estudantes beach has a beautiful backdrop, as two rocks are connected by a stone bridge. However, it was very crowded, dirty and smelly when we were there.

If you want to play it safe, I recommend the following beaches: Praia de São Rafae, Praia Nova, Praia de Albandeira, Praia do Camilo and Praia de Vale Figueira.

I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.