10 Most Amazing Destinations in Southern Portugal

Martina Rosado
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Map of Southern Portugal

Alvor

Alvor Beach is a beautiful and secluded beach located in the Algarve. This beach offers fine white sand and is part of the best resorts in the Algarve.

Despite its secluded location, this famous beach offers a great choice of water activities, such as surfing, kite surfing, diving, windsurfing, sailing and water polo.

As a result of its diversity, Alvor has some of the best hotels and restaurants in the Algarve, offering great views of wooded hills, protected natural beaches and crystal clear waters.

Alvor has been issued with a Blue Flag, signifying that the beach meets high environmental standards.

The Blue Flag is a non-governmental organisation, run by a network of volunteers, for the seaside environment framework in Europe. The organisation’s aim is to improve the quality of seaside life, mainly by promoting the protection of seashores.

The Blue Flag Awards were created in 1987.

The marking is awarded to beaches according to the Tidy Beaches Programme, which is sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The criteria for these awards are quite strict, so it is with a big smile that you can come across Alvor Beach.

Faro

Faro, Algarve, Portugal: The sun sets in the city of Faro, on the Algarve coast. Faro is the capital of the Algarve region on the southern coast of Portugal with its limestone cliffs that rise up to 900 m above sea level. The city is located near the main tourist center of Lagos. In some ways, Faro is similar to most Western European cities with the arts, cuisine, and nightlife that one might expect.

However, it has a few different attributes that make it a unique place. For one, it has a pirate history. It was also a traditional fishing village. The Ria Formosa Nature Reserve is located in the Faro region. The city is the capital of the Algarve region on the southern coast of Portugal with its limestone cliffs that rise up to 900 m above sea level. The city is also known for its museums and its annual carnival celebration, which features shows, parades, and games.

Tavira

Tavira is an unbearably seductive little town in southern Portugal.

It is known for its whitewashed buildings and quiet cobbled streets, not to mention a massive monastery.

You can get a drink after hours in its serene, tiny port, which is an idyllic place to take a breather in the course of a tour of the region.

Odeceixe

Cabo Espichel Natural Park – Third largest natural park in Portugal home to large colonies of birds such as the rarely spotted imperial eagle.

Sagres

Sagres Monastery is situated in the town of Sagres. It was built in the 17th century. The belfry was constructed in the 18th century. The monastery was also used as a lighthouse and had an automatic light. It is typical of Mediterranean monasteries with a large yard surrounded by low buildings, and once served as a hospital.

The monastery is open to the public. Hours: from 09:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:00. It is closed on Monday. Free.

Praia da Rocha

This is a long stretch of golden sand on the western stretch of the Algarve, excellent views across the water to Faro.

There’s a small visitor’s centre with a few cafes, and you can go fishing too.

Nearest Car: Faro 5km

Get a Full View of Picturesque Ruins at the Sancta Catharina Convent

Visit the magnificent 17th century fort at Sao Caetano.

There Are Plenty of Dog Friendly Beaches and This Is a Great Place for Dog Walkers

There is a swimming pool at the Rocha Hotel as well as an amusement park.

Breakfast here!

You Can Take a Water Taxi from Rocha to Cabanas to Go Swimming at Cabanas

There are great views of Faro here.

Silves

A Visited and Almost Visited City

Silves is the most popular place in the world for the Portuguese, and it is no surprise why. With its unique landscape, it appealed to the Portuguese heart in every single visit and yet it remains special for many.

Silves was known as a destination of justice in Roman times and later, much later, became a known city for its power over the Moors.

It started its conquer as it was the gateway to the territory in Southern Portugal. The men of Silves assembled an army to defend the city and managed to drive the Moors away. The city was saved.

After the Muslim domination, the city name becomes Santa Maria de Silves, and it was in it, in the center of its church, that the trophy of the Santa Maria was awarded. At that point, the city started to shine again, bringing prosperity to the city.

After the discovery of America, the city never managed to rebuild its architecture. The city suffered a lot, like many of the city, and when the winds of independence filled Portugal, the city was left aside.

The city was destroyed during one of the earthquakes that shook the country, and then, it was rebuild during the following centuries.

Its location in the south of the country made it hard for the city to grow to a large population, as it had to rely on a very limited amount of water transportation.

Albufeira

Lagos

Portugal.

Lagos (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈlɐ.ʒos], Old Portuguese and Galician pronunciation: [ˈlɐʒo]) is the second-largest city in Portugal, a subregion of the Algarve region, located in the southernmost point of the country, about 103 km (63 mi) west of the African coast.

The town has a population of 279,444 (2004 census), in an area of 327.65 km2 (127 sq mi), with a total metropolitan population of 738,243. Located alongside the busy west coast tourist city of Faro, Lagos is the capital and largest city of the Algarve. The city borders Silves and Monchique.

One of the largest international event centres in Southern Europe, the city is known for its mild climate, top-notch beaches, cities and towns of historic and architectural interest, the Algarve's longest tiled-roofed buildings and architecture, and abundant marine, recreational and cultural activities.

Even more important are the sea-based scenic and cultural attractions of the city, both from within and from the wider region: a historic old town on three hills, beaches and country villages, blue horizons, the lighthouse at Cabo da Roca, and a blue flag beach.

Praia da Marinha

Probably one of the most beautiful locations we’ve ever been to, just half an hour of driving from Ericeira Village.

Praia da Marinha is unmarked, so pay attention to the signs. It’s a very windy route, and the driver gets very irate if you don’t stick exactly to the road.

Take it very easy if you’re traveling in a light car, you’ll love this place inside and out!

Located at the windier side of the lake, this small protected gem is stunning.

There’s a parking area and payment of 1500 (euro) so you only stop for a minute.

The waves and sand is quite coarse, so it’s not a very good beach for sunbathing, but it’s quite simply stunning!

The sand is very fine and the clear water is tinged pink from the surrounding rocks. Very beautiful!

There’s not much shade, but you’re here for a swim anyway, right?