Where to visit in
Be holiday ready...
Update May 7: Portugal is currently closed to visitors, but has long declared its intention to open to UK holidaymakers with either a test or a vaccine as soon as our government reauthorises holidays. Portugal is on the UK's green list.
Negative PCR no more than 72 hours before arrival
When you're there:
Much like the UK, Portugal has graudally eased its winter lockdown and from May 3 most restrictions will be lifted. 6 people will be able to eat together indoors or 10 outdoors on a terrace, and most other facilities will be open as normal. For more details see the Portuguese government's end of lockdown plan.
Traffic light status:
The whole of Portugal is on the UK's green list
The Algarve is Portugal's sunny southern region - wether you go off the beaten track and spend time on the stunning Atlantic beaches, quiet villages, nature reserves; or hit the water parks and resorts of the centre, there's something for everyone. Not only that, it once again made it onto the Post Office's Holiday Cost Barometer as one of the cheapest destinations to visit.
Silves was once the ancient captial of this region and it has a rich history - some of this can still be seen today such as Castelo de Silves which was a Moorish stronghold when they ruled over Algarve.
Most people visit Silves as a day trip, and you can certainly see most of the sights in a day. However if you're looking to escape the crowds at the resorsts, and also save a bit of money, then it's a great choice for your holiday base.
If you like to escape the crowds and explore the great outdoors then Sagres is the location for you. Sagres is a great location if you're a fan of surfing as the swell rolls in off the Atlantic Ocean, there's also more sheltered areas if you are less advanced.
If you fancy a more relaxed holiday, then there's 4 amazing beaches in distance of the town: Praia do Tonel, Praia da Baleeira, Praia do Martinhal and Praia de Mareta.They all offer something slightly different, whether you like sandy beaches, coastal harbours or watching large waves roll in.
The main tourist attraction (really it's the only one) is Fortaleza de Sagres - there's a cliffside walk, lighthouse and a wind compass. Just outside of the town make sure to visit Cabo de São Vicente - the natural most westerly point of mainland Europe. Once thought to be the end of the world!
Though the Algarve is known for it's beaches and resorts, if that's not really your scene then head inland to Monchique. Monchique itself is a small market town set amongst the forest - though there isn't much to do that's really the charm of it. Stroll the streets, visit the ruined Nossa Senhora do Desterro which was destroyed in an earthquare in 1755 and then after all that relax in the thermal spas.
Make sure to head to Caldas de Monchique, this thermal spa is just outside the town and the water is famous for its healing properties. Plus if you want a luxury holiday (I mean we all need one after this year!) there's the Monchique Resort & Spa with its saunas, steam rooms and aromatherapy treatments.
Tavira is one of our favourite locations for an Algarve holiday - here you'll find a mix of the historic heritages that formed thi area. From traditional Portugese to it's Moorish influences.
It's close to the beach, which is top of many tourists lists for a holiday destination, but it has more charm then the bigger resorts. The beaches here are beautiful and sandy, and you can even find an Anchor Cemetery here!
The Gilao River runds through the centre of the town and then forms mudflats at the Ria Formosa Nature Park - which is an excellent spot for birdwatching and enjoing nature.
Plus make sure you take a boat trip out to Tavira Island and sample some of the local octopus dishes - this is one of the best places in the world for fresh octopus.
If you're looking for the classic Algarve charm, but want somewhere between remote and resort then Lagos is an excellent choice. It has all the facilites you'd want, but doesn't have the same mass tourism as other destinations.
In the town you'll find ancient Moorish walls, a 17th centry fort, a harbour and Baroque churches. Beyond the town there's plenty of beaches to chose from, including the longest sandy beach in the Algarve, Meia Praia. When you get bored of relaxing on the beach there's sea grottos, caves and arches to explore.
Looking for more inspiration, information or a handy travel guide? You'll find more on our travel hub.
At Holiday Extras we're all about hassle-free travel - so we've read all the documents and done all the research so you don't have to.
Mon May 10 2021 15:04
In our guide to Covid testing for travel find out everything from current Covid testing requirements for your holiday to Covid-19 test procedures.
Mon May 10 2021 14:44