Five Things to Do on a Holiday in the Algarve

Even though travelling is complicated during the pandemic, most people long to go on holiday now more than ever. The dreary weather and the pandemic restricting people to their homes led to climbing numbers of holidays booked.

The travel industry has figured out how to help people travel safely in these times and is on an upswing after the initial border closures.  Portugal is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. It is warm, has many beautiful beaches, and clear turquoise water.

The Algarve is the southernmost part of continental Portugal. While Lisbon creates the biggest tourism revenue, the Algarve is overall the biggest and therefore most important tourist region in Portugal.

The population in the Algarve triples in peak holiday seasons, meaning the area is not only popular but also well-equipped to handle tourists. There are countless beautiful rentals and lettings in the Algarve and many fun activities for seasonal residents and holidaymakers.

Here are the must do things in Algarve:

1. Coastal Hike Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is a famous hiking trail along the Algarve coast. It reaches from the beach Praia da Marinha along the coastal strip to the Praia de Vale Centeanes.

The trail leads along the jagged coastline with its ravines, arches, coves, and islets, through lush Mediterranean vegetation, pine forest groves, bare, rocky landscapes, and more.

These visually stunning landscapes are part of a 6 km hike and will becrossed in just about 3 hours.

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2. A Night out on the Albufeira Strip

When you are talking about the nightlife in the Algarve, Albufeira’s name will be dropped. The city is a hotspot for nightlife activities, and its strip is famous for its plethora of clubs and bars and the neon signs that advertise them.

The culture on the strip actively promotes this rowdy nightlife and favours heavy drinking. Three famous club names are “Lounge Club”, “Kiss” and Portugal’s best-known club “Kadoc”, though the last is located several miles outside of town.

3. The Bone Chapel in Faro

The Capela dos Ossos is the highlight of any trip to Faros. The little chapel is part of the 18th-century church Nossa Senhora do Carmo. You can take the name, Chapel of Bones, quite literally. The 4 by 6 meter sized chapel was built with the bones of more than 1000 Carmelite friars and at least 1245 skulls. The bones visibly make up the walls, ceiling, and decorative elements.

These so-called ossuary chapels were often used in medieval times when the space on cemeteries became spare. Using the remains to build chapels created a space of worship and saved space – similar to the famous Paris catacombs.

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4. Dolphin Watching

Offers like the Albufeira Benagil-Caves and Dolphin Watching Speedboat-Tour combine exploring the beautiful cliffs and caves, bathing stops on beautiful beaches, and visiting spots where dolphins and other aquatic wildlife are likely to pop up.

5. The Cemitério das ncoras

When you walk along the Praia do Barril on the Ilha de Tavira, you will come across an unusual sight. The beach itself was awarded a Blue Flag, meaning it has clean water, is lifeguard patrolled, and has plenty of facilities. Since it is about 4 to 5 km from the next town, the beach is usually a bit quieter and wilder than other beaches in the Algarve. But all of that isn’t what makes it special.

A stretch of the dunes is decorated with hundreds of rusting anchors, giving it a slightly gloomy look. They are a memorial to the tuna fishing industry that used to be a major part of the Algarve’s economy. The fishers used these kinds of anchors to weigh down the large tuna fishing nets.

However, due to overfishing and the efficiency of industrial fishing, the stock of blue fin tuna in the area declined and the fishermen’s traditional methods lost their value. The fishermen and the rest of the industry who relied on the fish disappeared soon after.

Now, the anchors are a reminder of these lost fishing traditions, the vanished fishing community, and the declining tuna population. The 203 Anchors were placed in 1964 when the fishermen in the area had to leave or quit their job.

A holiday in Portugal must not be reduced to Lisbon. The Algarve is the second most popular holiday destination in the country. The southernmost region of continental Portugal has warm weather, beautiful beaches, and high-quality accommodations. If you wish to book a holiday in the Algarve, there are plenty of activities to choose from.

This list of 5 To-Do’s is just a small selection of many interesting possibilities. Watching dolphins, the morbid bone chapel, and Barril’s anchor cemetery will certainly offer great photo opportunities and stories for your loved ones at home.

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