Best time to visit the Algarve

Best time to visit Algarve


Temperature & rainfall

July and August can be a bit of a nightmare what with the heat and the crowds but if you’re based at a country farmhouse, complete with pool and shaded woodland, then long, hot summer days are yours to treasure. April -June is the best time to visit the Algarve if you’re planning on walking or cycling, whilst September and October still find temperatures at 18-20°C. Finally, Sagres is the last strategic point for birds migrating to Africa and the festival in early October lets twitchers wave bon voyage to feathered friends disappearing into blue skies over the Atlantic.

Things to do in the Algarve


WHAT TO DO IN THE ALGARVE & WHAT NOT TO

Things to do in
the Algarve…


Stay cool. Accommodation in the Algarve is way cooler than you might think with eco retreats, organic farms and restored rural cottages creating an authentic experience not all that far from Faro. Loule, Tavira and Odeceixe all make superb locations to get out and discover secret beaches or stay put and make the most of swimming pools and sun speckled olive and carbob groves, alongside all that lovely peace and quiet.
They say a game of golf is a good walk spoiled which is why ditching the clubs in favour of sun hat and satchel is much more advisable, especially if you’re hoping to explore the Algarve on foot. The Rota Vicentina, Fishermen’s Trail and Serra de Monchique, the wooded mountains that divide the Algarve from Alentejo, are all ideal for hikers with many routes leading from one inland or coastal village to the next with no more than 15km – 25kms in between.
The amount of tarmac roads and variety of landscapes in the Algarve is surprising and it's also very easy to avoid the main roads if you're planning on cycling in the area. The countryside is dotted with tiny cafes and affordable restaurants that do much of their main trade over lunch which means that cyclists rarely need to take anything other than plenty of water and perhaps a towel, if cycling to the beach.

Things not to do in
the Algarve…


Visit Albufeira for the culture. Even though Albufeira is billed as a Moorish influenced fishing village there’s no getting away from the Irish bars, open air discos and nightclubs along ‘the Strip’ and the Old Town which swell the population from 40,000 to 300,000 every July and August. Aside from the buzzing neon and dancing till dawn, Albufeira also has a fully operational bull ring and if you ever hear this coined as a cultural attraction please call it out as 'absolute bull'.
Ignore the flags at the beach. Many of the beaches on the southwest coast of the Algarve are practically deserted outside of the summer months and you can stroll for hours with no one else around other than seagulls, surfers and the occasional fisherman. Lifeguards are also rarely spotted outside of July and August and you’re risking your life if you decide to ignore signs and swim where there might be fierce tidal rips and strong currents, especially where rivers enter the ocean.
Rule out Alentejo. There’s much to be said for combining the Algarve with the adjacent region of Alentejo and if you’re planning on walking or cycling the 110km Rota Vicentina you’ll discover numerous white walled towns and villages offering authentic accommodation on both sides of the border. From thundering Atlantic high rollers to lone cork trees atop sun singed hill sides, if you’re hoping to explore a little further, Alentejo will undoubtedly expand horizons.
Hello.
If you'd like to chat about the Algarve or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

Algarve travel advice


TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN ALGARVE

Cycling &
walking
tips


Ricardo, the manager our Algarve supplier Aventuractiva, shares his tips for exploring the Algarve on two wheels – or two feet: “You can easily cycle the 12 sections of the Rota Vicentina in six days and discover some incredibly diverse landscapes where natural inland lagoons, salt water rivers and hillsides combine with single dirt tracks and fantastic views over the coast. The Fishermen’s Trail is a complement of the Historic Way and runs along the coastline, close to the cliffs and over sand dunes and other protected areas, so not suitable for cyclists but great for walkers.”
Bert Smeman, owner of our supplier Cycling Holidays Portugal: “There's a fantastic six day cycling holiday ‘Terra de Caldas’, starting in Loule, going inland to Alte and Silves, then to the stunningly beautiful west coast at Carrapateira before finishing on the south coast.”

Fishing advice


Ricardo, from our supplier Aventuractiva: “Boats or line fishing is all that’s allowed in the Algarve and to get a licence for a day, week or longer you can just go to an ATM and type in your details, it’s very easy.”

Eating out


Inge from our supplier Quinta Alfarrobeira recommends a few of her favourite local restaurants: “In Odiaxere there is restaurant called Aquario that does a wonderful seafood rice (arroz do marisco), then there are several restaurants in Lagos like Sao Roque (on the beach), Alcaide (just outside central Lagos) or Bar Lota (in the harbour), all of which I'd recommend.”

The other side of the Algarve


Bert Smeman, owner of our supplier Cycling Holidays Portugal: “There are still quite a lot of people that have the wrong impression of the Algarve and my one wish would be to have the idea that the Algarve is just beaches – dismantled. As soon as you arrive in the Algarve you’ll recognise the distinctly fresh smell and heading inland during spring combines the scent of orange blossom with the clean air. I still get this sensation every time I return even though I’ve lived here for almost 20 years.”

Algarve travel advice


TIPS FROM OUR TRAVELLERS

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Algarve travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday - and the space inside your suitcase.

“In March, be prepared for weather to be unpredictable. Bring a fairly heavy rain poncho and a warm hat that covers the ears - it can also get windy at the coast – or come in April when the sun is more common.” Kathy House
“Explore the local villages in the hills especially Alte which is very pretty and has amazing views. Eat at small places where the locals are - food is cheap and delicious – the 6 euro plate of the day for lunch was always fantastic value.” Anne Flemming
“The coast of the Western Algarve is absolutely beautiful and the self guided walks we had meant that we got the chance to see a lot of it - the beach at Odeceixe has to be one of the most beautiful we've ever seen, and the whole of the Parque Nacional is really worth a visit.” Pam Barmby on a self guided walking holiday
“Definitely need a car to explore the region. Wonderful crashing surf beaches on the west coast with the finest sand underfoot at Praia do Amado. Best places to eat wonderful seafood, check out little restaurants tucked away from the harbourside in Ferragudo.” Sara Hellberg
Photo credits: [Ponta da Piedade: Graeme Maclean] [Cycling in the Algarve: águahotels] [Fishing in the Algarve: Roberto.Jorge] [Spring in the Algarve: Nick Robinson] [Algarve cliffs: muffinn] [Algarve at night: A_Peach]
Cycling holiday in Portugal, self guided

Cycling holiday in Portugal, self guided

A leisurely cycling holiday in the Algarve

From €539 7 Days ex flights
Alentejo & Algarve self guided walking holiday, Portugal

Alentejo & Algarve self guided walking holiday, Portugal

Independent coastal walking holidays in the Alentejo Coast

From €420 8 Days ex flights
Portugal cycling holidays, self guided

Portugal cycling holidays, self guided

Tranquility cycling holidays

From €549 8 days ex flights
Algarve holiday accommodation

Algarve holiday accommodation

Enchanting manor in a 6 hectare rural estate close to beach

From €45 per accommodation per night
Portugal yoga holiday, Iyengar retreat

Portugal yoga holiday, Iyengar retreat

Wonderful healing Iyengar yoga retreats Algarve, Portugal

From €600 7 Days ex flights
Algarve self catering eco retreat, Portugal

Algarve self catering eco retreat, Portugal

Great eco accommodation in an ecoreserve close to the beach

From €65 per accommodation per night (sleeps 2)
Algarve self guided walking holiday, Portugal

Algarve self guided walking holiday, Portugal

Varied walking in totally unspoilt scenery; luxury Pousada.

From £488 8 Days ex flights
Algarve sea kayaking in Portugal

Algarve sea kayaking in Portugal

Kayaking holiday in the Portuguese Algarve

From €550 5 Days ex flights
Mini yoga breaks in Algave, Portugal

Mini yoga breaks in Algave, Portugal

Short Yoga Breaks in Stunning Algarve with Amazing Teacher

From €600 5 Days ex flights
Convert currencies