When we went to Lisbon for the first time two years ago, we totally fell in love with Portugal and made the promise to visit others parts in this country down the line. Back in June, we decided to visit Algarve, the southernmost region of continental Portugal.
Algarve is very famous for its impressive cliffs and its marvelous beaches such as Praia da Marinha which has been ranked one of the best beaches in Europe. Thanks to its breathtaking landscape, Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal.
To explore what the region has best to offer, a number of operator tours propose activities and packages to admire the must-see places. For example, Carvoeiro Caves agency invites you to sail from Carvoeiro to the famous Benagil cave going through breathtaking Praia da Marinha. After the tour, we recommend you to try A Marisqueira restaurant specialized in sea food and grilled dishes located about 500m up the main road east of Carvoeiro beach.
We chose Islands 4 You which is a new company offering boat tours in the Ria Formosa Natural Park and its incredible islands to visit the area. During the boat tour, we sail around secluded beautiful islands and stopped at Deserta, Farol, Culatra, and Armona.
Once the anchor dropped, we had a time window to visit the villages or take a swim in the crystal clear water. Each island has restaurants and bars offering local and international cuisine. In Armona, we went to Tolinhas restaurant specialized in sea food. Everything was so fresh and delicious that we forgot to watch the clock and were about to miss the boat departure (this is what happens when you are a foodie!)…
During the tour, we learned that the Ria Formosa Natural Park is the most important wildlife sanctuary in the Algarve and plays a considerable role in the conservation of the flora and fauna. With over 170 km², the park is a stopping place for different birds during the spring and autumn migratory periods. If you are a nature lover, you will definitely enjoy yourself there!
The capital of the region is Faro which is best known for its cultural, artistic, and night life. The best way to visit the city is by foot while admiring the paved street and discover hidden beauties. In order to go back in time, walk around the charming well-preserved Old Town and visit the Cathedral of Faro (Sé de Faro in Portuguese).
Moreover, don’t miss the Municipal Museum of Faro where the archaeological collection is the most significant, with artifacts from pre-historical, roman, and medieval periods. Among the famous objects, you will find the busts of Emperor Hadrian and Agrippina the Younger.
To make the best of our stay, we opted for a central location in Faro and used hotels.com to book a room at Hotel Eva for one night. We loved the warm welcome from the hotel staff, the great amenities, and the brand new rooftop. As luck would have it, the night we stayed happened to be the rooftop opening night and we were invited to join the festivities. Moreover, we were delighted to have this incredible ocean view from our room.
At the departure from Paris Orly airport, a lot of airline companies offer regular flights to Portugal which will allow you to discover the Algarve region, even just for a weekend. Low cost companies such as Transavia invite you to explore Portugal at a fair price! From Montreal Dorval airport, you will have at least one connecting flight on your route and will be able to find competitive prices on skyscanner, cheapoair, or priceline for example. So, what are you waiting for?