Portugal is the land of grilled sardines, port wine, fado and beautiful beaches. The Algarve is the most southern region of Portugal. It is known mostly as a sun-sea and beach destination. With endless golden yellow beaches with rock formations, clear water and lots of sun. Between the southwest coast at Odeceixe to the eastern side at Vila Real de Santo António are 200 km of beaches, which all are different. The Algarve has a pleasant Mediterranean climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean with approximately 300 days of sunshine per year. The landscape of the Algarve is very various. The Algarve actually has much more to offer than just sun and sea. It is also a perfect hiking destination. In the hills more inland are historic castle towns and whitewashed villages, countryside covered with cork, carob and almond trees and citrus groves. The Algarve is also one of the best golf destinations in the world. We can tell you everything about the Algarve. We do recommend to rent a car during your holiday to make trips and to discover the Algarve in the best possible way.
Silves is perfect as a basecamp to explore the Algarve. With only 15 km. from the coast also very suitable for a beach holiday or a combination of beach and culture. Play golf, walk, enjoy beautiful beaches or experience the rich culture of the Algarve in beautiful surroundings. Those who come back from a trip can relax on the terraces or just be lazy on a lounger by the pool. Quinta das Piteiras is centrally located with a view over the Monchique mountains. But is also very near from Silves with all amenities nearby. Silves has several restaurants, cafes and supermarkets. Going to a restaurant for dinner or order a drink on a terrace is still very affordable here, € 0.80 for a cup of coffee is very common here. Silves has a very varied range of restaurants.
Silves is a historic town, which was originally the ancient capital of the Algarve. Under the Moors (9-12th century). The castle at the top of the hill is a monument to Islamic rule until the 13th century. You can already see the castle when you drive to Silves. The town of Silves is perfect for exploring on foot, the steep narrow streets, the many old buildings, the city gate, and the town hall.
Monchique is both the name of the village and of the surrounding forests. The village of Monchique is one of the highest villages in Portugal located in the mountains of the Algarve. With its natural source it is mainly known as a wellness resort. Monchique is located just below the highest point (Foia) of the Algarve. The village is characterized by streets with small stones that wind up towards the mountain. It is a beautiful village with many 18th and 19th century houses. The drive up through the beautiful nature alone is worth a visit to Monchique. In addition to forests with cork oaks, you will mainly encounter Eucalyptus trees here. The Monchique area is best known for the drink “Medronho”. This liqueur is called fire water and consists of almost 50% alcohol, and is made from the strawberry tree. The highest point of the Algarve, Foia, is not far from from Monchique. From this point you have a phenomenal view of the Algarve and the Ocean. The view is very beautiful. If you prefer not to drive in the mountains, you can also book a jeep safari!
The Algarve is also very suitable for hikers, in the area of Silves you can walk beautifully, in the Serra de Silves, or the area around the Barragem do Arade (the reservoir of Silves). Silves is also located on the “Via Algarviana”. The Via Algarviana is a 300-kilometer walking route between Alcoutim on the Spanish border (east) and Cabo de São Vicente in the west. Highly recommended is the "Percurso de Vale Fuzeiros", a walk in the hill’s of the municipality of Silves, walk through the Neolithic era with various archaeological sights along the way including Menhirs and tombs from the Visigothic period. From Monchique there are also several hikes starting from the highest point through the beautiful surroundings on top of the mountain. Some villages near the coast have the so-called "Boardwalks". At the town of "Alvor" there is a boardwalk behind the beach, you make a walk and you can go back to the beach whenever you want. The Carvoeiro boardwalk is a picturesque cliff top walk that runs from the “Nossa Senhora da Encarnação” fortress to the Algar Seco rock formation. It is a short walk with great views over the beautiful coastline. The 'Seven Hanging Valleys' hiking trail in Lagoa has been voted the best hiking trail in Europe. This walk is spectacular! The route officially runs from Praia da Marinha to Praia da Vale Centeanes, it’s absolutely stunning. The many beaches are also perfect for a lovely beach walk.
Beautiful cities, dinosaurs and the end of Europe
Besides Silves, the city of Lagos is also a nice city to visit. Lagos is one of the older cities of the Algarve. Where Lagos was owned by the Moors in the 13th century, it was reconquered in the same century by Portuguese King Alfons the 2nd. The city flourished completely. Europe's indoor slave market was established there and became the center for exploration in Portugal. The statue of Henry the Navigator can be found in Lagos. The slave market can be found on the right side of Praça do Infante D. Henrique. Nowadays things are more humane and the building is used for exhibitions. The center of Lagos is compact, around the center you will find part of the city walls. From the walls you have a nice view over the city. The buildings in the city are decorated with colorful azulejos (tiles). One of the most famous sights in Lagos is the fortress; the Forte da Ponta da Bandeira. Lagos is also rich in beautiful churches, with the Igreja de Santo António as a highlight. The outside looks a bit simple but inside is a richly decorated gold interior. Near Lagos you will find the Ponta da Piedade, this is a special landscape, with beautiful hiking trails that navigate along steep cliffs. You can also explore the Ponta da Piedade via a boat trip along the cliffs. If you have visited Lagos drive a little further to Praia do Salema, here on a large block of sand-lime stone you will find the footprints of a herbivorous dino that lived and walked here 125 million years ago.
If you drive even further along the west coast, the most southern point in Europe is the Cabo São Vicente. The coast is rough, with hills, rocks, dunes and deserted beaches offer a beautiful spectacle. The fishermen who fish on the high cliffs, which endanger their own lives, are fascinating. A little further is the Fortress of Beliche, another attraction is the 16th century fortress “Fortaleza de Sagres”. An enormously imposing fortress that played a major role in the time of the Portuguese discoveries.
For the kids
There is also plenty to do for children in the Algarve, in addition to the beach where children can usually have fun for hours, there are also nice parks in the direct surroundings of Quinta das Piteiras that you can visit
Aqualand in Alcantarilha is definitely worth a day trip. Lots of slides and water rides that are fun even for adults!
Slide and Splash in Lagoa is also a water amusement park, very suitable for children who can swim well. Here you can safely spend a day without getting bored.
Zoo marine, Guia a combination of zoo, amusement park, water park and dolphinarium. Beautiful park with dolphin shows, bird shows, pirate shows. There is a swimming pool and there are also nice attractions for the younger children
In Algoz is the Krazy world zoo, a kind of petting farm zoo. Also has a swimming pool.In Lagos you can go to a real Zoo.
The Algarve has 180 kilometers of coastline with the most beautiful beaches in all kinds of variations. The beaches in the municipality of Silves are located at Armação de Pêra, Praia Grande is really beautiful, you can take the wooden bridge over the dunes to the spacious wide beach. You can also make a nice walk around, there is a lagoon nearby where you can sometimes spot flamingos.
Near Carvoeiro you will find Praia da Marinha, which has already been voted as the most beautiful beach in Europe, Praia do Carvalho is also a must-see, it is a small beach surrounded by steep cliffs, you have to go through a tunnel to visit it.
In the Eastern Algarve you can also take a ferry to islands where there are also beautiful beaches. For example Ilha de Tavira. To Praia do Barril you can even take a train to the beach
In the west coast near Lagos are also fantastic beaches Praia Dona Ana, Praia da Batata, Praia do Camilo
There are too many to mention, rent a car and discover your favorite beach.
5 special places in the Algarve and Silves area
Get our free e-book, in which various hidden gems are described.
- with tips of 5 special places to visit during your holiday in the Algarve.
- these activities are not far from our accommodation, and are also perfect for the low-mid season.
- we can tell you all about these activities during the holiday, register and stay informed about inspiration and special offers from the Algarve!