Portugal’s holiday island of Algarve has become part of the European Union. This has led to a major boom in the tourism industry. There are plenty of Algarve villas to hire so holidaymakers can get away from it all and get some great food and drink to go with their Celtic cuisine.
Getting to Algarve
Frequent travellers should fly into Faro Airport which is situated by the more commercial terminal of Albufeira Airport. Regular travellers will find it hard to beat.
If you want a transfer to Albufeira, you will probably find it more convenient to travel from Faro Airport to Albufeira by a taxi, or by bus and coach.
The rise of the Algarve
In the 1960s, the far west of Portugal took off in a big way. In the 1970s it came back with a vengeance and by the eighties, the Algarve had become a popular place to both holiday and take in performances and musicals. There has continued this progress even today.
There are twenty six golf courses in the Algarve area alone, so if you like to golf then you will not be disappointed.
The most popular resorts by far are located on the west of the Algarve. Most of these go beyond resorts and villages and are upmarket and very exclusive.
Lagos is probably the best known of these. It is a breathtaking and very popular town. While it is very exclusive, there is lots to do just outside of the town. The jogging and walking paths are excellent and there is plenty to do for all kinds of minded people.
If you are looking for a more general area, Lagos is a great option. The Atlantic edge goes a bit Further than that of Faro and there are hotels and campsites up to two hours away from the city.
The Amalfi Coast is the Atlantic edge of Portugal and has everything from primo restaurants right through to quiet villages. The accommodation here is mostly Primo and average price for a hotel is great value.
Where to Stay
The best hotels by far are found on the west of the Algarve. The west of the Algarve is not a bad place to be if you don’t mind departing from the city.
Porto having the biggest coastline in Portugal is also where the best hotels are to be found. They also tend to be more on the beach than anywhere else.
Most other resorts are spread out and don’t have much in the way of shopping malls, beach facilities or indeed shops.
When to Go
New Deafy is the peak season with the most holidays being booked in that quarter.
Seasons are mild. April to June is the low season and prices are lower, accommodation levels are lower and perhaps the atmosphere is lower.
The low season is generally from November to January. This is when most of the accommodation will be discounted and you will also have the added benefit of not being disturbed by the massive influx of tourists who arrive in the town around that time.
So maybe holding off until January to book your winter holiday might be the best option. You can also book a summer holiday at this time and pick a different location, such as Lanzarote, which is warmer and less humid, but has massive stretches of sand and beaches.
If you have to schedule your holiday in January, you will find that the popular tourist sites will be booked out early i.e. during the peak winter season. You may have to wait until February to visit the holiday islands of Tenerife and La Palma. The month of January is sometimes notorious for bookings and reservationsisthat some firms are only too willing to go to the regions during the off season, when hotels and apartments become far cheaper, and you can take advantage of the ‘altitude’ of the islands.
Summers are hot in the Algarve and most Governatives ( municipal and otherwise) along the coast are open late from June through September.
Some places are seasonal ( awesome beaches and mountain vistas) and the off-season starts in February and doesn’t end until May or June. August and September are the best times to be in the Algarve.
Budget travelers can visit the Algarve in the summer months ( September to March) and pick up beach houses and villas for the winter.
Walking and Cycling Trails.
The healthy living and spectacular scenery make walking and cycling holidays an enduringly popular choice. The legacies left by ancient Romans, Arabs and locals all contribute to the vitality of the region. Cyclists can explore the region at their own pace and for great distances; many of the trails won’t even require you to climb anything. Walking holidays are best for families or couples who want to do their own thing and stop periodically to take in the incredible sights.