Discover the Western Algarve
As the most westerly point of Europe, the Western Algarve coastline is more rugged and windswept than that of the Central Algarve. With beaches backed by magnificent cliffs and beautiful hidden coves, it is an area that attracts a mix of travellers, surfers and naturalists more than your stereotypical tourists.
Lagos is a city that boasts a long and rich history with the seafaring Portuguese. With a dramatic coastline, the area is full of character and is today one of the Algarve’s most popular tourist destinations. With a mixture of quaint cobbled streets, bustling marina, rich variety of bars and restaurants, there really is something for everyone. However, it stills manages to retain a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
Read more about Lagos
Vila do Bispo
This quintessential Portuguese village, offers the authentic feel of a Portugal from a bygone era. With its narrow cobbled streets and peaceful cafes that sit amidst the white washed houses, it is still a small village by today’s standard but has plenty to offer. It boasts a good selection of amenities including banks, a supermarket and a medical centre. It is the last stop on the western coast before hitting the national park and Sagres and it is a great place from which to explore the plentifully sandy beaches the region has to offer.
Read more about Vila do Bispo
Sitting inland from the seaside towns of Burgau and Salema, Budens is small village located north of the EN125 between Lagos and Vila do Bispo and is home to the Santo Antonio golf resort (formally Parque da Floresta). With a strong residential community it offers the amenities needed for day to day, along with a handful of good restaurants, cafes and a quaint little church.
Read more about Budens
A small seaside fishing village, Salema is nestled in a cove and is offers a pristine beach, with its central areas still occupied by the local fishermen and their boats. It was awarded the prestigious blue flag award for the cleanliness of the water and in 2016 the Guardian awarded Salema the Best beach for families in Europe Award. Apart from winding cobbled streets and typical algarvain houses, the cliffs here date back over 150 million years, with fossilised dinosaur footprints having been discovered here. Today it has around a dozen bars and restaurants, 2 mini markets and a number of ATM points and offers a host of activities from golf tours, horse riding and trail walking.
Read more about Salema
This traditional fishing hamlet is nestled in a rocky cliff position winding its way down to the beach. Still relatively undiscovered by tourists, the village is spread out over the cliffs with the old centre leading down to the beach, pathed with cobbled streets and lined with fishing boats. With cliffs lining either side of the beautiful stretch of sandy beach, it offers a mix of newer developments with old Portuguese fisherman cottages
Read more about Burgau
Luz or Praia da Luz as it often referred to, is a small but personable town just west of Lagos. Located in a bay with a background of cliffs, it offers a welcoming atmosphere and offers a good selection of amenities. Originally a fishing village, today is has become a hub for tourism, however this has not effected the charm that Luz offers. Whilst tourism is a main part of Luz it still offers a quiet and peaceful setting, with many properties taking advantage of the clifftop locations and the stunning views out to sea.
Read more about Luz
This unique area of the Algarve, is located inland on the rolling mountain range that rises up between the Algarve and Alentejo. Carpeted with heavy forests, the highest point will offer you a view that spans the Algarve’s southern and western coasts all the way to Cabo São Vincent. The market town of Monchique itself is set amongst forests of many native trees and is worlds apart from the towns you will find on the coast.
Read more about Monchique
Praia da Rocha
One of the most popular and well-know beach resorts in the Algarve, Praia da Rocha is located just below the city of Portimao. With its gorgeous sandy beach it is one of the first towns to have been developed for tourism, and therefore, offers a lot of purpose built apartment blocks, which dominate the cliffs.
Read more about Praia da Rocha
Portimão is the largest city in the western Algarve region and traditionally it was an area connected to ship building, sardine fishing and fish processing. Nowdays, its main ecomony is tourism and retail. As a large residential community, there is plenty to discover in Portimão, from the old fishing docks and the quaint plaza of the old town. There are a number of historic buildings, pedestrian streets and a great selection of bars, cafes and restaurants for those looking to soak up the atmosphere.
Read more about Portimão
The village of Alvor is relatively unspoiled and the old village still retains all its charm. It offers a calm and laid back feel to it. With relatively low rise construction, it has not been over developed like other towns in the Algarve, and the pretty town centre and harbour have been left fairly untouched. Set on the banks of the Alvor river, it offers both a prominent riverside location as well as the beach, backed by the dramatic orange cliffs that the Algarve is famed for.
Read more about Alvor
Sitting on the extreme western tip of the Algarve, Sagres is like no other town in the region. Fairly isolated due to the national park, it is one of the most remote areas in Portugal. With ragged cliffs and raging seas. Making it a prime spot for those seeking adventure and a good surf spot. Whilst this is what primarily attracts people to the area, it is also a great place for being within nature, with hiking trails, pristine shelter coves and an unassuming laid back vibe about it.
Read more about Sagres
A small historical market town, Aljezur sits on the doorstep of the natural park that protects much of the most furthest Western coastline and is located around 30Km north of Lagos. Straddled across the river, it is rich in history and dominated by moorish ruins. Located close to a number of spectacular beaches, the area is protected from development due to its location within the Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina National Park.
Read more about Aljezur
Atraditional picturesque Portuguese town, Carvoeiro is a popular resort town with life revolving around its busy town square that still retains its fishing village roots. It has done well to retain its unique cultural charm even with the development of tourism in the area. Carvoeiro is also a great base for those looking to get out and explore the Algarve or participate in leisure activities with 3 golf courses, tennis academy and riding centre.
Read more about Carvoeiro
This small town is located inland between Albufeira and Lagoa and is famed for its beautiful Algarvian pottery. Located close to the EN 125, it is a great location for being able to move around the Algarve. With a very small population, it offers a peaceful and quiet location. Yet despite its small size, it is also home to to several high-end and popular restaurants. Offering a rural setting that is still within a stones throw of some great beaches and all the amenities you will need day to day.
Read more about Porches
Home to the Fatacil Fair, this inland town was originally located around a lagoon (lagoa) which has long since vanished, and was well known for its agriculture. Today it is a thriving town that connects areas such as Porches, Carvoeiro and Ferragudo. The area has seen vast improvements to its infrastructure over the years and whilst tourism is still a main stay, it also has a strong economy with regards to related industries.
Read more about Lagoa
Sitting on the banks of an offshoot from the main estuary that connects Portimao to the sea, Ferragudo is an attractive fishing village, that has avoided mainstream development as seen in other areas of the Algarve. Largely unspoilt, it has a traditional charm about it, with a palm tree lined riverfront that divides the old town from the newer developments. Its charming main square is lined with cafes and restaurants and Portimão is just across the river for access to a whole range of amenities and shopping facilities.
Read more about Ferragudo