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What to do in the Algarve? 5 sporty activities!

What to do in the Algarve? 5 sporty activities!

The Algarve is the southernmost province of Portugal and a popular destination for sun worshippers. The warm climate and over one hundred and fifty kilometers of coastline make it the place for many tourists to get a tan. But good news for the more active vacationer: there is much more to do! We went on a week-long road trip and collected these five tips for an active vacation in the Algarve.

1. Our favorite hikes

Do you prefer romantic walks on the beach, exciting hikes along steep cliffs or more peaceful paths in the hilly hinterland? It’s all possible in the Algarve. That’s why we’ve written a separate blog post about the best walks in the region. So be sure to pack your hiking boots!

2. Kayaking to Gruta de Benagil

The Algarve’s long coastline with rugged cliffs is its showpiece, and rightly so. The jagged rocks and beautiful beaches are a feast for the eyes. You can sail along the coastline on one of the countless boat tours offered in every seaside resort, but we especially enjoyed exploring on our own in a kayak (or SUP).

During a walk we could admire the famous Benagil Cave from above, but did you know that you can only really enter it from the water? You can do it by boat, but then you have no access to the beach inside the cave. Solution: we visited the Benagil Cave by kayak!

We rented kayaks ourselves at the Praia de Benagil for 15 euros per person. From the beach we first paddled to the nearby cave. Then we sailed a few hundred meters to the east to admire the many impressive rock arches in the direction of Praia da Marinha. An absolute must!

Rather not conquer the waves on your own? Then you can book a guided kayak tour with a guide.

3. Mountain biking among the orchards

Another face of the Algarve is much less known and therefore less touristy: the green backcountry with its many orchards. We really enjoyed getting to know this side of the region – again in a sporty way – and set off from the town of Tavira for a long mountain bike ride. We cycled through the Serra do Caldeirão, a low mountain range where we saw orange, lemon, strawberry and pomegranate trees.

We rented electric mountain bikes from the Megasport Turismo in Loulé and were very satisfied with their service. You can pick up the bikes there, but this shop has a delivery service! For 52 euros per person, they brought us high-quality e-MTBs at the agreed time and picked them up again in the evening.

Mountain biking in Tavira

Distance 60km
Duration 7 à 8 uur
Altitude gained 1350m

4. Dolphin spotting

Although this activity required a little less effort from us, it was still one of the highlights of our week in the Algarve. We went dolphin watching! We booked our seats on the boat through and boarded at the port of Lagos. The trip took an hour and a half and cost us 40 euros per person. For those who think this is expensive, consider this: it was less than two euros per dolphin we saw! It was the first time we’d been on a trip like this and we really didn’t think we’d be that impressed. So just do it!

5. Surf time!

Finally, the Algarve is also a hotspot for surfers. Due to its open location on the Atlantic Ocean, you can always find a spot with quality waves. If the waves on the west coast are too rough, head to the south coast (or vice versa, of course). The town of Sagres, on the southwestern tip of the peninsula, is an ideal base for surfers.

Where to stay in the Algarve?

We personally found the Algarve to be a great destination to experiment with #vanlife, and for the first time, we rented a camper van from Indie Campers.

If you prefer to stay in one place or prefer a more spacious accommodation, we would recommend booking something in Silves, Lagos and/or Sagres (especially for surfers). There are many hotels in the tourist town of Albufeira, but this town is mainly known for its nightlife, which is less “our thing”.

Tapada Do Gramacho
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Silves Tapada Do Gramacho

Tranquil, fairly central location. Amazing hospitality. Delicious breakfast. Restored traditional farmhouse.

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Casa Luma B&B
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Lagos Casa Luma B&B

Centrally located, right in the heart of Lagos. Free parking nearby. Very welcoming hosts. Excellent breakfast.

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Mareta View B&B
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Sagres Mareta View B&B

Beautiful B&B with breathtaking sea view and beautiful garden. Close to the beach. Extensive breakfast.

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