If you’ve never been lucky enough to visit the Algarve on Portugal’s southern coast, chances are that you’ve at least seen photos of its breathtaking landscape. With its golden beaches, dramatic cliffs and consistent sunshine, the Algarve made the perfect destination for the second part of the inaugural WOW Team trip to Portugal a few weeks ago. The soundtrack to our trip to the Algarve was filled with a mix of ‘ooh’s, ‘aah’s and ‘this is so beautiful’s. So what was all the fuss about? Here’s a look at why the Algarve is rightly proclaimed as one of Portugal’s most prized holiday destinations and why we fell head over heels with this stunning region.
The Algarve is home to some of Europe’s best beaches and with over 200km of golden, sandy beaches to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. There is a beach for everyone here, ranging from long sandy stretches to tiny, secluded coves protected by towering cliffs.
With an annual average of 3000 sunshine hours and 300 days of sunshine per year, the Algarve is one of Europe’s sunniest destinations. We visited in early October, a time when the weather across most of Europe had well and truly transitioned down to cooler autumn temperatures, but we still experienced days in the mid twenties with consistent sunshine. The Algarve’s climate makes it a favourite destination for those refusing to believe that summer is over, just like us!
Is there anything more magical than running down to the beach to watch the sunrise before the world wakes up? The Algarve, being located on the southwesterly tip of mainland Europe is a brilliant place for sunrise-watching. Noticing the sky was singing a beautiful song of vibrant pinks and purples was enough to rouse the WOW Team from our fluffy beds in our villa at Vila Vita Parc.
The dramatic landscape
The coastline of the Algarve is nothing short of dramatic. Golden-hued, rugged cliffs run for miles along the Atlantic Ocean, rising up steeply from the beautiful beaches below. The best way to explore the coastline is to hire a car and set off for the afternoon. One of our favourite places where the views were some of the most spectacular was at Praia do Camilo, just outside of Lagos. The coastline here really resembled the Twelve Apostles in Australia!
R & R
The primary reason to visit any coastal destination is to escape the daily grind, wind down and relax and that’s exactly what our girls’ trip to the Algarve was all about! Staying in our own luxurious private villa at the world-renowned Vila Vita Parc certainly made it very easy! Our days were spent relaxing in the sun, exploring hidden coves, swimming and eating — the perfect recipe for a holiday.
The Algarve and most specifically, Cabo de Sao Vincente, is Europe’s most southwesterly point. Believed to be the ‘end of the world’ to early Portuguese explorers, this point is one of the most impressive places in the world to watch the sunset. Even the Romans believed this point to be a magical place where the sunset was much more vibrant than anywhere else in the world. If you don’t make it to Cabo de Sao Vincente, anywhere along the coast is a pretty spectacular vantage point!