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Escaping to the sun-dappled Algarve in Portugal seems pretty dreamy right about now. With the region’s stunning beaches, spectacular luxury resorts, on-point dining scene, and adorable boutiques, the Algarve checks all the boxes for the pampering vacation you deserve … right now. 

Read on for an insider peek at the best places to stay around the Algarve and what you can expect while you’re there.

Algarve’s Best Towns: Where to stay 

Sagres

Sagres-southern point of Portugal

Photo:  L Johnson [view of the rugged cliffs in Sagres]

If you happen to be a surfer – or just enjoy overseeing others’ wave prowess – Sagres’ frothy ocean, rugged cliffs, and splendid beaches make for outstanding conditions. You’ll feel like you’re at the end of the world here in this small village.

Fun fact: This is the only place in the world where white storks nest on cliff faces. Don’t miss the cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente, the southwesternmost point on the European mainland.

Stay Here:

Memmo Baleeira: Perched above Baleerira with a striking minimalist aesthetic, a great spa, and views of golden sands and limestone rock formations.

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel: Perfect for those traveling with children who still crave an upscale ambiance. Nature preserves of the Costa Vicentina surround it.

Pousada de Sagres: Clifftop hotel with views of Cape St. Vincent, Sagres Fort, and Mareta Beach. Fabulous dining, extensive grounds, and a spa are all modern settings with historic flair.

Portimao/Praia da Rocha

view of buildings in Playa da Rocha

Photo:  L Johnson [landscape from the mirador lookout point]

 

This alluring holiday destination is renowned for its calm, sandy beaches, maritime heritage, beautiful historic churches, and lively Marina promenade. When you stay here, you have front-row seats on Praia da Rocha, the best-known beach in the Algarve. Be sure to explore Praia da Rocha Fortress, with its far-reaching views of the city, river, and sea. Don’t forget to try the grilled sardines at any of the local restaurants.  They’re a favorite Portimao dish. 

Stay Here: 

Bela Vista Hotel & Spa: A chic boutique hotel set in a turn-of-the-century villa, right on the best beach in town. Michelin-starred dining, palm-lined pool, and abundant character. 

Penina Hotel & Golf Resort: A favorite of families and golfers who love the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course. You’ll find the Algarve’s largest swimming pool here, as well as a great kid’s club. 

Tivoli Marina Portimao Algarve Hotel: Just steps from the bustle of the Marina, the hotel offers one- and two-bedroom, brightly decorated apartments. Waterfront dining and several pools.

Alvor

stay in Alvor

Photo:  L Johnson [inlet bay from boardwalk]

To be conveniently close to Portimao and Praia da Rocha, yet soak up a smaller, fishing village atmosphere, consider Alvor. Notice hints of the charming town’s Moorish roots, narrow streets, and traditional white-washed houses. History buffs will enjoy touring the Castle and lovely medieval churches.

Stay here:

Prainha Clube: A clifftop gem overlooking Alvor Bay with direct beach access. Beautiful grounds, oceanview pool, sleek rooms with kitchenette and balconies, and a stunning restaurant built right into the cliffside. 

Dom Joao II: A noteworthy upscale hotel where every colorful room has a balcony. Direct access to the excellent Tres Irmaos Beach and within walking distance of Alvor’s shops and restaurants. 

Luna Alvor Village: Set in a quiet spot north of downtown, Luna Alvor Village offers an elevated guest experience with apartment-style rooms with private balconies and jetted tubs. Wide-open lawns for sunbathing and a large outdoor pool.

Vilamoura

Wide,Sandy,Beach,In,Touristic,Resorts,Of,Quarteira,And,Vilamoura,

Photo:  Shutterstock

 

This upscale area surrounding Quarteira is in the center of the Algarve coast. Easy accessibility from Faro has catapulted the resort town into the limelight as one of Europe’s largest beach getaways. Expect excellent golf, monied yachts bobbing in the Marina, luxury accommodations, chic bars and restaurants, ample watersports, and sea excursions. And Portugal’s biggest nightclub, Kadoc.

Stay Here:

The Lake Resort: A romantic resort steps from Falesia Beach, plus home to a natural, sandy beach pool and a floating restaurant. All rooms have balconies to make the most of the stunning views. 

Anatara Vilamoura: A quiet retreat overlooking a golf course, just a 10-minute drive from the Marina and Falesia Beach. Heated outdoor pool available in the cooler months. 

Hilton Vilamoura: A couple favorite, the resort is set among five of the best golf courses in the Algarve, including the Pinhal Golf Course right on the hotel’s doorstep. An expansive spa and outdoor pools with cascading waterfall features.

Ready to go? I love to chat about Portugal. Let’s find the perfect spot for you.