The Algarve feels like a completely different world as compared to bustling Lisbon, with jutting rock formations and spectacular, sea-carved cliffs.
- More about your oliver guide: Sarah Hart
- Trip type: Family, Beach
- Activity level: easy
- Ideal length of trip: 2-3 days
to & from
Lufthansa from SFO/Frankfurt/Porto and back home from Lisbon/Frankfurt/SFO. We wanted to explore as much of the country as we could in 12 days, so rented a car for freedom and flexibility. We ditched our car while in Lisbon, then rented another for the drive south to The Algarve.
Where to Stay
Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort: Beautiful property with private beach near historical Sagres. Family centered, luxury resort with multiple restaurants, kids club, and a variety of super fun, outdoor activities.
Where to Eat and Drink
- We ate mostly at the Martinhal Resort restaurants, which were a bit uninspired, but fine and with plenty of choices for the kids.
- Terra: Loved this cute spot across from the beach en route to to Cape St. Vincent. Perfect lunch with healthy options and warm, friendly staff.
What to Do
- After 12 days on the go, we wrapped up our trip at a family-friendly resort in Sagres. The Algarve feels like a completely different world as compared to bustling Lisbon, with jutting rock formations and spectacular, sea-carved cliffs.
- We mostly relaxed and enjoyed the resort amenities, but we did take a trip out to Cape St. Vincent, the southwestern most point in Europe. Often referred to as the “the edge of the world,” this spot has breathtaking views and a rich, maritime history.
- Go now! The secret is out, but it’s still a steal by European standards and there are so many amazing spots to explore. Summer in the Algarve sounds amazing for a beach vacation, but we traveled in April and found crowds to be super manageable, and the weather great for exploring.
- Would love to have visited chic Comporta, but didn’t have time and summer probably a better time.
What to Pack
Additional Oliver Guides to Portugal:
- Megan Shoflick’s Lisbon Oliver Guide here
- Sarah Hart’s Lisbon Oliver Guide here
- Julie de Halleux’s Lisbon Oliver Guide here