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Summer Travel Section: The Algarve

The Algarve is perfect for families during the summer with it’s low waves and warm seas, stunning beaches and has loads of activities for all types of families and budgets. The coast is a surfers’ paradise during the summer months and there are plenty of surf schools for families with older kids and teens to enjoy, but also lots of resorts with activities suitable for younger kids. There also water parks, zoos, mini-golf, boat-trips, go-karting, horse riding and plenty of beaches and caves to explore.

Where is it

The Algarve makes up the southernmost region of mainland Portugal, stretching from the Spanish border along more than 100 km of coastline.

What’s the weather like

The Algarve tends to experience relatively mild weather all year round, with a maximum daytime temperature of 25 to 30 degrees in mid-summer, and around 10 hours of sunshine. Water temperature is approximately 20 degrees in July with minimal rain. It can be very hot in July and August but because of sea breezes there is relatively low humidity making it perfect for young families.

Best bits for families

Praia da Luz - Praia da Luz is the perfect location for young families. The town is relatively low rise and not as overdeveloped as others found on the Algarve. Most accommodation is within walking distance from the town and the sheltered, child friendly beach. Within the town is a number of supermarkets, restaurants shops and cafés, so there is no need to travel further afield for daily necessities.

Albufeira - Albufeira is possibly the most popular resort in the Algarve. The town is 45 minutes away from Faro airport, meaning less stressful travelling to do with the kids. Family holiday makers should stick to the old town, as it is quieter and more peaceful than the modern areas. The old town consists of narrow cobbled streets and a lovely central square where you will easily find a bite to eat.

Vilamoura - Vilamoura is an extremely popular, relaxed resort with a large marina as its centre of activity. With world famous golf courses and an abundance of other activities on offer including tennis, boat trips and amusement parks there is plenty to keep the whole family occupied.

Lagos - Lagos is an extremely attractive town with lots of cobbled streets and squares with a modern marina containing lots of bars, restaurants and shops. Nearby Zoo Lagos is the perfect spot for a family day out. The zoo is not too large but has lots to see. A wonderful petting farm allows kids to feed the zoo’s goats and pigs.

Where else to go

Tavira is located in eastern Algarve and is a beautifully elegant and unique town. Tavira is set along the peaceful river Gilão and remains laid back despite being so close to some of the Algarve’s large resorts. There are a number of cafés along the riverfront, allowing you to sit out in the sun and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. With a great beach and lots of shopping opportunities, as well as some fantastic architecture and picturesque views, Tavira is a town not to be missed!

Sagres lies to the far south west of the Algarve and is a very peaceful, laid back town with beautiful beaches and stunning views. The Atlantic creates perfect waves for keen surfers who flock to the area out of season. Relatively untouched by tourism, Sagres is the perfect place to escape from the typical Portuguese resorts, with walking, cycling, surfing and diving among the activities on offer in the area.

Faro is the capital city of the Algarve and so has much to offer whether that be history, shops, restaurants, galleries or beaches. While you may not want to stay in the busy capital, it is worth taking a day trip to the area. The Children’s Life Sciences Centre in Faro is a great place to bring the kids for the day. Interactive exhibitions and experiments excite and engage young visitors. The centre is great value, with family tickets priced at €8!


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