Spend five days exploring the spectacular Algarve region, Portugal's southernmost area that sweeps westward to the Atlantic. You'll spend quality time in the region's two main cities — Faro and Lagos — and will discover gorgeous churches in Tavira, stunning beaches, phenomenal cliffside panoramas, and the area's incredible food. Plus you'll have plenty of time to lounge on the sand, cruise along the coast, and unwind amid urban charm and natural splendor.

Highlights

  • Take a gastronomic trip through Faro on a private food walking tour
  • Lose yourself in the sacred serenity of Tavira and its impressive churches
  • Discover the charm of Lagos and its stunning cliffside ocean views

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Faro Lagos
Day 2 Faro Food Walking Tour Faro
Day 3 Discover Tavira Tavira
Day 4 Explore the Algarve Region Lagos
Day 5 Depart from Faro Airport  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Faro

Old town Faro, Algarve
Old town Faro, Algarve

Welcome to Portugal! After you arrive at the airport in Faro, you'll pick up your rental car and will make your way to your hotel for check-in. Stay here and relax after your travels, then head out into this charming town.

You'll have the rest of the day to explore the city and the waterfront. Of course, you can head straight for the beach to relax on the sand and take a refreshing dip in the ocean. You have a bevy of lip-smacking options for tonight's dinner; choose from Michelin star eateries, tuck into super fresh Mediterranean cuisine, linger at a wine bar and then make a meal of Portuguese tapas and cocktails, or situate yourself in a scenic spot al fresco — whether your table overlooks the Ria Formosa or a quaint square, you're sure to end the day with a full belly and a full heart. 

Day 2: Faro Food Walking Tour

A sumptuous platter of local mussels
A sumptuous platter of local mussels

Today, you'll use all of your senses to discover beautiful Faro and its fascinating ancient roots, tasting traditional Portuguese dishes on the way. Be sure to bring along your appetite and curiosity! 

Your private guide will meet you, then will take you around town, telling you about local history, and eateries beloved by residents here. During this unforgettable experience, you'll also get fantastic tips and recommendations by locals in the know so that you can discover not only Faro but the Algarve at large. 

Your off-the-beaten-path exploration of Faro begins inside the City Wall; you'll visit Faro's famous market and will sample local specialties as purveyors and fishermen share their stories with you. You'll also discover a bevy of hidden gems — restaurants and taverns that cater to locals — and will sample the best Algarvian dishes.

After, take the afternoon to explore by yourself, do some shopping or unwind at the beach!

Day 3: Discover Tavira

The charming village of Tavira
The charming village of Tavira

Welcome to Tavira, the land of serene churches and stunning island beaches. If you notice a sacred vibe in town, it's likely due in part to the high concentration of beautiful religious buildings here. Everywhere you look you, you're sure to find an imposing medieval cathedral or a picturesque tiny chapel whose bell tower is ringing out into the city. 

Tavira is also special for its reverence of heritage; though the town is small, it relishes in its preservation of some of the most traditional aspects of Portuguese culture. As you wander around today, allow yourself the flexibility to stumble into gorgeous churches, stroll the streets, or picnic in the sand. 

Be sure to save some time for the castle here, a Moorish fortress dating back to the Middle Ages that offers stunning views of the area, including the nearby national park.

Day 4: Explore the Algarve Region

Praia da Dona Ana near Lagos
Praia da Dona Ana near Lagos

Today, you can choose to stay in town and relax or explore deeper into the Algarve; if the road calls,  head west to the 16th-century city of Lagos for cobblestoned streets, inviting squares, great restaurants, and a bustling nightlife.

Near the city center are a number of dreamlike beaches where you can lounge, enjoy watersports, or cruise along the coast. If you're interested in serenity away from the crowds, try Pinhão Beach, a peaceful, secluded cove, or Praia do Camilo, a gorgeous sheltered spot you can only accessed by walking down 200 wooden steps (rest assured, the scenery is worth the effort!). Ponta da Piedade offers dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water perfect for an ocean dip or exploration by boat. 

You can also take the afternoon to explore the massive Costa Vicentina Natural Park, which extends all the way north to Odeceixe. Nature lovers will delight in the remarkable landscape here; the park covers a whopping 182,857 acres of protected land including beaches, cliffs, rolling hills, and marshland, with more than 750 species of spectacular flora and 200 species of birds.

Day 5: Depart from Faro Airport

Love for Faro on the waterfront
Love for Faro on the waterfront

It's time to bid farewell to this majestic region. You'll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Faro for your flight home or onto your next adventure.

Drive time: one hour

Map

Map of Portugal: The Algarve Region - 5 Days
Map of Portugal: The Algarve Region - 5 Days