- Explore the charm of Faro's walled old city, great restaurants and art galleries
- Go surfing in Sagres, the extreme western tip of the Algarve
- Discover tiny towns like the coastal Santa Luzia and the Moorish capital of Silves
- Take your pick of incredible beaches near the port city of Lagos
|Day 1||Arrive in Faro||Faro|
|Day 2||Day Excursion to Tavira & Santa Luzia||Faro|
|Day 3||Drive from Faro to Lagos via Silves||Lagos|
|Day 4||Explore Lagos & the greater Algarve Region||Lagos|
|Day 5||Drive from Lagos to the Wild Coast||Sagres|
|Day 6||Parque Natural del Suroeste Alentejano||Pedralva|
|Day 7||Drive to Faro Airport & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Faro
Welcome to Portugal! After you make your way through the airport in Faro, pick up your rental car and head to your hotel. Check-in and spend the rest of the day relaxing or wander around town and explore Faro on your own.
Faro, the capital of the Algarve region, features a beautiful old, walled town, charming narrow streets, delicious restaurants, museums, art galleries, and a gorgeous cathedral. In the town square, check out the Igreja do Carmo, an 18th-century Rococo church with twin bell towers. Out in the back garden, enter the eerily captivating Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones), a chapel made of 1,245 human skulls along with a smattering of bones belonging to the monks once buried in the nearby cemetery!
In the evening, take your pick from the city's wonderful restaurants: dine on traditional Portuguese cuisine and fresh seafood. Many eateries offer seating on beautiful outdoor terraces, where you can enjoy live music as you sip a cocktail.
Day 2: Day Excursion to Tavira & Santa Luzia
Today, you'll set out to discover two of the eastern Algarve's most picturesque places. Tavira is a joy to explore with its plethora of historic buildings and ornate churches, all of which are set around charming plazas and pretty cobbled streets. There is good public transport connecting Tavira to the surrounding region, and the town can be easily traversed on foot.
Santa Luzia is a traditional Portuguese fishing village, which remains authentic and untouched by the influences of tourism. If you arrive in town early in the morning, watch the colorful fishing boats return, then visit the fish market, where the last night’s catch is displayed and sold.
At the end of the day, you'll return to Faro for a relaxing evening in town. Ask your specialist for a recommendation for dinner!
Day 3: Drive from Faro to Lagos via Silves
Today you'll leave the charm of Faro for Lagos, a spectacular hub with access to wonderful beaches and nature's bounty. As you head east this morning, you'll stop in Silves, once the ancient Moorish capital of the Algarve; historically, it's served as a major port that utilizes the slow-flowing Arade River as a connection to the sea. Today, Silves is renown as the most picturesque town of the northern Algarve.
Because Silves is such a small enclave, you can visit the major sights here within a few leisurely hours. The town has a pleasant, relaxed ambiance far removed from the hectic pace of the coastal towns. Wander around the quaint lower town close to the riverfront; stroll along cobbled streets and take your pick of lovely open-air cafés, perfect for a rest and a cup of tea or glass of wine. Further into town, you'll find the remains of the solid fortifications and the city's traditional white painted cathedral. As you walk, take in views of the city's distinctive red-brick castle that dominates the skyline; the structure underwent a major restoration project during the 1940s and is worth an up-close visit.
After lunch, continue east to Lagos; after you check in to your hotel, take the rest of the day to relax, hit the sand, or explore the city that will serve as your home base for the next few days.
Day 4: Explore Lagos & the greater Algarve Region
Take the entire day to explore the incredibly scenic area in and around Lagos, its nearby beaches, and the larger Algarve Region any way you'd like.
If you haven't spent much time in the port city of Lagos yet, it's definitely worth some time to wander through its 16th-century inner walls for cobblestoned streets and inviting squares. You'll also find a great range of restaurants and nightlife options both inside and outside the walls (not surprisingly, outside is more modern).
If beaches are high on your list, you'll find a number of dreamy options to choose from offering a variety of services, water-sports, and boat excursions. For example, there's Pinhão Beach, a peaceful cove known for its secluded, picturesque setting. Another great spot is the Ponta da Piedade, which features more dramatic sandstone cliffs and bright turquoise water (a range of boat tours depart from here). Meanwhile, Praia do Camilo gives way to a memorable view from the top of a staircase whose 200 wooden steps lead to down to a sheltered sandy cove.
The scenery doesn't stop there: if you have a car, the surrounding Algarve region offers plenty to see and do within its pristine natural parks, bustling resort towns, and authentic white-washed villages.
Day 5: Drive from Lagos to the Wild Coast
After a relaxing breakfast this morning, you'll hit the road and drive to Parque Natural del Suroeste Alentejano, the southwest corner of Portugal. The western Algarve, Portugal's least developed region, has nationally protected nature reserves, pristine beaches, wild coastlines, jagged cliffs, and is home to Europe’s southwestern-most point: the stunning Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St Vincent).
Spend the day discovering the coast and find your perfect wild retreat where you can unwind and escape from it all. You can layout on Portugal's best beaches, get pampered at a local spa, explore nature preserves, or get your adrenaline pumping with your pick of coastal and water activities.
Tonight you'll be staying in the gorgeous town of Sagres, the extreme western tip of the Algarve. After you check in to your hotel, hit the nearby sand to make the most of the amazing beaches here. There are also fantastic surf breaks for those eager to hang ten. Of course, you can choose to simply look out onto the ocean from the spectacular cliffs and take in the wonder of this area once known by explorers as the "end of the world."
Day 6: Parque Natural del Suroeste Alentejano
Today you'll explore one of Portugal’s protected natural parks, the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. The spectacular park hugs the Algarve's cliffy coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and into the Alentejo, covering a stretch of over 75 miles (120 km) of lush greenery and wild fauna tucked amidst steep coastal landscapes. The coast, characterized by rugged rocks, boulders, sea stacks, sand stratified cliff faces caused by centuries of erosion, is perfect for long walks. See if you can spot the locals here, like fishing eagles and white storks.
Later in the day, you'll arrive in the small, idyllic village of Pedralva, filled with whitewashed homes and bordered by feathery fields. Check in to your hotel then wander through the village's quaint streets and spend the remainder of the day enjoying the tranquility of the ¨other Algarve.¨ The town is especially quiet and off-the-beaten-path; surrounded by farmland and nature, you're sure to unwind, connect with the locals, and enjoy the area's beautiful flora and fauna.
Day 7: Drive to Faro Airport & Depart
This morning, enjoy one final delicious Portuguese breakfast before preparing to head off for your departure. Depending on the time of your flight, you may be able to do some last-minute souvenir shopping, sightseeing, or relish one last egg tart before you go. When the time comes, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight home or onto your next adventure.