The Algarve coast region of Portgual is one of the most romantic places in the world. The beaches here have soft sand and are known for their dramatic rock spires, arches, cliffs, and caves. But tranquil Algarve beaches are only the beginning. The chill, laid-back towns in this region have the vibe to match. Visit Lagos, a fishing town with ancient cliffs and old city walls, and Tavira, with its cobblestone streets, lovely plazas, and colonial chapels.
Dine al fresco overlooking the sea on some of the best seafood you've ever tasted. Then try fig ice cream, a local specialty, for a dessert worth savoring. Adventure buffs can hike or bike through the hills and seafaring lovers can charter a boat to explore the coast or discover local wildlife, or take out a couple of kayaks and get up-close with the beauty of the ocean blue.
History lovers will definitely want to tour the castles, colonial towns, and medieval forts. But regardless of your interest, the biggest draw of this region is simple: beautiful beaches and a welcoming, laid-back vibe where you can't bring yourselves to worry about a single thing.
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The Best Parts of Algarve
- LAZE ON THE PRAIAS: Algarve is teeming with picture-perfect beaches. Check out Praia do Vale Centeanes for a tranquil beach spot flanked by cliffs, or Praia do Carvoeiro if you don't mind slightly more crowds for the privilege of being right next to restaurants and bars to break for lunch and cocktails between swimming and sunbathing sessions.
- TRY ALGARVE WINE: The southwestern section of Algarve is home to its own variety of delicious red and white wines, with local grapes ripened to perfection in the warm seaside climate. In fact, the region produces super high-alcohol wines because the climate is so agreeable for grape vines to fruit juicy, ultra-sugary fruits.
- SAMPLE THE SEAFOOD: Algarve's coastal location makes its seafood unforgettable, even for honeymooners coming from seaside towns in places like California, Cape Cod, or Maryland. There are specialties here that you don't see headlining very many American menus, like garlicky goose barnacles and ocotpus stew.
- GO BEYOND THE BEACHES: Beyond its beautiful beaches, Algarve is home to jaw-dropping landscapes for hiking and more. Rolling plains abound, along with picturesque mountains, rivers and creeks trickling through bright green forests, and much more. A visit to Algarve's "cork country" reveals a unique landscape rich with cork oak trees for packaging the local wines.
- STROLL THROUGH THE OLD TOWN: Algarve's cities marry a medieval past with modern comforts. Places like Albufeira have old towns where you can romance your way across cobble stoned streets, stroll along castle walls, and entire tiny medieval villages exist where you can feel the history seeping through every whitewashed building and ancient fort.
- TAKE A CRUISE: With a coast as stunning as Algarve's, as a honeymooner you owe it to yourselves to treat yourselves to a cruise. You can float along cliffsides, view dolphins gracefully slicing through the water, ride beneath caves and stone arches, and witness unforgettable sunsets.