The best beach towns in Southern Portugal, Algarve Province

albufeira, algarve, portugal

Vacation goers who want to stay near beaches, but in a town that is big enough to provide services, varying nightlife, shopping opportunities, and a wide selection of hotels and holiday apartments choose to stay in tourist destinations. Portugal’s south coast, Algarve, has both busy towns and quiet villages. The following popular top 3 beach towns have been sampled from the travel guide to Algarve, Portugal.


Albufeira still has almost original fishing village in its center by the beach. That’s the beach where the fishing boats arrive with their catch. It is conveniently accessible for sunbathers as well. Every kind of water activity you can think of is available at the beach.

Today, the old town is a lively area of restaurants, shops, and bars. If you look past the shining lights, small churches and museums are there for you to examine the local culture and history.

The hills around the old town of Albufeira have been constructed with apartments and hotels to accommodate visitors who probably won’t get tired of their sea views. A ring road on the outskirts of the town has attracted modern shopping malls and large stores.

The nice thing in Albufeira is that many visitors can get medical, dental, and almost any other service in their own language because of the number of Brits, Germans, French, Dutch, and other nationalities who have settled in town. Albufeira is centrally located in Algarve, allowing easy access to the airport and other places in the region.

lagos coastline, algarve, portugal
Lagos coastline. the town’s white buildings on the left.


Three things in Lagos make it the place to stay: the old town, the access to natural caves from the sea, and the gorgeous rocky shores. The old town district in Lagos is small, but there is a lively farmers’ market, a fish market, old churches, and plenty of traditional narrow streets to explore. A lively mixture of locals and tourists mingle in the old town cafés and shops and on the riverside promenade.

At the port in the town center, you can take a boat cruise to nearby caves. Water has gradually eroded the rocky shores and created fantastic formations and caves. Boats can go into some of these caves. The other way to explore the rocky shores is to take a hike to the peninsula southwest of town center (follow the road Estrada da Ponta da Piedada). Coves, birds, boats, tiny beaches within uniquely shaped rocks, and the sea provide endless opportunities for photography or simply for admiring the scenery.

armacao de pera beach
Beach at Armacao de Pera.

Armacao de Pera

Armacao de Pera is an exceptional sight in Algarve, especially if you see it for the first time from highway A22 or from an airplane. The high-rise buildings that define the skyline of the town are something unique on the southern coast. This is a town built for tourism. Especially, Portuguese tourists like the town, but other Europeans have discovered it as well.

There is a tiny old town district in Armacao de Pera, but it is not the attraction of the town. Tourists come to the town for the beach and for the large selection of holiday apartments. In addition, the wetland area at the river mouth with its rich bird life is a sight in its own right.

Additional tips

The climate in July and August can be very warm. If you like to enjoy the great outdoors (other than the beach and the sea), the conditions are pretty much ideal from October to June.

If you want more peaceful neighborhood for your stay on the south coast, consider the village of Luz (townhouses and villas) or Monte Gordo (apartment flats).

travel guidebook cover image: Algarve Portugal

Travel guidebook to Algarve, Portugal is available, for instance, at Amazon, Google Play Books, Kobo, Apple Books.

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