Irrespective of where you are staying in the Algarve, after booking into your accommodation venue, the next you should do is invest in a car-rental, because the best way to see the Algarve during 7 days is by car. If you don’t like to drive yourself in a foreign country, then the alternative is to rent a car with a driver.
If all you have are 7 days to spend in the Algarve. We have put together an itinerary to assist you. This 7-day travel guide takes you from the Western point of the Algarve right through to the East.
Start your first day-trip with a visit to Sagres. Sagres is often referred to as the "the end of the world" and it is the perfect place to start your holiday. First stop in Sagres must be the promontory of Cabo de Sao Vincente, where you can explore this amazing place and understand why people in days gone by referred to it as the place that marked the end of the world.
It was from here that Vasco de Gama launched his caravels to discover the world.
Next stop must be the Fortaleza de Sagres. After visiting the Fortaleza, you can spend half-hour browsing the various curios stores there. Once you finished, pop into the town center and browse small interesting little shops that abound. And if you get hungry or thirsty there are plenty of small snack bars and restaurants in the area.
To complete your visit to Sagres you must pay a visit to at least one of its many beaches. I recommend that you take a walk and/or a swim at the Mareta beach. You will not be sorry. Afterwards head back to your accommodation venue for a well deserved rest.
Your next stop is the ancient port city of Lagos. Make sure you visit the Igreja de Santo António the “Golden Church” and the museum attached to it. If you are interested in the typical Portuguese silver and gold jewellery the “Filigree” then you must pop into a small jewellery shop situated on the opposite corner. At this store you can learn the secret of how silver and gold Filigree jewellery is made.
Inside the old town walls there are lots of fascinating courtyards and shops to be explored, so you have absolutely no excuse for going home empty-handed.
The former Customs House and the old Slave Market (Antigo Mercado de Escravos) is another must stop, as this was the place where slaves were bought and sold.
You can’t visit Lagos, and not pay a visit to Ponta da Piedade, renowned as one of the most beautiful spots in the Algarve. On the way there you can stop at Praia da Dona Ana and Praia do Camilo where you can have not only a nice cuppa or a cold beer, but also take the time to enjoy the sea view and take some memorable photos.
If you are interested in staying the night, there are plenty of places where you can rest your head. And finally your last place to sit-down and have a meal you could pop into the Marina or visit one of the many restaurants alongside the Avenida dos Descrobrimentos.
Your next stop must be Portimão, the well-known fishing port. In Portimão there is plenty of cheap and luxury type accommodation around. The nearby Praia da Rocha has some beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of small shops that you can browse. Portimão also has some very nice golf courses. In the afternoon take a drive to the mountain range of Monchique.
After you’ve finished scaling the mountainous terrain, head to Silves, the capital of the ancient Moorish kings. There are lots of historical artifacts representing the fascinating culture of years gone by.
Monchique should keep you busy until the sun goes down, and then return to Portimão for a night of lively entertainment.
Albufeira is a well known place in the Algarve as it was the first resort to be developed here during the 60’s. It has the reputation of being the St. Tropez of Portugal. It’s about 30 kilometers from Portimão. There are numerous bars, restaurants, amenities and some stunning beaches.
Now Faro, is a town that has more to offer than just a stop-over airport. It is also a good place to set-up your base. Start with a walk through Faro’s ancient streets taking in the "Capela dos Ossos" or the Bones Chapel, as well as some fantastic old churches, one you must not miss is the old Church (cathedral de Faro).
There are museums and countless shopping opportunities like the Mercado de Faro.
Next pay a visit to Loule, Sao Bras de Alportel and Estoi. On the way make a stopover in the old market town of Loulé, lying 15km north of Faro and in the heart of the Algarve's chimney district.
You can buy cute mini chimney replicas as authentic souvenirs and also worth a look are the town’s landmarks - the Igreja de São Clemente, Matriz de Loulé and the ruins of its old Moorish Castle. Some other worthwhile stops include the rural villages of Sao Bras de Alportel and Estói, which have some interesting things to see.
Your last stop has to be Vila Real de Santo Antonio, located just 85km east of Faro adjoining the Spanish border. On the way there you can make two stops, one at Olhão - beloved by painters, as the famous cubist town of the Algarve and the other being Tavira – known for its many canals.
Explore the streets of the towns and in Vila Real try to pay a visit either to the Museu Manuel Cabanas and to visit the castle-fortress of Castro Marim.