The Algarve is renowned for golden beaches and warm sunshine - yet so much of its history, culture, and diverse natural landscapes remain unexplored by tourists. Here are some ideas to help you get off the beaten track.
Lagos and the Age of Discoveries
Lagos is one of the Algarve’s most important historic points of interest. Its 17th century marine fortress once played a vital role in securing the Algarve from invaders, while those climbing the 182 steps to the Ponte de Piedade will be rewarded with a breath-taking view of the bay that launched the Age of Discovery. Many centuries ago, daring voyages to the farthest flung parts of the world would have set sail from here into uncharted seas.
Touring the Coast
The Ponte de Piedade is also a spectacular backdrop for caving and kayak tours where we can set sail ourselves to explore the small islands and hidden beaches that can be found along the coast. Great fun for all ages, kayakers can stop off and fish for their own lunch, before landing at a secluded beach to grill their catch. The spectacular cave forms, including those at famous Benagil, have been shaped over millions of years, with calm waters ensuring an unforgettable trip.
Taking to the Trails
A combination of great weather, diverse natural habitats and challenging geography make the west Algarve a great cycle destination - especially in the off-peak season, where we can take advantage of the all-year round sunshine. The Costa Vicentina route reveals the hidden secrets of an unexplored coastline, following sandy trails to the secluded Furnas, Figueira and Burgau beaches.
A Surfing Capital
Home to a vibrant surf community, Sagres offers phenomenal conditions for surfing, along with many clubs and surfing schools. It was also the home of Prince Henry the Navigator who built his fortress here over 500 years ago. His navigation school trained the crews of the Portuguese ships that would set out bravely towards the Americas. From the remains of these walls, we can stand at the end of their world and wonder at the promise the seas must have held for them.
In Aljezur, you will find the secluded beach of Odexeixe as well as a town filled with history and culture. Odexeixe is one of the Algarve’s best kept secrets, with wide, empty beaches, hidden coves, and spectacular views. In Aljezur itself, you will discover an 18th century built art museum, a 10th century Moorish castle (located on the site of an iron age fort) and the ruins of the Fortaleza de Arrifana.