Monday, 16 August 2010

Top Beaches of the Algarve, Portugal - Guest Post by Simon Elliott

The Algarve is an almost magical place located in the far southern area of Portugal. With year around sunshine, spectacular sandy beaches and bargain flights to Portugal available for a large number of charter and budget airlines the Algarve is a beach-lover's paradise with almost countless varied beaches to enjoy. The beaches range from the high tourist spots to the nearly empty more rustic beaches that any trekker will love seeking out.

Inland you can find picturesque villages seemingly untouched by the tourism industry with historical remains of the Moorish presence still clearly seen in the architecture as well as thriving tourist towns with exciting nightlife and quality restaurants.

The many beaches of the Algarve are varied; some with sheltered coves and breath-taking cliffs while others are seemingly endless stretches of golden sand yet all are beautifully sun-drenched with soft sand. 

Praia de Rocha (Praia meaning beach in Portuguese) while being the oldest and most well known beach in Portugal, is perhaps the area's most popular beach for those holiday surfers. Choose from the range of holiday properties including quality self catering villas and apartments, and enjoy relaxing days in the sun as well as plenty of opportunities in the evenings to enjoy some of the region's best restaurants.

Albufeira is known for being a touristy party scene with lively nightlife and many bars and restaurants open well into the night and early morning hours, whilst families will find Lagos to be the perfect setting. This pretty town is jammed packed full of rich history and international cuisine. The beach also offers something for the whole family including a range of water sports activities.

Near Faro airport (the main town of the Algarve) lies a beach that is simple teeming with tourist attractions including water sports, parks for children and families and a range of beach side cafes and restaurants. If on the other hand you are hoping to enjoy a more relaxing beach side holiday, then a trip to the absolutely stunning fishing village of Tavira and its nearby beach (ilha de Tavira) which can be reaches by a small local ferry from the mainland, is absolutely essential.

Tavira is remarkably charming with a number of family run restaurants and traditional Portuguese tiled homes. Furthermore, the island promises over 11km of sandy beach, not to mention quality cafes and relaxing seaside bars where you can hire sun loungers and umbrellas, while you enjoy the sun.

But wherever you're hoping to stay, there is something in the Algarve to suit your requirements exactly, whether it's a relaxing beach side break with the family or a action packed holiday with friends.

What's your favourite beach in the Algarve? Why now share your own top tips in the comments section below: