Best places to visit in Algarve
The Algarve may be the golfing capital of Portugal but there are other things to do on this gorgeous stretch of sea and sunshine besides smashing drives, hitting greens and holing putts. Unless you’re under 18 or only drink beer, one of the delights of the Algarve you are almost certain to enjoy is the wine. There are about 2,000 vineyards and 30 wine producers to be found in the Algarve. Many of them welcome visitors, will gladly take you on a tour of their winery and doubtless allow you to sample some of the product. There are too many to list here but most of them are Quinta (farm) somethingorother. Although it’s perhaps invidious to single out one, Adega do Cantor (The Winery of the Singer) is owned by Britain’s very own Sir Cliff Richard. It’s near Albufeira and is well worth a visit.
Unless the sea is very rough, boat trips have always been fun. And recently there’s been an upsurge of interest in sea-life in general and dolphins in particular. All along the coast now there are boats who will happily take you out for a couple of hours and can almost guarantee at least a couple of pods of dolphin frolicking in the surf.
Still on the water, you can go parasailing in Vilamoura, kayaking around the Benagli caves in Portimao or surfing in quite a few spots along the coast. Jet-skiing is also quite popular but less environmentally desirable, perhaps.
If you’ve been to the Algarve you could hardly have missed the many billboards advertising Zoomarine. Near Albufeira, it’s a great day out with all sorts of attraction from a wide variety of rides to a range of aquatic creatures including sea-lions and dolphins plus a few spectacular exotic birds.
Wandering around the marina at Albufeira and admiring the impressive boats is a pleasant way to build up a thirst before slaking it in one of the many bars in the area. And if you find yourself suffering incurable boat envy, you can always charter one for the day for around a €1,000 to find out if an opulent lifestyle suits you better than your present more mundane existence.
And finally for something completely different try wandering around the largest sand sculpture festival in the world. It’s in Lagoa and it’s called, Sand City. The sculptures are created from over 50,000 tons of sand and are quite spectacular.