During an Algarve itinerary, you have the opportunity to discover what is probably the most famous and, for many, the most beautiful region in Portugal. The Algarve is by far the most visited region in Portugal and therefore extremely touristy. And it’s no wonder, because the Algarve really is incredibly impressive. The region in southern Portugal is perfect for an extensive road trip and beach vacation. But apart from sandy beaches covered in powdered sugar, there are other incredible highlights to discover here. Spectacular cliffs, cute towns, great landscapes and much more.
If you have the time, we would recommend spending at least a week here. But 2 weeks is also no problem. As the Algarve is not a very large region and everything is quite close together, we think that a maximum of 2-3 different accommodations are enough to be able to reach everything easily.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Algarve 7 Day Itinerary – Overview
The following map shows you all the stops on our 7-day Algarve itinerary. The trip starts in Faro and ends on the west coast. From here, you can either drive back to Faro or further north in Portugal towards Porto and Lisbon.
You can find all the highlights of the west coast of Portugal here: Portugal West Coast – TOP 11 Best Things To Do
Day 1 – Arrival in Faro
Your Algarve itinerary starts in Faro in the very south of Portugal. You can fly there in comfort, pick up your rental car at the airport and start your round trip along the beautiful Algarve. On your first day, head east to explore the small town of Tavira.
Tavira is really cute and has beautifully tiled facades, imposing buildings and a totally relaxed atmosphere. The town is located on the River Gilão and has so far been spared mass tourism. There are no rows of souvenir stores, all selling the same junk. Instead, you can experience authentic Portuguese flair in this town at the Algarve.
In Tavira, in addition to beautiful house facades, there are also the typical Portuguese ruins, often right next to each other. Old and new, dilapidated and renovated. A contrast that you will encounter more often in Portugal. This really makes this small town even more authentic and, for us, one of the most beautiful towns in the Algarve.
In Tavira, you can take a relaxed stroll through the old town and walk through the ruins of an old castle from the 11th century (Castelo de Tavira), for example. Entry is completely free and the view from the top over the town is truly wonderful.
You should spend the first night in Tavira before heading west again the next day.
Hotel Recommendation – Tavira MonteTavira Monte Hotel | Check Prices*
Day 2 – Praia da Falésia, Praia da Marinha, Algar Seco
Day 2 of the Algarve road trip itinerary starts with a visit to Praia da Falesia. In our opinion, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. Praia da Falesia has the reddish-brown and clayey cliffs that the Algarve is known for and is miles long. There are numerous access points to the beach and it is perfect for a long walk.
Due to the sheer size of the beach, it is usually not that crowded, so you can enjoy the beach in peace. If you don’t fancy sandy feet, you can walk along the cliffs at the top. This is also the perfect place to enjoy the sunset.
After your visit to Praia da Falesia, you can relax on the next beautiful beach, Praia da Marinha. The beach with its imposing cliffs is one of the top sights during an Algarve itinerary and is located right next to the Benagil Cave, which you should visit the next day early in the morning. The rather small beach is surrounded by large rocks and cliffs.
As Praia da Marinha is very popular, it is usually very crowded here. That’s why we didn’t like the otherwise beautiful beach so much. To get to the beach , you park in a relatively small but free parking lot and then walk down a small flight of steps to the beach. There is also a small restaurant with toilets.
But Praia da Marinha is not just a place to relax. You can go on really great kayak tours here*. Either alone or with a guide, you can discover the rock formations by kayak and even explore one or two small caves.
The last stop for today on your Algarve itinerary is Algar Seco. At this impressive sight, you can marvel at the limestone cliffs typical of the Algarve. Over thousands of years, wind and waves have created a veritable labyrinth in the reddish-brown rocks. You can walk along the coast on a 600-metre-long wooden walkway and even climb down to the water’s edge in several places. From there, you can take a closer look at the spectacular natural landscape.
After this last sight of the day, it’s time to relax. We would recommend a great pool villa for 2-3 nights, where you will simply feel at home.
Day 3 – Benagil Cave, Praia dos Três Irmãos, Ponta de Piedade
The Benagil Cave is probably one of the top highlights of the Algarve and should not be missed on any Algarve itinerary. It consists of a large cave that is open at the top via a narrow hole. Depending on the position of the sun, the light falls into the cave in such a way that it creates a spectacular cone of light. The Benagil Cave can only be reached from the sea via 2 entrances. It is possible to look into the hole in the cave while walking over the cliffs above, but you won’t be able to see much.
If you want to visit Benagil Cave, the best way to do this is on a guided tour*. Here, you go into the cave together with a group on kayaks or SUPs. Alternatively, you can also be taken into the cave by boat. Tours cost around 20-40 Euro and start at any time of day. As Benagil Cave is very popular, you should visit the cave in the morning so that you can enjoy it in peace. However, if you want to experience the cave with the spectacular cone of light from the sun, you should book a tour at midday.
After Benagil Cave, it’s a 30-minute drive west to Praia dos Três Irmãos. The beach is so special because it is split in two. The first section, which is located near the free parking lot, is a relatively normal beach. This means that there is super fine sand and a super wide beach here, but no wild rock formations in the water.
If you walk a few hundred meters to the left, the beach becomes more spectacular and exciting. A wide variety of limestone rocks await you here and you can take a wonderful walk around the reddish-brown rocks and discover many small caves and passages. Especially in the morning, it is much emptier than on the “normal” beach next door and you have the opportunity to take photos undisturbed.
Once you’ve spent enough time at Praia dos Três Irmãos, it’s just a few minutes to the next dream beach. Praia do Alemao near the town of Portimao is a fairly small but very beautiful beach. There is a large free parking lot and the beach is framed by the typical reddish-brown rocks.
There are also several large, elongated rock formations in the water, which look particularly spectacular from a drone. If you have a SUP or kayak with you, you can also sail around these boulders and take a closer look at the limestone rocks.
From Portimao, you have the opportunity to set off on a great sailing tour. On the private sailing trip*, you can swim in the sea, relax in the sun on deck and enjoy the regional wine.
Hotel Recommendation in Portimao
Villa Moments – Guest House
At this accommodation* in Portimao, you’ll be staying within walking distance of the town’s most beautiful beaches.Villa Moments - Guest House | Check Prices*
Day 4 – Ponta da Piedale, Fortaleza de Sagres, Prainha das Poças
The next day of your Algarve itinerary takes you to Ponta da Piedale. Located below the city of Lagos on a headland, the Ponta da Piedale are huge limestone cliffs. You can reach them on foot from Lagos or park in the large and free parking lot on site.
There are fantastic limestone cliffs to see here, which can be experienced from numerous hiking trails directly on or off the coast. There are different views of the rocky landscape around every corner and the sea is a wonderful turquoise blue. There are also many small and large caves and you can walk down steps to the sea in places. You can also explore the cliffs on a boat tour*.
From Ponta da Pedale, continue on to the next spectacular cliffs near the village of Sagres. You can drive almost to the top of the headland and park your car there free of charge. If you want to walk further, you have to walk through the old Fortaleza de Sagres. Here you have to pay an entrance fee of 3 Euro and can then experience the other cliffs up close on a circular route.
If you feel like cooling off after this walk, we can recommend the small Prainha das Poças beach. This can only be reached via an extremely steep, unpaved path.
However, you will be rewarded with an almost untouched beach that you only have to share with a few other visitors. If you want to go down to the beach, the path down starts here.
Day 5 – Praia do Bordeira, Praia da Arrifana
Another great beach day awaits you on day 5. First we head to Praia do Bordeira. Bordeira beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, even though there are no spectacular rock formations or huge cliffs. What is special is the wide dune landscape that is located between the official parking lot and the beach.
It feels like you can walk for miles over the sand dunes and have them almost to yourself, as most visitors go straight to the actual beach. We really loved it here, especially because Parai do Bordeira is completely different to the other Algarve beaches.
Once you’ve explored the dunes and the beach enough, it’s on to a great beach with a typical surfer atmosphere. Praia da Arrifana is located on the wilder Atlantic coast below a small village with a few restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, the way down is quite steep and as the parking lot is at the top of the village, you will have to take the steep path on foot.
However, the beach is really beautiful and even if you don’t want to take the walk down, you can watch the surfers riding the waves from the cliffs.
Day 6 – Monchique Mountain Region
After several days on the beaches and cliffs of the Algarve, today we head inland. Monchique is a mountain region off the beaten track and is therefore almost an insider tip for the Algarve. Most tourists stick to the coast and the beaches of the Algarve. However, it is worth heading towards the mountains to get to know a completely different region of the Algarve. Just an hour’s drive from the coast lies a different, but at least as beautiful world.
Here you will find the highest mountain in the Algarve (Fóia – 902m) and everything is much greener and there are many more flowers than on the dry coast. Monchique is both the name of a small town worth seeing and of the surrounding mountains (Serra de Monchique).
Here you can go on well-marked hikes, marvel at the landscape from viewpoints and enjoy a small contrasting program to the beach. It’s a great place to spend a day. If you like hiking in the mountains, we recommend two days in the region with an overnight stay in the cozy town of Monchique.
Hotel Recommendation – Villa Termal Monchique
At this accommodation* in Portimao, you will sleep in an old estate in the middle of the mountains.Villa Termal Monchique | Check Prices*
Day 7 – Praia da Amoreira, Praia de Odeceixe, Praia da Amália
On the last day of the Algarve itinerary you can visit 3 more beautiful beaches. The first beach of the day is Praia da Amoreira on the west coast of Portugal. This is a truly wonderful beach nestled in a rugged cliff backdrop. The beach lies at the end of a valley through which the Ribeira de Aljezur river flows. At the left edge of the beach, the river then flows into the sea (at least at high tide).
There are 2 parking lots at Praia da Amoreira beach and 2 ways to get there. We would recommend the approach from the south. You will then have to climb down a fairly steep path to the beach, but on the way to the parking lot you will also pass a very beautiful cliff with several wonderful viewpoints.
- The recommended parking lot (at the Taberna do Gabriel II restaurant): Google Maps
- The official parking lot on the other side of the beach: Google Maps
We continue to Praia de Odeceixe. This beautiful large beach is located on the northern Atlantic coast of the Algarve and is less popular than the beaches in the south of the Algarve. But quite wrongly, in our opinion. You can park here outside the small village of Odeceixe.
From the parking lot, you walk through the small village and down a steep path to the long beach, which is several hundred meters wide. The special thing about this beach is that a river forms at the edge of the beach at high tide and frames the beach, so to speak.
An absolute highlight awaits you as the last stop of the day. Praia da Amália was one of the coolest beaches in the Algarve for us and has been nicknamed Stork Beach. You can already guess why, as several pairs of storks breed here on the pointed limestone rocks.
Before you get to the beach, however, you have to walk a rather adventurous path that leads through a dense forest of ferns and creepers. After scrambling down a small flight of steps, you will find yourself on a beautiful beach with powdered sugar sand. You might be able to spot storks on the pointed rocks to your right.
There is always one parent on the nest while the other is looking for food. When one of the storks rises from the nest and flies over the beach, you notice it immediately because a large shadow flits across the beach. We always had to look up immediately to watch the stork fly. Simply beautiful!
Return journey or onward journey
After you have explored the Algarve extensively, you can either take the quickest way back to Faro (approx. 1.5-2 hours driving time). Or – if you have more time available – you can extend your Algarve road trip and drive further north along the west coast. Take a look at our route for a Portugal road trip.
More information: Road trip Portugal | Itinerary for 2-3 weeks
Tips for your Algarve vacation
The best travel time for an Algarve road trip
The Algarve is great for traveling between May and October. The main travel season is the summer months of July and August, when it can get very hot and, of course, very crowded in the Algarve.
We would recommend the shoulder season in May/June and September. During these months it is not as crowded (and not as hot) and you can still experience the beauty of the Algarve.
Hotel recommendation in the Algarve
The Algarve region is not too big, so it can be enough to have just one central accommodation. You will then have to drive up to an hour to the distant highlights, but you won’t have to change hotels every few days.
We stayed in a rustic pool villa in the Algarve not far from the Benagil Cave. Our stay was really great and we can highly recommend the accommodation.