Do you only have a week to explore the Algarve? We recommend you visit the most number of places possible around this Portuguese region, starting in Sagres and following East towards Tavira. Although a week is not enough to try everything or visit all of the most known places, it will give ambitious travellers a chance to explore many of the highlights, and of course to have a lot of fun!
Bring comfortable shoes because it will be an active trip! And romantic, of course!
The Algarve is extremely versatile for couples who want a holiday or just a romantic escape. Be it a peaceful stay at a hotel or villa and trips to the beach, or a holiday filled with activities and entertainment, nobody is disappointed.
There are specific places that are better for bars and parties, popular destinations for stag and hen do’s and crowds that enjoy the fun. In particular, Albufeira has a lively strip of bars that provides the nightlife atmosphere. As an alternative, the west coast offers a more tranquil scene and a rural area for long walks and relaxing days.
Couples itinerary of the Algarve:
Day 1: Morning – Sagres, Cabo São Vicente
Day 1: Afternoon – Sagres, Jeep tour
Day 2: Morning – Lagos, Ponta da Piedade
Day 2: Afternoon – Lagos, Praia do Camilo
Day 3: Morning – Portimão – City centre and Marina
Day 3: Afternoon – Portimão, boat tour of caves and dolphins
Day 4: Morning – Albufeira, tuk-tuk tour of the city
Day 4: Afternoon – Albufeira, Praia da Falésia
Day 5: Morning – Vilamoura, Aquashow
Day 5: Afternoon- Vilamoura, Marina and Vilamoura beach
Day 6: Morning – Faro, historical centre
Day 6: Afternoon – Faro, boat tour
Day 7: Morning – Tavira, Tavira Island
Day 7: Afternoon – Tavira, tour of the city centre
Detailed itinerary for couples:
Day 1, Morning – Cabo São Vicente
Start the day at Europe’s Southernmost point, and hold your partners hand tight because the high cliffs and the stunning view will take your breath away.
Cabo de Sao Vicente is the place where you can see the best views of the Atlantic Ocean, the lighthouse and the old fort where the sailors embarked on the Discoveries over 500 years ago to discover places far away.
Sagres is a quiet village where you can wander peacefully, have a coffee on a terrace and feel the relaxed environment that the area offers.
Day 1, Afternoon – Sagres, Jeep tour
After enjoying fresh grilled fish for lunch, that you can find in any restaurant in the village, prepare for a tour that not only is adventurous but is also very romantic: a Jeep tour of the magnificent sunset! It is three hours where the 4×4 will take you places you wouldn’t be able to reach on your own and see the most unique sceneries of the orange sky sunset on the horizon.
Included in the program, there is wine or sparkling wine to toast to the end of the day and celebrate an amazing sunset.
Day 2, Morning – Lagos, Ponta da Piedade
The Algarve’s most popular postcards are of orangy cliffs contrasting with the sea’s turquoise waters. Here you don’t need to be a professional to get the amazing pictures you have always dreamed of, the scenery does all the work for you.
The cliffs at Ponta da Piedade are one of the best natural characteristics of the Algarve.
Limestone formed slope rocks that jump into the sea, stone arches, hidden caves, all sculpted by the sea and time. They look manmade but they are not.
The rock formations at Ponta da Piedade can only be described with two words: Very impressive. And you can visit it two ways: On foot down the coastal paths at the top of the cliffs, where you can climb down some stairs to a wonderful bay and go for a swim or by boat tour, which will take you into the caves.
If you choose to visit Ponta da Piedade by boat tour, choose the one that has lunch included as it adds to the scenery a trip of Algarvian delicacies, with an onboard BBQ.
Day 2, Afternoon – Lagos, Praia do Camilo
After a tour of the cliffs, watching the sea, it is time to lay your towel under the sun, take a deep breath and relax.
Life is made of moments, and this afternoon we recommend that you relax as a couple, on one of the most beautiful Algarvian beaches.
Praia do Camilo is a perfect beach close to Lagos. This isolated and characteristic beach is enjoyed by both visitors and residents. It is located amongst other marvels of the region: Praia Dona Ana and Ponta da Piedade.
To get to this beach you will have to climb down a 200 step wooden stairway that makes for an amazing view, it seems it never ends, but is the safest way to get to the beach. And when you do arrive… It is well worth it!
The sea is quite calm, the water isn’t cold and it exceptionally clean. The sea is green and almost transparent. This is the perfect beach for swimming.
Day 3: Morning – Portimão – City Centre and Marina
Portimao is a popular Algarvian destination that attracts a lot of couples. The marine lifestyle and typical Portuguese delicacies are available in this port city, which is the second biggest city in the region.
Portimao is known for the gorgeous Praia da Rocha and its liveliness. If you enjoy a bit of history, typical products, museums and nice walks, you will enjoy Portimao.
You still have enough time for an enjoyable lunch at the Marina, in a restaurant that you will find it hard to leave and is a great place to relax afterwards: NoSolo Agua Praia. Besides the wonderful food, it has white covered beach loungers, a pool and an amazing view of the sea.
Day 3, Afternoon – Portimão – boat tour to visit Benagil caves and watch the dolphins.
This 2 in 1 afternoon will elevate your holiday to another level.
The world famous Benagil caves are a place that you cannot skip if you are visiting the Algarve. And the best way to get that picture that you plan on framing when you get home is to go by boat. The boat tour operators know the best times to visit and will do their best to not disappoint.
And what if on your way you see dolphins in their natural habitat? The cherry on the cake!
Day 4: Morning- Albufeira, tuk-tuk city tour
Wake up to the typical scent of Albufeira: flowers, sea and coconut oil. After a breakfast filled with fruits and Portuguese coffee, you will be ready for a tuk-tuk adventure. And it will collect you from the hotel.
Tuk-tuk? But don’t those only exist in Asia?- you ask. Yes, in fact, the tuk-tuk is famous transportation in Asia and they are a benefit to warm tourist places. On a tuk-tuk tour, you can see the attractions up close, feel the breeze on your face, avoid traffic and you’ll have a 360º view that will allow you to take pictures while moving as it is not too fast.
It is a relaxing activity, as a couple, you are cosied up and the driver is in front of you designing your tour through typically white houses, framed streets, stunning cliffs and exclusive stops.
Day 4, Afternoon – Albufeira, Praia dos Alemães
Ask your tuk-tuk driver to drop you off at a restaurant on Albufeira’s beach, with a view of the sea, the restaurant A Ruina is an excellent option.
After an amazing meal, accompanied by Vinho Verde or rose the best you’ll be able to do this afternoon is to put your flip flops in your backpack and walk by the sea to Praia dos Alemães (German beach).
It is 15 mins East, which is a breeze to walk if you brought sunscreen and a hat.
At Praia dos Alemães, which does not mean it is only for the German, much, on the contrary, it is mainly Portuguese and British populated. The Praia dos Alemães is also known as Praia Azul (Blue beach), it has a big sandy beach and a cliff along it. At the top, besides the vegetation and touristic enterprises, is a viewpoint.
This beach is more spacious than the beach at the centre of Albufeira, maintaining its quality and peacefulness, characteristics of calmer more isolated beaches.
Here you can cosy up, try out a nautical activity or enjoy a cold drink while you enjoy the best of your holidays: do absolutely nothing at all and let go by the scenery. And how nice it is to have a nap!
Day 5, Morning – Vilamoura, Aquashow
Are you in the mood to laugh, splashing and sliding? Our recommendation is the Iberian Peninsula’s most famous aquatic park, Aquashow.
Here the watchword is fun. Besides the giant wave pool, you will find slides for several different levels of emotion, a roller coaster that ends in water, carousels, grass areas to rest, live shows and restaurants where you can have lunch or enjoy a cold drink.
You can get your ticket HERE, with a 10% discount and you’ll also get a 5€ voucher.
Day 5, Afternoon – Vilamoura, Marina
After a day of adventurous slides at Aquashow, you deserve a shower and change and watch one of the best known Algarvian sunsets at Vilamoura’s Marina.
Walk along the Marina around the docked boats and hold your partner’s hand, in this luxurious and tropical environment, where the breeze runs warm; perfect for a romantic afternoon.. People dress in light clothes and stroll as they chose a terrace to watch the end of the day and enjoy delicious food and a glass of wine.
At Vilamoura’s Marina, you can do all this and walk to Vilamoura’s beach that is a mere 10-minute walk away, if you’d like to watch the sun on the horizon.
Day 6: Morning – Faro, historical centre
Faro is the Algarve’s capital and the city is an important centre to services and businesses but has also a lively side to it, filled with history and a touristic centre.
Start at the Marina, watch the docked boats while you walk to the historic walls that once protected the old town from pirates by means of tall walls and watchtowers.
This short walk will take you through the city doors and as you cross them you will feel like you are stepping back in time. Walk by the Catedral da Sé, a beautiful church where you will find a rare pipe organ, climb up to the viewpoint, the view of Ria Formosa will not disappoint you.
Let yourself wander down the typical houses and you will arrive at the Municipal Museum. Here you will end your morning amongst pictures and pieces that tell the region’s history in a space that was once an old convent.
Day 6, Afternoon – Faro, boat tour
Have lunch at a restaurant in the old town as you will be close to a very inviting activity: a boat tour around the walls.
Here you will get a different perspective of the old town while you let go on the relaxing waters of Ria Formosa, in a typically colourful Ria boat.
The end of the day approaches and the orange colours of the sky are reflected in the transparent water and the yellow walls of the buildings. It is very beautiful and a surprising end of day in this calm city.
Day 7, Morning – Tavira, Tavira Island
Although this is the last day of your holiday and you cannot believe you have calmly visited most of the Algarve, these last relaxed moments will be spent in a city that is completely different to the rest of the Algarve you have seen so far.
You will return home with the feeling of having enjoyed the best of the Algarve and will have a different perspective of this region.
You have left behind dramatic beaches with golden cliffs and in this area, you will have a 360º view, from the ocean to the Algarvian mountain range. On one side you will have the blue of the sea and on the other the green and brown of the mountains.
Get on a boat towards Tavira Island, the tour is calm while it crosses the Ria Formosa, you will see fish and the crabs climbing the sea bushes.
On the island, walk over the path that is surrounded by pine trees and other flora typical to the island till the magnificent white soft beach. Find a place to set up your parasol and towel, or rent loungers and a straw shade.
Tavira Island is a place to stay till after lunch as the fame for its restaurants of fresh grilled fish precedes it.
On this day it is unthinkable to forget your camera, you will see the whitest sand in the Algarve and dive into its warmest waters.
Day 7, Afternoon- Tavira, tour of the city centre
On your way back from the island, if you still have some time, stroll around the small city of Tavira, the city centre has many historic buildings, a Roman bridge and a river that makes for the romantic environment that you need to say goodbye to the Algarve in the best way.
We are sure that you have returned home much in love with each other and this southern region of Europe that charms so many visitors. We are sure that you will return and next time you will stay longer!
See you soon!