Alvor is a discrete town right next to Portimão, meaning that sometimes it’s overlooked in favour of by the big city. However Alvor has lots of great things to do and we’ve highlighted some of our favourites to ensure you don’t miss out.
Spend the day at the beach
The picturesque village of Alvor is adorned with fantastic beaches that encourage us to stroll along the seafront or spend the day lying on the towel listening to the waves. Visit Alvor’s Beach, Três Irmãos Beach or Submarino Beach and enjoy a practically perfect day quietly spent in the middle of Algarve’s nature.
This square-shaped castle was built by the Moors over the ruins of an old commercial centre. In 1189, the armies of Dom Sancho I combined forces with crusaders from Denmark and Frisia (a region comprising present-day northern Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark) to storm the Moorish Castle of Alvor. The castle remained standing after the earthquake of 1755, serving as testimony of the effectiveness and resistance of Moorish constructions.
Traditional Portuguese sailing boats
Enjoy exploring along the Algarve coast in a traditional Portuguese sailing boat which offers a relaxing cruise which you’re sure to love. There are also day trips to Lagos which includes time to explore this historic city before a gentle cruise back to Alvor.
Alvor’s boardwalk pathway, recently expanded to accompany the beach of Alvor, offers a superb view of the Algarve’s nature and wildlife. Stroll or bike along the pathway on a summer day and feel the refreshing sea breeze. You can almost continue all the way to Lagos, although please note that we wouldn’t recommend that as the water in between can be quite deep and fast.
Igreja Matriz de Alvor
This beautiful church is considered the highest exponent of the Manueline architecture in the Algarve. Of note are the entrance gates decorated with religious symbols and war scenes, the 18th century tiles that decorate its interior and the famous image of Our Lady that legend says appeared on a beach and was then placed on the altar by local fishermen.
Igreja da Misericórdia de Alvor
Igreja da Misericórdia de Alvor is one of the most visited religious monuments in the area of Portimão due to the enchanting details of its pulpit or its magnificent stained glass that portrays the miracle of the roses as it was orchestrated by Queen Santa Isabel.
Alvor was initially a village dedicated exclusively to fishing. The abundance of fish in its waters has since charmed people from all over the world who travel to this picturesque village to spend relaxing days fishing. There are some great boat trips to go fishing from Alvor, so you just have to choose the one that best suits your needs and enjoy a day well spent on sea with a fishing rod in your hands.
Exploring Costa Vicentina
The Costa Vicentina is absolutely stunning and within easy reach of Alvor, with beaches with impressive cliffs, crystalline sea and a unique vegetation that blossoms among the dunes of the beaches. In Costa Vicentina are also the best beaches for surfing, so if you are a fan of the sport you should seriously consider visiting the 80km of beaches you can find in the area.
The relatively exposed area of Alvor and its beaches offer good conditions for surfing and good waves can be found almost all year round. Alvor is therefore suitable for those who want to try surfing for the first time and for more experienced surfers as well. In nearby Portimão you can also take surf lessons.
The beautiful Ria de Alvor invites you to explore it on a kayak tour. Try renting a kayak or participating in group tours and have fun paddling the Ria de Alvor. If you would prefer to kayak in the sea and explore the caves and rock formations which are famous in the Algarve then kayak tours in Lagos are available.
The warm waters of the Algarve are often chosen by dolphins to swim or play. Dolphin watching boat trips from Portimão depart regularly and offer a unique opportunity to admire these magnificent animals in their natural habitat without being disturbed by human presence.
Walking in Serra de Monchique
Take a stroll through the refreshing Serra de Monchique (Monchique Mountains) which is within easy reach of Alvor and is an area of the Algarve that is very different from the beaches and the sea that people usually restrict the southern region of Portugal to. The walking tours will introduce you to an inland Algarve, full of charming villages. Or if you can prefer to take things a little easier you can also explore Monchique by Segway.
As in the rest of the Algarve, Alvor is a great place for golfing. With a sunny course with superb views over the estuary or the ocean, Alto golf course has good conditions for golfing almost all year round.
Adventure Golf, in Alvor, offers a truly amazing crazy golf circuit. Inspired by the age of dinosaurs, these giant creatures adorn and serve as obstacles on different greens. Adventure Golf’s miniature golf course is a great spot for an evening with the family or a birthday party celebration.