The Algarve is the perfect place for some fun and relaxing family vacations. Numerous beaches of white clean sand, a calm and safe sea, more than 300 days of sunshine per year and a pleasant temperature that during high-season is constantly above 30ºC have gathered together to make this one of the best holiday destinations in the world.

Another great aspect about the Algarve is its low prices, especially compared with other touristic destinations in Europe. In fact, the region has recently been elected by the Post Office Travel Money in its “2017 Holiday Money Report” as the cheapest of 44 European destinations. This makes it quite affordable for a whole family to spend its vacations in the Algarve.

The way it blends in a rural side with sandy beaches and how it combines the cultural aspects of a region with more than 5000 years of history with the many sport activities available means the Algarve has a bit of everything for everyone.

With such great choice of towns and resorts in the Algarve its hard to know where to start so we’ve short-listed our top picks for you!

Praia da Rocha at sunset
Praia da Rocha sunset. Photo by Like3za

Albufeira

Despite being famous for its street “the Strip” with a lot of bars and clubs, Albufeira still conserves a family friendly vibe, particularly in the Old Town. With plenty of beaches, child friendly activities and family focused attractions, Albufeira is an excellent place for some overdue family holidays.

Our top recommendations of family things to do in Albufeira include:

-Visiting Albufeira’s Marina, with plenty of attractions and activities, restaurants, a karting course and a crazy golf course as well;

Albufeira indoors Go Karting
Albufeira Go Karting

-Horse riding;

Three people riding horses in the beach at sunset

-Spending a day at the beach of Falésia Beach or Praia de São Rafael;

falesia beach
Falesia Beach. Photo by Algarve Tourism

-Embarking on a boat tour to explore the beautiful and sunny coast of the Algarve;

Catamaran Belize in Albufeira near a cliff
Catamaran Belize in Albufeira 

-Playing paintball;

Paintball Won Battle Flag

-Visiting the Aqualand water park

Children enjoying the Aqualand kids splash park
Aqualand

Alvor

Alvor is a picturesque town close to Portimão in the Algarve. This charming town conserves most of its Moorish historic roots due to the fact that the whole region was under Moorish occupation for many centuries. Located on the western part of the south coast of Portugal, Alvor’s main economic activities are fishing, catering, commerce and tourism. The traditional white washed houses, narrow streets and Alvor’s river make for a relaxed holiday destination.

Alvor’s ravishing beaches together with the village’s rustic beauty make for a perfect holiday destination for the entire family, away from the massive crowds of other major towns. Here you will be able to enjoy a fun day at the beach with the whole family, spend a day by the pool in a villa or at the hotel, visit Avor’s castle and perhaps even embark on a boat trip to explore the caves and cliffs of the western Algarve.

Alvor in the evening
Alvor in the evening. Photo by Visit portimao

Other top recommendations of family things you can do in Alvor include:

-Sailing;

 

2 traditional boats in the ocean
Traditional Sailing Boats

-Canoeing or kayaking across the different underground caves and rocky formations;

Lagos Kayak

-Stand up paddle (SUP).

SUP in the ocean

Vilamoura

Having indisputably the best Marina in the Algarve, Vilamoura is blessed with beautiful beaches such as Praia de Vilamoura or Praia da Balaia. This luxury resort is a pearl in the dreamy Algarve. Home to the Old Course, the golf course where the Portuguese Masters is held, with the amazing facilities of Vilamoura Tennis & Padel Academy and being able to provide culturally stimulating activities as well, this is the ideal place for relaxing vacations with your family.

Vilamoura - Algarve Fun
Vilamoura

Our top recommendations of family things to do in Vilamoura include:

-Spending a day at one of the many beaches of Vilamoura;

Vilamoura Beach from above with green fields and pool behind
Vilamoura Beach

-Doing parasailing, going on a banana boat ride or playing golf or tennis;

3 guests enjoying a triple parasailing flight
Vilamoura Parasailing

-Joining a boat trip to see dolphins;

3 dolphins in front of a RIB boat.
Dolphin watch

-Horseriding;

Horse
Horses on their way to the beach.

-Visiting the giant waterpark Aquashow.

Aquashow

Lagos

Lacóbriga, Lagos’ original name, was founded in 2000 b.C. by a tribe called cónios. The city is famous for its ravishing beaches of rocky formation and steep cliffs. The superb beauty of this little charming city has no equal in the Algarve and is the reason why many tourists choose to visit it every year.

With its beautiful churches and a fortress, a beautiful marina, a very interesting zoo and gorgeous nature, Lagos is the perfect destination for the whole family, having something to offer to all types of preferences and ages.

Our top recommendations of family things to do in Lagos include:

-Spending a day at the beach of Praia Dona Ana or Meia Praia;

Praia da Dona Ana
Praia Dona Ana. Photo by Visit Portugal

-Visiting the Zoo of Lagos, where you can see the endangered and very rare Iberian Lynx, the Slave Market Museum, the Castle of Lagos or the Discoveries Wax Museum which tells the spectacular tale of the Portuguese Discoveries;

Portuguese Discover in Wax Museum in Lagos
Portuguese Discovery Wax Museum

-Canoeing or kayaking across the different underground caves and rocky formations;

2 people in a kayak near Lagos
Kayak near Lagos. Photo by Algarve Tourism.

-Playing paintball.

Group hiding in the trees and bushes for paintball in Albufeira
Paintball

Tavira

Tavira was founded by the Phoenicians between the 8th and 6th centuries b.C. Nowadays a cosmopolitan city, it attracts thousands of tourists every year. Marvellous beaches of white clear sand and a calm and warm sea make this a popular beach destination which along with its historic buildings, decorative churches and charming plazas combine for the perfect holiday for all sorts of groups and families.

Our top recommendations of family things to do in Tavira include:

-Spending a day at the beach on the Island of Tavira which is the most popular beach in Tavira. You have to take a very peaceful and soothing ferry ride across River Gilão and Ria Formosa Natural Reserve to reach the island;

Beach in Ria Formosa.
Beach in Ria Formosa.

-Spending a day at the beach of Praia do Barril. To reach this beach you can either walk the last kilometre of the track or take a train ride. The course is really pretty and it will give you the opportunity to explore and learn more about the flora and fauna of Tavira. The train is also a fun option since the train has no windows allowing you to breathe into the nature of the island while also contemplating the rich biodiversity of the island;

Barril Beach
Barril Beach. Photo by Mytopfm

-Visiting Tavira’s Municipal Museum, where it is exposed the famous Tavira’s Vase, the controversial object that has been splitting the international community due to not existing any similar Islamic piece in the world, visiting Tavira’s Castle, the fortress of São João da Barra or the beautiful Coreto’s Garden;

forte s joao da barra
Forte Sao Joao da Barra. Photo by Secretplaces

-Surfing.

Wave photograph near water.
Surfing Wave

Portimão

Portimão is the second largest city of the region and because of its importance it even has an aerodrome from where you can try skydiving. Its most important economic sector is tourism. A vibrant marina, gorgeous beaches, a cosmopolitan community and a rich history make this a perfect place to spend vacations.

Vários veleiros na Marina de Portimão
Portimão

Our top recommendations of family things to do in Portimão include:

-Spending a day at the beach of Praia da Rocha or Praia do Alemão where it begins the footpath “Varandas sobre o Mar” which runs along the top of the cliffs of some beaches of Portimão offering gorgeous views;

Alemão Beach Portimão
Praia do Alemão .

-Visiting the Megalithic Monument of Alcalar with the prehistoric roots of the first community to settle in the area over 5000 years ago;

Alcalar
Alcalar. Photo by Visit Portimao.

-Going skydiving;

2 happy clients enjoying Tandem Skydive Experience
Tandem Skydive Experience

-Seeing a live beach soccer game whether as part of the Mundialito de Futebol de Praia, a competition organized by Beach Soccer Worldwide, FIFA’s partner, or as part of the Portuguese Stage of the European Beach Soccer League;

beach soccer in Portimão
Beach Soccer. Photo by Algarve Sports Camps.

-Going karting at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve which hosts many international cars and motorbike competitions;

3 racers at Portimão Go Karting
Portimão Go Karting

-Spending a day at the waterpark Slide & Splash;

One of the highest slides at Slide and Splash
Slide and Splash

-Visiting the theme park Zoomarine where, among other things, you can swim with dolphins.

7 Pictures of Zoomarine Dolphin Emotions
Zoomarine Dolphin Emotions
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