The Algarve is a great place for families with kids of all ages and you’ll find it easy to keep them entertained. For this guide we’ve grouped Alvor, Portimão, Praia da Rocha, Carvoeiro and Ferragudo as they’re all so close together meaning you have even more to explore!
1 Spend a day at the beach
The extraordinary beaches of Praia do Vau (with safe shores and absolutely no pollution), Praia da Rocha (with a vast amount of sand where kids can easily play sports or build sandcastles),Praia do Carvoeiro (in walking distance from the town of Carvoeiro) and Praia dos Caneiros(with small waves so children can safely swim in the sea) allow for truly amazing days spent between swimming and sunbathing on the towel. Crystal clear waters, a thin golden sand and overall impeccable hygiene conditions which grant most of the beaches a Blue Flag justify why this is one of the most visited areas in the Algarve. Spend a day at the beach with your whole family and enjoy the best the Algarve has to offer.
2 Slide & Splash
Slide & Splash is a water park located in the Lagoa area, a few minutes away from Portimão. It is in this water park that there is the terrifying Black Hole, a shoot where all the descent is done in the dark without ever knowing when the next turn is going to be, and the Kamikaze, a slide almost 20m high. There are also many other slides and attractions and even birds, parrots and reptiles shows.
3 Catamaran Boat Trip from Zona Ribeirinha
Want to discover the beautiful Algarve coastline. Then join a boat trip onboard the Ophelia catamaran and cruise along the western coast of the Algarve. Certainly a great way to spend aday. This trip includes visits to the areas of Benagil and Algar Seco so that you can explorewhere some of the most beautiful caves in the area are located, a barbecue lunch on the beach and time to relax with some snorkelling. On different days the trips are either ‘family days’ or ‘adult days’ ensuring the perfect atmosphere for you and your family.
The Ophelia departs from the Zona Ribeirinha (Riverside Zone) of Portimão which is also a great place to enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants of the area or simply go for a stroll and an ice-cream.
4 Alvor Sailing boat trip
Travel back in time to an age of excitement and Discoveries, when the dangers of the oceans were unknown and yet a few brave men set out to conquer the seven seas. Set sail in Alvor through the western coast of the Algarve, on a beautiful trip that is guaranteed to make you fall in love with the southern region of Portugal.
Depending on the type of trip chosen, there will be stops for you to swim, to snorkel or to visit other towns in the Algarve such as the historic and picturesque Lagos so there is plenty to keep the kids active and interested.
5 Take a boat trip to see the famous Benagil caves
A fun trip for the entire family can be a trip to the nearby caves. Visit the stunning caves of Benagil and be enchanted by the Algar de Benagil, a cave long lost in time that looks like it should belong in a fairy tale. In fact, Algar de Benagil is one of the most beautiful natural monuments in the Algarve and is within easy reach of Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Portimão and Praia da Rocha all of which regular trips departing and lasting 1-2hours depending on the trip you choose making them perfect for kids with shorter attention spans.
Rock formations sculpted by the wind make this a magical place without equal. In this place there are natural pools and rock holes, created by the winds and sea water for several thousands of years, which look like authentic windows and balconies. Spend a stress free and outdoor day exploring the multitude of beaches, caves and cliffs of the western Algarve.
Portimão’s amazing natural conditions, as well as those of Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Praia da Rocha and Alvor, make this area an amazing place for scuba diving and snorkeling.
That is why there are boat trips accompanied by a diving professional, who also serves as a guide, which take you to the best spots for snorkelling. The guide will be able to help you discover some of the richest ecological areas of the Algarve. All equipment will be provided to you.
As you would expect you need to be a good swimmer which means these trips are more suitable for older kids who like to kept active.
7 Dolphin Watching
The exotic nature of dolphins has always populated the imagination of people all over the world, making this the favourite activity for most families that visit the region every year. The Algarve sea is often chosen by groups of dolphins to stay and play, or migrating on their way to other locations, making it the perfect place to watch them, especially in the western parts of the coast.
So that you don’t miss them, the trip is done on a High Speed RIB enabling them to be found wherever they are located on that day, meaning that the trip is as much fun as actually seeing the dolphins. Due to the speed these boats may not be suitable for some very young children so do ask for advice when booking if you’re unsure.
8 Tandem Skydive Experience
This is an activity for those who like strong emotions and adrenaline. The Tandem Skydive is one for older kids with a minimum age of 16 and parental consent needed for those under 18.
Dare yourself to jump off a plane at an altitude of 4300 meters and enjoy the feeling of free falling for almost a minute. In the tandem skydive experience, you’ll be with a certified instructor who will take care of everything, leaving you free to enjoy this unforgettable experience to the fullest. The aerodrome is on the edge of Alvor near to the main N125 road and A22 toll-road making it easily accessible.
9 Pirate Ship
Ahoy, sailor! This trip is only for the adventurers. Only true sea wolfs are brave enough to sail through the seven seas in search of treasures. Join the crew of the Portimão Pirate Ship and dare yourself to sail across the Algarve coast as a real privateer which is fun for both adults and alike.
The Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve, located in Portimão, was inaugurated in 2010 and is currently one of the largest karting tracks in Europe. The difficulty of the circuit makes it the frequent stage of several international and national racing competitions so its great for adults, but don’t worry there are also junior karts and with 2 tracks there is plenty of space of drivers of all ages abilities. Test your nerves and reflexes behind the wheel of a racing kart in Portimão.
11 Monchique Jeep Safari
The Jeep Safari tour to the nearby Monchique mountains will give you the chance to explore an off-road Algarve, full of old villages where time seems to have stopped. Beautiful landscapes, regional architecture and gastronomical flavours await you on this awesome half-day or full-day trip. On this trip you will also have the opportunity to visit an old firewater distillery and to stop at natural viewpoints to take pictures.
The Algarve is world renowned for its good weather and stunning coastline. Portimão, Praia da Rocha, Alvor, Carvoeiro and Ferragudo are home to several beaches with amazing waves for surfing. From small and safe waves, for beginners and younger kids, to swells of more than 2 meters, this is one of the best areas in Europe to try the most popular of water sports. Praia da Rocha has a great school which runs lessons both there in Praia da Rocha but also on the famous surfing beaches of the west coast.
13 Stand Up Paddle
Stand Up Paddle is a relatively new sport to the Algarve that has been gaining fans fast. Bring your kids and have fun cruising the sea on top of what looks like a giant surfboard. It is very fun and relaxing way to explore the coast including the famous Benagil cave. Kids (or adults with less balance!) can paddle while sat on the knees instead of standing up making it suitable for different ages and levels.
Have fun exploring the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean on a 2-hour kayak tour. The tour begins with a trip on a boat departing from Ferragudo that will take you to a place specially prepared for kayaking. From there, participants will discover the natural beauty of the Algarve coast and can explore right inside the caves. Kayaks are available as single kayaks or family friendly tandem kayaks.
The Algarve has several wonderful golf courses, and Portimão, Alvor, Carvoeiro and Ferragudo are no exception. Choose from Alto in Alvor, Vale de Pinta and Gramacho byCarvoeiro/Ferragudo, and Álamos and Morgado near Portimão and you will find it very difficult to resist falling in love with the Algarve.
Alto offers a kids club in the summer, and there is also a driving range next to Vale de Pinta/Gramacho and at the Álamos/Morgado complex. The one by Vale de Pinta/Gramacho has a covered area meaning its great if you want to keep the kids out of the sun for a while (or the rain in the winter).
16 Crazy Golf
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 in different fields. Adventure Golf’s miniature golf course is a great spot for an evening with the family or a birthday party celebration.
17 Exploring Costa Vicentina
Costa Vicentina is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of the Algarve. Breath-taking beaches stretch over 80km long. It is also in this area that you will find some of the best waves for surfing. With a very rich biodiversity and magnificent cliffs, this is a trip that will put you in contact with a wild nature hardly found in other parts of the coastal Algarve and is great for groups of all ages and interests.
18 Floating Waterpark
The Floating Inflatable Waterpark of Portimão consists of a water park with slides and other attractions placed at sea. This is one of the most fun activities you can do in Portimão.Lifejackets are provided but note you should still be able to swim as the park is a little way from the beach. Younger children may need assistance with getting back out of the water, but that’s a great excuse for adults to accompany them and join in the fun!
19 Portimão Segway Tour
Join a Segway tour through Portimão where you can admire the extensive beaches and learn more about the local culture. This is a great way to spend a leisurely morning or afternoon,passing peacefully along the pedestrian path of Praia da Rocha, passing by Portimão’s Marina and ending the tour at Rio Arade. The Segway also has the advantage of being an eco-friendly and easy-to-control vehicle, which can be used by adults and children.
20 Beach Soccer
One of the things which attracts people to Portimão is beach soccer. Every year the city hosts the Mundialito de Futebol de Praia, a competition organized by Beach Soccer Worldwide,FIFA’s partner, in which the best teams from all over the world compete. The same venue also hosts the Portuguese Stage of the European Beach Soccer League. Beach Soccer requires a high degree of skill and ball control and the constant pirouettes performed by athletes provide magnificent spectacles.
21 Carvoeiro Boardwalk
Walk along the boardwalk of Carvoeiro with your family at the top of the cliffs that surround the village and enjoy a unique view over some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Halfway you will be able to see the caves in the area. The path is particularly pleasant on sunny days with not much heat.
22 Alvor Nature Reserve
A very popular attraction in Alvor are the elevated walkways across the sand dunes and mud flats of Alvor’s Nature Reserve. The pathways provide a unique view over the Alvor’s river estuary, perfect for birdwatching. This very relaxing track, which has now been extended eastwards along the main beach, can be crossed by foot or by bicycle. The route is quite flat soits not too strenuous even for those with little legs!
23 Alfanzina Lighthouse
The Alfanzina Lighthouse was built in 1920 on a rocky outcrop in the place of Alfanzina, on Praia do Carvoeiro. The light of this beautiful building served to guide the ships along the coast, but also to assist the local fishermen who used the light to catch squids at night. It is possible to visit the interior of the lighthouse on Wednesdays in the afternoon between 2 pm and 5 pm.
24 Alvor Castle
Alvor Castle is built on top of an ancient mall that stood its ground upon the Roman occupation period. The Moors, after taking the town of Alvor, decided to improve its defence mechanisms by building a castle. With its quadrangular blueprint and strong walls, the castle managed to resist the 1755 earthquake which teared down most of the village.
25 Family fishing
Portimão, Praia da Rocha, Carvoeiro, Alvor and Ferragudo are all excellent places to go fishing. In fact Alvor started off as a small fishing town precisely due to the abundance of fish in its waters and fishing remains to this day one of its most important economic activities. The most common trip for people wanting to go fishing in Alvor with their families takes 2 hours, is conducted in an area around 1,5 miles away from the coast, and you’ll be able to catch Sea Bass, Stone Bass, Squid or Cuttle Fish. If you like you can even take it home with you and cook it to impress your whole family.