Most people travel to the Algarve during the summer months but when the crowds have left and the sun is not quite so hot there are still plenty of things to do in the Algarve out of season.
There are lots of people who prefer to travel to the Algarve either side of the summer, whether it is before the rush in May and June, or after the peak temperatures in September, October or November. At these times of the year the Algarve weather is usually really lovely with temperatures in the mid 20’s, and this, combined with less traffic on the roads and hardly a queue in sight, make the Algarve a great place to visit out of season.
If you are trying to think of some Algarve attractions and activities to do out of season then take a look at our list below for some inspiration!
1. See the animals
Animals and wildlife don’t only come out during the high season in the Algarve and getting closer to nature is a brilliant way to spend a day in the region whatever the time of the year.
Perhaps one of the best attractions for seeing animals has to be the Lagos Zoo, a small zoo ideally suited to younger children and family groups and located in the rural western Algarve. This a great attraction for all the family and is not only a way to have some fun , it is also an opportunity to learn a little more about the species that are living at the zoo in the western Algarve.
If zoos are not your thing then there are plenty of other opportunities to see some wildlife in the Algarve and out of season there are many species of birds that pass through the Algarve on migratory routes to warmer climates.
Head out along the cliff tops on your own with a pair of binoculars or sign up to a planned tour at various locations across the region and let the experts show you the best places to see the wildlife.
2. Take your chances
Gambling laws in Portugal are a little strange compared to other European countries with you not being able to bet anywhere except for on the lottery or in a casino, but if you are fan of the tables then you are in luck in the Algarve as you have your pick of some of the best in the country.
The casinos in the Algarve are located across the region, so there is sure to be one close to you and they are open all year round for a bit of grown up entertainment.
In Praia da Rocha near Portimão the casino is located within the glamorous Hotel Algarve, while the casinos in Vilamoura and Monte Gordo are both close to the main hotels and attractions.
You don’t actually have to gamble to be able to enjoy the casino as the bar areas are all very welcoming with reasonably priced drinks and a fun atmosphere, while there is always also the option of having some dinner or watching one of the professional shows in the evening.
3. Get off road
When the crowds of the summer leave the Algarve it suddenly seems like the entire place is bigger! Without all the people and the traffic it is far easier to get about the Algarve and to explore a little so why not head off the beaten track and into the wild on a 4×4 jeep safari?
Some of the most beautiful parts of the Algarve are not really accessible by car and if you would rather not use pedal power then the best way to see the real rural Algarve is on a jeep tour.
Jeep tours are great out of season because it has usually rained at least once by this point so the dust that go get during the summer months has dampened down leaving you free to see more and travel further with an experienced guide pointing out local landmarks and wildlife.
Jeep tours are also a good choice for group who are unsure what to do all together and have different ideas of fun (especially if your group spans across the generations) because they combine some adrenalin fun, wildlife, opportunities for photography, the chance to learn more about the area and it also doesn’t matter what your fitness level is!
4. Feel the wind
The western Algarve is known for having some pretty high winds at times, especially along the coast but this type of weather is perfect for lots of activities including surfing.
Out of the peak summer season the winds can really whip up along the west coast of the Algarve so instead of trying to battle against them it is a great idea to embrace this weather phenomenon!
If you are already a surfer then think about visiting the west coast out of the peak summer season when you will have many of the beaches to yourself and be able to experience some fantastic waves – just be sure to be safe and to take local advice if in doubt.
5. Discover the Algarve the traditional way
When the heat of the summer has passed the weather in the Algarve is truly fantastic for outdoor activities without the feat of sunburn or heat stroke so why not consider a walk around the local area?
If you love history and culture then head into some of the towns and cities; Silves has its impressive castle and cobbled streets, while Faro has museums and a good few shops too if you need some retail therapy to get you through.
Those who prefer to be closer to nature can head to the hills of Monchique and explore the forests or out to the east or the west of the Algarve to the Ria Formosa natural park near to the airport or the Costa Vincentina for spectacular local landscapes.
Make up you tow itinerary or seek out a guide to show you the sights at your own pace and discover a new side of the Algarve that you can only really appreciate on foot.
6. Two wheeled fun
You never forget how to ride a bike and it really doesn’t matter if it has been years since you have been in the saddle, a bike ride in the Algarve is a great experience for the entire family.
Many resorts and hotels have bike rental opportunities and you can then head off and explore your local area but if you are looking to head out a little further from your Algarve base then think about contacting a tour company who can provide you with all the equipment that you need and also can show you some great routes through the countryside.
If you would rather not exert quite so much energy then try a Segway tour in the Algarve – you are still on two wheels but this time the electric motor will put in the effort instead of weary legs!
Segways are fun, easy to use and make a trip around the Algarve something a little different and you can choose from city, beach or nature tours depending on your mood.
7. Feel the need for speed!
Many of the most popular attractions in the Algarve are really, really busy during the summer months so if you are able to be about during the low season then you have the pick of the best, without any of the crowds and can take your time a little – although you won’t want to on the go karting track!
Whether you are looking for a top professional circuit like the one found at the Algarve Motor park near Portimão, or would rather have a more relaxed experience combined with other attractions, such as at Almancil Karting, there is something to suit you in the Algarve.
You don’t need a license to be able to get into a go kart but don’t let that fool you into thinking that these are not fast! You are given full instructions and all the equipment that you need to get racing and you will be very pleased you do not have the high summer temperatures when you put on all the protective clothing and helmets!
8. Shop the Algarvian way
A trip to the shops in the Algarve does not mean instantly heading off to one of the regions shopping centres or retail parks, although there are a very good choice of these about! Instead why not consider a trip to the market and to even make a day of it!
There is no better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a destination than to head to a local market where you can see how people really live, interact with each other and what they are buying!
There are a number of famous markets in the Algarve including in Quarteira and Algoz and a visit to the market can be a brilliant day out for the family.
The markets are held regularly and are easy to find but if you want to take all of the stress out of the travelling, then book a special tour to take you directly to the market – this way all you have to worry about are your haggling skills!
9. Time for some wine
The climate in the Algarve makes it an ideal place to grow and produce wine and over recent years, the reputation of wines made in the Algarve have grown massively.
If you would like to try out some of these home grown wines while also filling an afternoon then consider heading off on one of the many wine tours available in the Algarve.
You don’t need to have any previous knowledge of wines to be able to take part in a tour and each winery provides something a little different to the experience, from the celebrity factor at the Adega do Cantor jointly owned by Sir Cliff Richard, to th amazing sculpture garden at Quinta dos Vales.
Many of the wineries are in off the beaten track locations so this is also a chance to discover new areas of the Algarve while also enjoying a glass or two and then coming away with perhaps a box or two at promotional prices direct from the winery!
10. Hit the road
If you are staying in one part of the Algarve but don’t have any transport to get about then jump into a Tuk-Tuk and hit the road to explore new areas!
Tuk-Tuks used to be more common on the streets in Asia but they are becoming increasingly popular here in the Algarve as a fun, environmentally friendly way to get about with family and friends.
Once you jump in the Tuk Tuk the journey itself becomes the adventure as you travel slowly along the roads of the Algarve which are quiet and easy to navigate out of season.
Choose to go on a guided tour in the Tuk-Tuk or instead use it as a very special sort of taxi service and go out for a meal in one of the more unlikely locations of the Algarve such as Rui’s in Silves, famous for its seafood or Veneza near Paderne for traditional Portuguese food in a unique setting!
Tuk-Tuks are available across the Algarve and can be hired in advance for whatever occasion you are looking for.
Enjoy the Algarve at this special time of the year and all of the attractions that it has on offer for families, couples, groups, children and everyone in between!