If you have not decided yet where to spend your summer holidays, read this post! Where to go on vacation? We suggest to spend your holidays in Portugali, in particular visiting the Algarve on the road! A fascinating place you have to discover. We advise to purchase in advance the tickets flight because Portugal can be very expensive to reach by air.

What led us to decide to spend our holidays in Portugal?

All of us had studied about Portugal and its sailors, who opened the Nation to new people and cultures. For this reason, in the summer of 2015 we decided to make an on-the-road journey. We wanted to explore a large part of Portugal (Lisbon and the south of the Portugal, the Algarve). As always, we help ourselves with the travel guides who accompany us and show the best of what our journey should be. On this occasion we adopted the traditional Lonely Planet. And we started our holidays in Portugal!

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Discover Portugal

We dedicated the 4 initial days to visiting the beautiful Lisbon. Then we decide to reach the southern part of Portugal and enjoy its wonderful beaches.

In Portugal almost all highways are free of manual tollbooth. In there it only works the electronic payment. The passage of vehicles is registered thanks to the equipment at the start of the lanes. The words “Electronic toll only” identify these roads.
To reach the south of Portugal, from Lisbon we recommend, if you are renting a car as we did, to ask the rental company about their policy on payment of electronic tolls. In fact, some companies have already equipped vehicles of electronic devices for the payment of tolls. The cost of the tolls will be charged directly to your credit card. If the vehicles are not equipped with this device, you will have to pay at post offices.

Faro and its beach

The first destination of our journey in Algarve was Faro, close to Spain and a great access point to Portugal thanks to its airport. Faro, just because it is used for its airport, rail and bus services, is often snubbed, but it actually has a lot to offer. Faro is home to a fascinating old town, surrounded by the ancient Moorish city walls, and a pleasant pedestrianized shopping area. You can get a boat tour that leaves every hour from the port to explore the Rio Formosa National Park. In here you can visit some of the most quiet beaches of the Algarve. The main beach of Faro, Praia de Faro, is surprisingly quiet and, once there, we spent a relaxing morning.

Albufeira

From Faro, moving toward the west side of Algarve, you can reach the beautiful Praia da Falésia. It is near Albufeira, a long beach characterized by red rock cliffs that contrast with the blue sea and sky and the white sand.

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Albufeira is the most popular and commercial resort of the Algarve, and this because it excels in everything you look for, in your holidays in Portugal. The beach is awesome, there are great activities to do and the lovely old town is full of restaurants, shops and bars. Despite the old town is still full of charm with its winding streets, unfortunately Albufeira has been ruined. The incessant flow of tourists have encouraged the cementing and building expansion.

 

The authentic Portugal: Burgau

If, for your holidays in Portugal, you also want to join the Portuguese unbridled nightlife, Albufeira is the ideal place. It allows people of all ages to have fun from sunrise to sunset. In addition to the restaurants where you can eat excellent fish, there are many locals, Irish-style, English and American pub. As you may have already guessed, we advise you that it is not suitable for those looking to experience the more traditional and authentic Portugal. For that purpose what we can advise is to reach Burgau, near Lagos. It is a quiet, relaxed village for most of the year, with a selection of restaurants and bars.

Praia de Benagil and Praia da Rocha

Once hailed Albufeira we still headed the west part of Algarve. Our goal was precisely Burgau where we had booked an apartment, owned by a very nice surfer, through Airbnb. On the way we stopped at Praia de Benagil and Praia da Rocha (near Portimao). The first we recommend investing a bit of time and admire its ocher cliffs eroded by the force of the wind and the waves of the sea, and with a large amount of shells. Da Rocha is a great and hectic summer resort town that is filled with visitors during the summer season. There is an impressive beach, following the coast, turns into small hidden cave behind giant sandstone cliffs. Praia da Rocha is suitable for families.

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Lagos and its nearby beaches

For your holidays in Portugal, it must be inevitable a visit to Lagos! The town is situated at the western end of the Algarve and it is one of the most interesting and charming towns of the region.

It is located on the beautiful coast of impressive sandstone cliffs, wide beaches and crystal waters.
Near Lagos there are the beaches Dona Ana and Do Camilo, which are considered the most beautiful of the Algarve. And we can assure you! A little further along the coast there are the beautiful cliffs of Ponta da Piedade. Lagos has an important history as a great trading city. You can learn of its history in the fort, churches and even a former slave market. From Lagos you can make nice day trips to the fishermen village of Sagres or to the north of the Algarve hills.

 

Our conclusion

The road trip through Portugal, in the company of the great sailors was one of our best holidays ever. It was an exploration of art, culture and nature of this Country on the borders. With its simplicity and its tasty cuisine, enchants and bewitches.
We came across on the discovery of a truly fascinating Country. Warm and friendly people, a juicy, simple cuisine can capture your senses. It seems even now to smell the sea rises from their succulent dishes.

Why deciding to have your holidays in Portugal

The South of Portugal has an exceptional price/quality ratio. The cities, all various, make the Algarve suitable for all types of tourists, whether it be a family, a couple or a reveler holiday.

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This article is intended as a summary and introduction to the main cities of the Algarve. It wants to advise and help you choosing the ideal destination for your holidays in Portugal. Whether if you are a young couple in search of entertainment and nightlife or a family with children or even for nature lovers looking for relax!
Tenham uma boa viagem! Have great holidays in Portugal!

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