The Algarve region is in the southwestern part of Portugal with influences to be seen of its Moorish and Roman history. This is the go-to resort and holiday region of Portugal, both in summer and winter. In summer, it teems with holiday makers but quietens down a bit in winter. The temperature here might be slightly higher than in the Alentejo region.
You can fly into Faro, one of its main cities but most people head for towns such as Tavira, a quiet place with historic architecture and a fourteen-km. beach offshore: a sandspit, called Ilha de Tavira, reached by ferry. This is okay if you don’t have to be at the beach everyday as it is a jaunt. This is a good area to chill out and live life slow for the winter.
Another quiet spot is Lagos, an old Moorish walled town, with lovely Atlantic beaches, a nightlife, and a variety of dining and drinking spots. Not far from town are the majestic cliffs and views from the Ponta de Piedade. This resort town is a great base for exploring the rest of the Algarve. Here you do not need to rent a car as there are opportunities for guided day trips and public transport. It is a quiet, safe area recommended for families, or if your family will be coming to visit during your stay. There are water parks and lots to do within easy distances.
A more “hip” spot is the town of Albufeira with a marina, 24-hour bars, restaurants galore and shopping delights. It’s busier – even in winter – than Tavira and some of the other towns in this region. The marina boasts diving opportunities, dolphin watching, and boat tours. And there is access to two great beach areas. It also has a convenient public transport system for day trips.