Complete Guide: Best Towns In The Algarve | 2023 – A Broken Backpack

The Algarve region in southern Portugal is known for its beautiful coastline, warm weather, and charming towns.

In fact, the Algarve’s charming towns are one of the country’s top highlights, drawing in tourists and travelers from all over the world.

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When it comes to the best towns in the Algarve, whether you’re looking for historic architecture, beautiful beaches, or lively nightlife, you will find it in this region.

The Algarve’s towns ooze culture, charm, and excellent cuisine.

What’s more, each town is unique in itself, from architecture to nightlife to music festivals.

So, whether you’re planning a vacation in the Algarve or looking to work remotely under the Mediterranean sun this summer, here are the most dreamy beach cities in the Algarve.

We recommend renting a car during your time in the Algarve, as this gives you a lot more independence and flexibility to explore the city and its surrounding areas.

Visiting the Algarve soon? Learn how to buy a SIM card in Portugal.

The Algarve Portugal


First up on the list of best towns in the Algarve has to be Lagos.

This is a historic town which is known for its gorgeous beaches and jaw-dropping cliffs with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Some of the beaches here include Praia Dona Ana and Camilo Beach.

Lagos is a popular destination as it really has something for everyone here. Here you can find a large marina and a buzzing, trendy town, offering plenty of restaurants and bars. It also has a vibrant nightlife.

If those things don’t sound like your style, Lagos also has a quiet side to it where you can find lots of culture and history to explore.

Lagos is also home to some of the best beaches in the Algarve, most of which are just a short walk from the center of town.

The most popular is Dona Ana, a sheltered beach with deep blue waters, studded with limestone rocks.

But – if you have time – the beaches of Camilo, Batata, Luz, and Pinhão are also worth visiting for their beauty.

You should definitely add Lagos to your Portugal itinerary.

Lagos, The Algarve PortugalLagos, The Algarve Portugal


Another one of the top towns in the Algarve has to be Albufeira. Known for its vibrant nightlife and gorgeous beaches, Albufeira is a popular destination for tourists.

It has a charming old town area while still having all the modern amenities that you will need for your vacation.

Albufeira is situated on a hill overlooking the sea and has lots of cobbled streets and traditional architecture.

In the historic center of Albufeira, you will find lots of shops, bars, and restaurants dotted around the narrow streets. As well as several cultural attractions like the Municipal Museum and the Clock Tower.

Albufeira is also popular for being home to several beautiful beaches including Praia do Peneco and Praia da Oura, which offer clear waters and golden sands.

Albufeira The Algarve PortugalAlbufeira The Algarve Portugal


Faro is well known for being the capital of the Algarve region and is perfectly located on the Atlantic coast. It is a remarkable historic city with a rich cultural heritage.

Faro also has a beautiful historic center with a 13th-century cathedral and several museums.

The town is also home to Ria Formosa Natural Park, a stunning coastal lagoon system.

One of the most popular attractions in Faro is the Cidade Velha, or Old Town, where you can spend hours wandering around enjoying the architecture and stopping for Portuguese sweet treats.

Faro is also known for its lively cultural scene, with numerous festivals and events taking place throughout the year, including the Faro International Motorcycle Rally and the Festival F.

If you have been wondering “is Faro worth visiting” it’s a definite yes from us!

Faro, The Algarve PortugalFaro, The Algarve Portugal




Of all the beach towns in Portugal, perhaps the most romantic is Tavira. It has a slow-paced, old-world appeal, with a lovely town square lined with cafes.

The region’s architecture is reminiscent of its Moorish past, but one of its most famous sights is its seven-arched bridge, said to date back to Roman times.

The perfect spot for a stroll on a summer’s evening, the bridge often plays host to various street entertainers in its alcoves.

The town is well known for its unique roofscape, with distinctive upturned terracotta tiled roofs.

These are known as Telhados de Quatro Águas (roofs of four waters) and often have no gable or flat end, so all four sides of the roof slope downwards. This sometimes gives them the appearance of pyramids!

The beaches here are flawless and they – along with the sparkling clean water – are protected from development.

The most popular is to be found on the Ilha de Tavira, which is separated from the mainland by the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and can be reached by ferry.

Tavira, The Algarve PortugalTavira, The Algarve Portugal


Next up we have Vilamoura which is a popular destination for those looking for a more upscale vacation.

This modern resort town in the Algarve is all about opulence and indulgence. But let’s not forget about the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the pristine golf courses that surround the town.

Vilamoura is a golfer’s paradise, with its renowned Victoria Golf Course hosting the Portugal Masters.

And for those who prefer the sea to the green, the Vilamoura marina boasts over a thousand berths for boats and yachts.

The marina is a great spot for a morning or evening stroll to marvel at the stunning yachts and enjoy some people-watching.

The marina is surrounded by a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as several luxury hotels and resorts.

But don’t let the town’s modern amenities fool you, there is still a hint of traditional charm in Vilamoura.

Amidst the luxurious hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs, you can find historic buildings and archaeological sites that tell the story of this fascinating region.

Vilamoura, The Algarve PortugalVilamoura, The Algarve Portugal


Portimão is a charming town located in the western Algarve region of Portugal.

It is a laid-back, low-key destination that attracts travelers looking to escape the crowds and soak up the local culture.

Portimão is situated on the banks of the Arade River, which provides a picturesque setting for the town.

The town is known for its beautiful beaches, including Praia da Rocha, which is one of the most popular in the region.

In addition to its beaches, Portimão is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including the Portimão Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts that tell the story of the town’s maritime history.

The town is also known for its fresh seafood, which can be enjoyed at the local restaurants and cafes.

Despite its popularity with tourists, Portimão has managed to maintain a relaxed, authentic atmosphere that makes it a favorite among travelers who want to experience the real Algarve.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the local culture, or simply enjoy the laid-back pace of life, Portimão is a destination that is not to be missed.

Portimão, The Algarve PortugalPortimão, The Algarve Portugal


Alvor is a small town located in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. It is situated on the banks of the Ria Alvor, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

The town is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the coast and the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

Alvor is known for its picturesque old town, which features narrow cobbled streets and traditional whitewashed houses.

The town is also home to several historic landmarks, including the 16th-century Igreja Matriz de Alvor church and the ruins of a Roman bridge.

Tourists flock to Alvor for its beautiful beaches, which stretch for miles along the coastline. The Praia de Alvor is particularly popular, offering golden sands, clear waters, and a range of water sports activities.

Alvor, The Algarve PortugalAlvor, The Algarve Portugal

Final Thoughts On The Best Beach Towns In The Algarve

With so many beautiful towns in the Algarve, narrowing them down is difficult.

However, as you can see, the Algarve’s towns all have something different to offer.

So whether you prefer lively or tranquil, architecture or nature, or mountains or castles, you’ll find your ideal beach destination in the Algarve.

If you want to visit beach towns a bit further afield, read our guide to the best beach towns in Portugal.

Want more Portugal travel inspiration? Read one of the following blog posts:

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