26 March 2024

The Algarve has long been celebrated as a beloved coastal destination and its acclaim is well-deserved. However, today we want to show you that its magic extends far beyond its pristine beaches.

Prepare to discover ancient monuments that whisper tales of history, meander through charming cobblestone streets in historic cities and soak in the vibrant culture of local markets. The Algarve beckons with a myriad of experiences and flavours, ensuring each visit is a journey into diverse landscapes and captivating stories.

Thus, this time we invite you to “dive” into the inland wonders of this region, which make the Algarve an enticing all-year-round destination. Shall we start packing?

Get to know the green landscapes and thermal waters of Monchique

Get to know the green landscapes and thermal waters of Monchique

Embark on a journey of tranquillity and natural beauty as you explore the fascinating wonders of Monchique - a hidden gem in the Algarve region that invites you to get lost in the rolling hills adorned with vibrant foliage.

As you traverse the winding trails of the Monchique Forest, you will be enchanted by the scent of eucalyptus and pine trees that fill the air and the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Make sure you also visit charming villages like Caldas de Monchique, where cobblestone streets lead you into the region's rich cultural heritage.

Monchique is renowned for its natural thermal springs as well, which are celebrated for their healing properties and soothing effects. Indulge in the ultimate relaxation at the Caldas de Monchique Spa, where you can immerse yourself in thermal pools. Let the warm embrace melt away any tension, leaving you refreshed and rejuvenated.


Discover the Moorish heritage of Algarve in Silves


Welcome to Silves, a treasure trove of cultural richness and historical marvels. Get ready to uncover the captivating Moorish heritage of the Algarve!

Your journey begins with a visit to the iconic Castle of Silves, a testament to the town's medieval past, with imposing red sandstone walls rise proudly against the blue sky. As you wander through the ancient corridors and courtyards, let your imagination run wild with tales of knights and caliphs.

Two examples of the brilliance of Moorish engineering are the Cathedral of Silves, an architectural gem that seamlessly blends Moorish and Gothic influences, and the Silves Moorish Well (Aljibe), an underground water reservoir that showcases the advanced hydraulic techniques of its time. You should also see the archaeological wonders unearthed in Silves at the Archaeological Museum, where exhibits provide insight into the daily lives of the Moors.


Admire the saltpans in Tavira & Castro Marim

Admire the saltpans in Tavira & Castro Marim

Begin your journey in Tavira, where the saltpans are a main symbol of the region's historical significance in salt production. As you stroll along the intricate network of salt flats, marvel at the shimmering saltwater that reflects the ever-changing colours of the sky, creating a stunning panorama that captures the essence of the region's coastal beauty.

Take a moment to witness the traditional salt harvesting methods that have been passed down through generations. Learn about the delicate balance between human craftsmanship and the natural elements, which has sustained this age-old industry for centuries.

Continue your exploration to Castro Marim, where the saltpans seamlessly integrate with the stunning landscapes of Ria Formosa. This natural park, characterized by a labyrinth of lagoons, channels and barrier islands, serves as a haven for migratory birds, such as flamingos and herons, and a sanctuary for diverse marine life.


Experience the local gastronomy and wines

Experience the local gastronomy and wines

It is finally time to talk about food! Prepare your taste buds for an extraordinary journey as we delve into the culinary wonders of the Algarve, a region where the vibrant flavours of the land and sea come together to create a gastronomic paradise.

Indulge in the culinary masterpiece that is Cataplana, a typical local dish prepared in a distinctive clam-shaped copper pot. This delectable concoction combines the freshest catch of the day and features a delightful mix of shellfish, chorizo, onions, garlic and a medley of aromatic herbs. The slow cooking process allows the ingredients to gain a rich and savoury flavour that encapsulates the essence of Algarvian cuisine. 

No culinary journey is complete without trying the local wines. The region's vineyards produce a variety of wines, including crisp whites, robust reds and refreshing rosés. Explore red wine options like the robust Castelão or Negra Mole to enhance the dining experience.

Conclude your culinary adventure with the Algarve's sweet treasures, like the Doce Fino (almond pastry), Dom Rodrigo and the heavenly Figos Cheios (fig and almond pastry), celebrating the region's agricultural richness. As you savour each bite, you will discover that the Algarve's culinary scene is a celebration of authenticity and innovation. Bon appétit!


Go on a cultural walk

Go on a cultural walk

You already know the Algarve is steeped in history, and the best and most fun way to unveil all its secrets is through guided walking tours! This gives you the opportunity to see all the nooks and crannies of each city and visit places only residents know about.

Lagos is the heart of the Algarve and a must-visit, boasting stunning coastal beauty and a rich maritime history. Your tour will lead you through the charming streets of the Old Town, the historic Forte da Ponta da Bandeira and the jaw-dropping Ponta da Piedade cliffs. Learn about Portugal's maritime legacy and the tales of the Age of Discoveries.

When in Faro, wander through the historic Old Town enclosed by ancient walls and visit the cathedral, admire the Arco da Vila and soak in the lively atmosphere of the markets.

Go on a cultural walk 2

Tavira goes beyond its famous saltpans and exudes a timeless elegance and cultural richness. Your guide will take you through cobbled streets, across the iconic Roman Bridge and to the historic Tavira Castle. Explore churches adorned with traditional Portuguese azulejos and savour the tranquil ambiance of this cultural gem along the Gilão River.

Extend your adventure to Sagres, where coastal majesty and nautical legacy converge. Visit the historic Sagres Fortress perched on the edge of the continent, absorb the panoramic views of the Atlantic and learn about Sagres' pivotal role in Portugal's maritime history. Feel the energy of Cape St. Vincent, known as the "End of the World", where the land meets the vastness of the ocean.


Learn all about cork

Learn all about cork

Have you noticed the strong presence of cork throughout Portugal? It is literally everywhere! From eco-friendly fashion, accessories and innovative construction materials to versatile home décor, cork's uses span a wide spectrum, showcasing its adaptability and contribution to a more sustainable future.

But do you know exactly where it comes from? Prepare for an enriching and authentic experience as you step into the heart of the Algarve's countryside to discover the fascinating world of cork.

Learn all about cork 2

Cork is derived from the bark of the cork oak tree, scientifically known as Quercus suber. Renowned for its buoyancy, insulating properties and sustainability, cork has recently become much more than the familiar wine stopper. The best way to get a glimpse into the sustainable practices of cork harvesting and to witness the versatility of this unique raw material is to join a guided tour in a cork farm, where the knowledgeable locals will share insights into the region's unique climate and conditions that contribute to the exceptional quality of Algarvian cork.

You can also discover the age-old techniques of cork harvesting that have been passed down through generations, ensuring the longevity of both the cork oak trees and the cherished cork industry, and witness the delicate process of hand-harvesting, a tradition that resonates with the region's commitment to environmental stewardship.


Admire the stunning pottery

Admire the stunning pottery

Your Algarve adventure must include the fascinating world of ceramics that is the village of Porches, located in Faro. Here you will find unique pottery pieces everywhere, following a tradition that dates back to the 19th century and its artisans have continued to pass down their skills through generations, preserving the authenticity of their craft.

One of the hallmarks of Porches ceramics is the meticulous hand-painting. From plates to tiles, the local artisans infuse their creations with a blend of traditional and contemporary designs. You will see an array of motifs inspired by the Algarve's coastal beauty. These ceramics serve as both functional art and treasured souvenirs, reflecting the spirit of this picturesque village.

To truly appreciate the artistry of Porches ceramics, walk around the village and visit local studios and workshops. Feel free to engage with the skilled artisans, observe their techniques and gain insights into the intricate process of creating these masterpieces. Many studios welcome visitors, offering a unique opportunity to witness the magic of this craft firsthand.

The Algarve’s enduring charms

In essence, the Algarve grants you a rewarding visit at any time of the year, with its enchanting blend of ancient monuments, scenic landscapes and a myriad of cultural experiences - all woven together to create an unforgettable chapter in your travel adventures. This is what makes the Algarve a truly compelling destination!


Topics: portugal, portuguesetravelagency, travelagency, Visit Portugal, self-guided, Algarve, history, gastronomy, wine, culture, heritage, vacations, holiday, tourtailors, tourism travel, architecture

We are a local tour operator specialized in custom Self-Guided Tours in Portugal, Spain & Italy

Our local team will craft a tailor-made trip plan with an itinerary and a selection of hotels, activities and transportation based on your interests and budget. We offer a turnkey package and take care of all the logistics. While you are travelling, our local team is available by phone 24/7, so that we make sure you have a hassle-free vacation.


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