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Free things to do in the Algarve

25 February 2015 Portugal, travel stories No comment

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Golden shoreline, shambling, traditional villages, Roman ruins and Moorish towns; the Algarve offers tourists a mixed bag, squirming with contrasts. Whether you’re travelling to Portugal’s most popular region flush with Euros or on the strictest of backpacker budgets, you don’t need to invest a lot to experience the best of what the Algarve has to offer. Read on for a guide to a few free things you can expect to get up to on your Portugal holidays.

Contemplate on the Cape

If you’re staying in Faro, make time to stand atop the dramatic jut of rocky headland at Cape St Vincent. The westernmost point of mainland Europe, the Cape is also a natural beauty spot, rich in birdlife and spectacularly scenic at sundown. Bring your camera, bring your journal, or bring a friend, and take a moment to appreciate the beauty at what was once thought to be the end of the world.

Frolic on the sands

Praia da Marinha has earned numerous accolades for its unspoiled beauty, and rightly so; this scenic swathe of sun-drenched beach in Carvoeiro has it all: pure waters for snorkelling, caves and coves for exploration, and soft, pliant sand upon which to recline. While there are snack bars and restaurants on the sand, all you really need to spend in the idyllic cove is a little time.

 

Get back to nature

The Parque Natural da Ria Formosa can be tricky to navigate to, but those worthy explorers who do go off the beaten path to find it will find bountiful rewards, too. Its staggering landscape encompasses lagoons, inlets, islands and wetlands, with marvellous wildlife including chameleons, one of the world’s largest populations of seahorses, and beautiful birdlife including flamingos and purple swamphen. Bring binoculars.

 

Take a wander in Lagos

The Algarve’s handsome tourist capital, there’s plenty to captivate the imagination in Lagos, from its statues, churches and 14th century city walls, to its dramatically elevated lighthouse and stunning Camilo beach. Most of its historic sights and monuments are free to view, and if you bring a camera, some stamina and a little imagination, you’ll find endless ways to occupy yourself, from people-watching to snorkeling.

The Algarve offers visitors a killer combination of charm, beauty and economy. With its reasonable prices, eye-snagging beaches and natural charms, you’ll never run out of things to do in this exceptional destination.

Images by Pepe Martin, used under the Creative Commons license.

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