Guide to The Algarve, Europe’s Water Sports Mecca

Algarve Beach Portugal

The Algarve is located in the southernmost region of Portugal and is the most popular tourist destination in the country. Almost ten million people visit the Algarve every year and many of them vacation there for the extensive choice of popular water sports.

Algarve Windsurfing

A variety of water sports

In addition to being attracted to the fantastic golden sand beaches, the Algarve also offers a wide variety of water sports, including snorkeling, scuba diving and water-skiing. Depending on the time of year the Atlantic Ocean can generate some huge waves, making it ideal for surfing and wind-surfing. On days when the water is calmer, wakeboarding is the sport of choice. Because it is such a popular destination with tourists who are into water sports, there are plenty of schools along the coast that give lessons in water-skiing, windsurfing and scuba diving. Most of the beaches are manned by lifeguards.

Active families

If you and your family enjoy taking active holidays, the Algarve is a perfect destination. A particularly good choice, suitable for both adults and children, is the Slide and Splash water park, near Lagoa, in the central Algarve. It is open from April to October and is the biggest attraction of its kind in Portugal. There are gentle water slides for children and more demanding activities for adults. It also has a Jacuzzi for the more laid-back members of the family.

The larger marinas have motor boats and yachts for charter; perfect for experienced visiting sailors, while for the novices there are numerous sailing schools ready and waiting to teach the rudiments. If the thought of going it alone is too daunting there are also sailing group cruises, which also provide the opportunity to try a little dolphin spotting.

The Algarve Coast

Algarve Beach Portugal

The Algarve can be split in two distinct sections. To the west of Faro there are many small coves and bays created by the erosion of huge rock formations. This area offers some wonderful and impressive photo opportunities. To the east of Faro there are low sandbanks and islets formed by the flow of small rivers into the sea. This part of the coast is dotted with traditional fishing villages and conservative holiday resorts. The flavor of this area of the Algarve is distinctly traditional Portuguese.

Getting there

There are plenty of flights available to the Algarve, which is served by Faro airport. There is also no shortage of cheap hotels to choose from. Flights from London take around two and a half hours and most resorts in the region are only a short drive away from the airport. It is worth noting that the town of Faro is well worth spending some time in.

When to visit

The Algarve enjoys good weather all year round; its climate is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The region enjoys a long spring, longer summer and a wonderfully mild fall. Rarely suffering any great amount of rainfall, the average temperature during July and August is around 82°F (28°C), sometimes reaching as high as 88°F (31°C); even in the depths of winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing.

About The Author: This article was shared by Aimee Claire who is an enthusiastic, well-educated freelance writer with big ideas for the future. She is fascinated with exploring new countries and experiencing their culture.

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