Travel Report Algarve
Is it worth visiting the Algarve in Portugal? What could an 8 days photo tour look like?
Our Algarve travel report summarizes the highlights of our photo trip and gives you valuable tips for preparation. Here are our Algarve highlights in short form:
1.Day: Munich > Faro > Hotel: Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites Resort
2.Day: Albufeira and Benagil
3. Day: Sagres, Cabo de São Vicente, Praia do Bodeira and Almado
4.Day: Faro and Quinta do Lago
5.Day: Ferragudo, Praia Do Cavoeiro and Praia de Albandeira
6.Day: Armacao de Pera, Nossa Senioea da Roch and Praia de Marinha
7.Day: Ocean Pines Resort
8.Day: Faro -> Munich
Where is Algarve?
What you should definitely think about when traveling in the Algarve
Local currency: Euro. For payments or cash withdrawals you can use your credit card everywhere in the country. Cash is more needed for tips.
Vaccinations: Coming from Germany, no vaccinations are required. However, the standard vaccinations are recommended, see suggestions from the Foreign Office.
Luggage: Only observe the luggage restrictions of the airlines. Otherwise everything is unproblematic.
Visa: As a German citizen you do not need a visa (!)
Driving license: EU driving license is sufficient.
Clothing: Adapt depending on the season. Basically, the Algarve is located on the Atlantic side of Portugal and even though it can be very warm, it can also be fresh in the evenings. Take light and airy clothes with you, best to follow the onion principle and don’t forget your bathing shoes, as it is safer despite the fantastic sandy beaches.
Detailled Travel Report Algarve
Is it worth visiting Algarve?
The Algarve is always worth a trip and can rightly be called the highlight of Portugal…. It is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the country, which captivates you at first sight.
Algarve has a lot to offer, is a little influenced by the English, but scenically, especially as far as coasts are concerned certainly one of the most fascinating places in Europe.
Do I need a rental car?
Our recommendation is definitely a rental car. We recommend the Premium All-Inclusive Package from Check 24, then you don’t have to worry about anything. In addition, you should remember that the highways are generally subject to tolls. You can avoid them, but the cost savings are small and you lose a lot of time. So it is best to book on the spot. We have paid for the use of the autbahn between Faro and Carrapateira and several times back abd forth less than 20, – Euros.
Which Accomodation should you go for ? Where to stay?
A number of really good hotels can be found between Faro and Albufeira.
We chose the Pine Cliffs Resortnear Albufeira. The resort is huge and the navigation system is useless, so you should follow the signs in the resort. Ocean Pines Suites is one of 3 hotels, all of which are also spatially connected. So it’s best to just pick the appropriate room category in the appropriate hotel.
There are no ocean view rooms at Pine Cliff Ocean Suites because the hotel is built sideways. The rooms in the Ocean Pines Suites should definitely be taken to the pool and ideally on one of the upper floors. Regarding the pool, it should be the view to the exclusive pool and not to the one of the hotel, because there you have the sunrise. In addition, there is also an exclusive breakfast restaurant, which was unfortunately closed until 2 days before departure.
For many, this may not be a problem, but it was extremely annoying for us, since we had to wait in line every morning to get a seat in one of the other restaurants. So inform beforehand, because even a complaint brought nothing but some pity.
There are no goodies for Marriott Bonvoy guests, no matter how high the status. This is definitely a point deduction in an otherwise immaculate, somewhat aging facility.
The hotel’s beachfront is exclusive and the Mare Beach restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
However, the way to the beach is not as close as it may seem and you should think carefully about what you need.
How to get to Algarve?
Just follow the tips in our travel report Algarve and it’s easy.
Flights go directly from Munich to Faro. The flight takes about 2.5 hours and yet you are quickly in a whole different world. Faro airport is small.
The entry at the airport works without problems. All rental car counters are located directly at the terminal or about 200m away through an underpass you will find the rental car houses where the cars are taken over and delivered. Rental car companies can be found here from the well-known brands to the no names.
At the counter we were of course asked again whether we want to have an extra insurance or only that of Check 24. 1200 € were then charged on our card. In addition, we took the automatic device for the toll for 16.88 €, so that we can also drive on the highway if necessary. For the way from the airport to the hotel, you do not need a highway. For all trips together, often using the highway, we did not pay 20,-€.
The Pine Cliffs Resort can be reached after a 30min drive from the airport. The time difference to Germany is -1.
Albufeira, is it worth it?
Albufeira is the closest major city to the hotel and well worth a visit. The old town is very English, but definitely worth seeing. There are many small restaurants and alleys through which you can stroll well during the day. In the evening rather a party mile and less recommended.
Highly recommended, especially for lunch, is the restaurant Sa trasca, whose entrance is a little hidden directly in a small alley in front of the beach of Albufeira. Here you have a great view of the sea and a very tasty meal guaranteed. The service is also recommendable.
Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente
The southernmost point, or the last town in Europe (Sagres) before America is crowned by a lighthouse, which is, however, less spectacular than the German bratwurst truck with the inscription “last bratwurst before America”.
The approach can be made via the pay highway (our recommendation to save some time) or via the coastal road. We chose this one for the way back. There are some interesting photo points here. Drone pilots are advised to be prepared for extremely high winds. We didn’t even unpack our little Mini.
Lagos has a very beautiful old town. Simply enter in the navi and go. Shortly before you reach the old town you may not continue, but can directly use a parking lot guarded by Gypsis. The system works quite well and against a little tip the car is safe.
If you are looking for a restaurant with sea view in Lagos old town, you will be disappointed. It is better to go to one of the restaurants in the alleys. We can highly recommend the “Pom”, provided there is a table free.
Ponte de Piedades (bei Lagos)
This is certainly one of the highlights of the Algarve. The rock formations can easily rival the 12 Apostles in Australia. You should wear sturdy shoes, as it is worth walking around a bit on the rocks. There are also very strong winds here, which makes drone flying almost impossible. Definitely also walk down the steps to the sea, from where you have a great view of the rocks. The best time to visit is in the early afternoon, because then the light illuminates the rocks the best.
Caves of Benagil
Another highlight of the Algarve are the countless caves, which, however, can only really be visited from the water. Only the cave of Benagil can also be seen through a hole in the ceiling from above, which is not so spectacular. The way there and the hike along the coast, on the other hand, is, and so that is also a recommendation. You can enter the caves in Google Maps and the navigation system leads you directly to the parking lot, from where you can reach the coast and the cave in about 10 minutes on foot.
Faro and especially Faro beach are definitely the most underrated attractions in the Algarve.
There are several ways to reach Faro beach. By car you can drive there over a one-lane bridge. The beach is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Portugal and almost deserted. You can walk here for kilometers and the houses remind you of the last century.
Alternatively, you can drive to Quinta do Lago (just enter the hotel of the same name in the navigation system) and then follow the signs to the beach. Here you end up in a natural park and can walk from the parking lot over a wooden footbridge also to the beach of Faro. On the other side, a good fish restaurant called “Gigi” awaits you.
We also recommend the restaurant “The Shack” located on a small lake near the parking lot. Wonderful location, great food.
By the way, everywhere in the Algarve you can also find the very rare and threatened by extinction Chameleon. Please do not touch !
Quinta do Lago
If you want to experience a completely different Portugal, you should definitely visit Quinta do Lago. Noble, stylish and more than well-kept. A paradise near Faro, not only for golfers. Here are also very good hotels, such as the Conrad, the Four Seasons or the Wyndham. Overall, the whole area reminds one very much of the USA, in a positive sense.
Praia do Bodeira
Near Carrapateira is the dream beach Bodeira. A must for surfers. It looks like a sandy desert by the sea. In the middle a small restaurant / café otherwise nothing. Miles of sandy beach and waves coming in like clockwork all the time, making it ideal for surfers. Attention, there are no toilets here (!) except the dunes, which are unfortunately well used for this. Best to come early in the morning, then you can still get a parking spot and the light is best. Drone pilots should be prepared for plenty of wind, which quickly empties the batteries. In addition, do not leave anything in the car, here are the thieves at work, as friends of us who have left the car only 10min, unfortunately had to find out.
Praia do Armado
From Praia Bodera you should definitely take the small detour to Praia do Armado. It’s only about 5 minutes by car, but it’s worth it. Another endless dream beach, but this time also with a red shining cliff on the right side. Here are three, let’s call it restaurant stalls, with good snacks, but unfortunately also many flies and wasps. Nevertheless, the stop at lunchtime is worthwhile. For those who like it classier, there is a real restaurant on top of the cliff.
Praia do Cavoeiro
Cavoeiro is a cute little village right by the sea, with a beautiful bay and many restaurants and cafes to linger in. Here you will also find a stretch of beach with some interesting rock formations and stone passages. Definitely plan a stop.
Praia de Albandeira
An absolute must for photographers and drone flyers. The approach leads over a one-lane road, on which one wishes no oncoming traffic. At the end you land on a dusty parking lot and recognize nothing at first. From the parking lot looking at the sea run right out the hill and no 5min later you see it, the rock arch, on which you can even run up. If one is here with “flying” and photographing through, then back to the parking lot and run down the stairs, which leads to the right beach section. At low tide (important), there is a rocky walkway exposed here that leads into the bay to the rocky arch. Attention, you have to be back before the tide comes in, otherwise you’ll be stuck (!).
The best light is from 15 o’clock, unfortunately, there is then not much time, because of the incoming tide.
Armacao de Pera
A very beautiful stretch of coastline where you can also walk a bit and always have spectacular views of the sea and the rocks.
Nossa Seniora da Roch
Here is a beautiful old chapel from the 17th century directly on a cliff, which once also served as a defense against pirates, but of which nothing can be seen today.
Praia de Marinha
This is one of the most spectacular stretches of coast between Albufeira and Portimao. You must have seen and hiked this part. One photo motif follows the next and you just can’t get enough of the magnificent nature. Especially the double arches are worth mentioning here, because you can also hike up on them and spectacular pictures arise.
We have “ignored” the Algarve for years and today we know that it was a mistake. The originality of this landscape, the uniqueness of nature and the friendliness of the people make the Algarve a worthwhile destination. Here, much is still as it must have been in the past in Spain, when tourism was not yet so developed. Portugal also attaches great importance to the protection of its coast, especially with regard to construction projects. Therefore, much is still original.
From a photographic point of view, you should consider the time at which you want to go to the various photo spots. Of course, the best times are early in the morning and late in the evening, but you also want to take a vacation. So you should look that you are not just ur lunch time on the road, but this rather spends in a delicious restaurant.
The Algarve has a lot to offer and we will definitely go there again.
Calendar of our Phototours online?
Which Photoequipment for Algarve?
The photo equipment we took to Portgal / Algarve is listed below. In addition, you have the possibility to order the photo equipment directly via our Photo-Store and to request further technical details. There you can also find a lot of extras.
- Nikon D500
- Apple Iphone 12 Pro
- DJI Mavic Mini
- Go Pro Hero 8
- Nikon 70-200mm f/4
- Nikon 18-105mm
Rucksack / Trolley:
- Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II
- Manfrotto MB SV-M-30BB Allegra 30