15 Reasons Why You Should Sail the Algarve Coast at Least Once in Your Lifetime
For many sailors, the ultimate sailing vacation includes exotic sights, impeccable weather, delicious cuisine, and plenty of activities, but it also gives you time to relax and “get away from it all”—this is the Algarve in a nutshell. Portugal’s southern region is a European paradise full of both history and modern amenities. Here are a “few” reasons why you should sail Algarve Coast at least once.
1. Amazing weather
Central and southern Portugal enjoy sunny days nearly year-round, and the air temperatures remain mild as well. It’s rare for air temperatures to dip below 19°C (66°F), in the heart of Summer, and hot summer days by the coast could reach air temperatures of 35ºC (95ºF). Located in the far south, Algarve is where visitors will find the country’s best weather and warmer days, with an average of 12 hours of sun everyday.
Algarve is full of Caves and secret spots, but there are 2 special ones that you must visit, they are Benagil Cave and the Arcos de Marinha. These are just 2 spots where the cliff sides give way to little, romantic alcoves. The best ways to visit them are by kayak, dinghy, SUP, or swimming.
3. Stunning cliffs
Western Algarve is where sailors will find some of the most dramatic and wild cliff sides, specifically in Lagos and Carvoeiro. Lagos is known for its fringe of multi-hued rocky exposures that wrap around crystal blue beaches, such as Camilo Beach.
4. Today’s strangers are tomorrow’s friends
The energy in the Algarve is a positive one and the locals are extremely friendly, especially near tourist-laden cities. It’s common to meet new people at the beach bars and organize to have dinner together later that evening. Also, knowing the right people (even only one) is enough to get you invited to events and nightclubs where everyone feels included.
5. All the fresh fish and seafood you can eat
It’s common to catch the scent of salt and fresh fish in the air while walking along the Algarve’s coast due to the fishing tradition. Fish markets are not hard to find, and in some locations, restaurants serve catches that were plucked from the ocean that same day. Traditional meals such as the Algarve’s famous cataplana or Portuguese amêijoas à bulhão pato (small clams in a butter, white wine, and garlic sauce) are sure to catch the attention of passersby with their aromatic and visual appeal.
6. General Portuguese food
Portuguese cuisine is fairly simple but delicious, and the country has caught worldwide attention with its fresh ingredients, Mediterranean touches, and comforting combinations. In Algarve, be sure to try frango assado, otherwise known as chicken piri-piri, grilled fish (especially sardines), or one of the many recipes for bacalhau (salted cod).
7. Lively nightlife
In Algarve, many people live for the nights when cities come alive with food, drinks, and lots of dancing. Most nights, the sun may come up again before night owls even leave the clubs, and breakfast at a local café is a must before heading to bed. The best cities for nightlife in Algarve are undoubtedly Lagos, Albufeira, Vilamoura, and Portimão.
8. Cultural heritage
Like all of Portugal, the Algarve is sprinkled with beautiful castle ruins, museums, and stunning cathedrals. In Lagos you can find a couple of the most populars including Castelo dos Governadores. Silves, in general, is a charming town with many historical landmarks that visitors can explore over the course of a day.
9. Plenty of beach space
Algarve is full of beaches everywhere and it’s always possible to find a place to put down your anchor. Whether you mind being surrounded by crowds or not can determine where you decide to go. The good thing as a sailor, you have several secret beaches to discover where you can find your peace or to do a beach party with your friends.
Algarve Coast is one of best-kept secrets in so many ways. The secret spots, the breathtaking views, the blue and crystal waters, the gold cliffs, the red cliffs, the sandy beaches, the beach clubs, and also the Sailing Conditions. This is one of the best place for the sailing lovers, to enjoy good winds, in open waters or in safe waters such as Ria Formosa plenty of sandy bar Islands to explore. The wind blows predominantly from North quadrant, with average speeds between 10 – 15 knots in the Summer. If you prefer a more calm and relaxed sailing, mornings are the best, winds are calm and fresh. If you want to fell some action you should wait for the afternoon, when usually the winds get a bit strong and hotter. Anchor points and ports are everywhere, and the facilities near by are good, its easy to find a super market, a bar or a restaurant.
11. Connection with the Ocean
Feeling the Atlantic Ocean itself is an amazing experience, even more amazing if you do it in The Algarve. There are so many Ocean things you can experience during your sailing trip, the region is very versatile and allow you to pic up the best in each spot. Alvor is a fantastic place for the Kite Lovers, its an amazing show to watch so many kites in the air. All the Coast is full of rocky caves and small islands where you can use your SUP to exercise and to explore, also Snorkling is a must have, the Ocean life underwater is something magical in this place. Try to catch your own dinner, fishing lines on the water and wait to see what the Ocean has to offer you.
Portugal is one of the most budget-friendly countries in Europe, and that fact extends to its southern tip. It’s possible to eat well for less than €15 at lunch or under €20 for dinner. There are many clubs where the entrance is free, and in the main ones you must pay in average 20€, with some drinks included. In a big club a glass of regular Vodka could cost you in average 8€ and a Bottle with a VIP Table would cost around 100€.
13. People speak English
Not only is the Algarve home to a large expat community (many coming from the UK), but the Portuguese have also acclimated to the droves of tourists who have made it their vacation destination for the past few decades.
14. It’s safe
Portugal is currently listed as one of the safest countries in the world. While it’s not completely invisible to crimes and violence, which is especially common in tourist destinations, the Algarve is still a peaceful place to visit. All the Marinas has security doors and surveillance, they are absolutely safe. Portuguese Maritime Guard is one of the best in the world and their action in case of someone asking for help, is extremely quick. Also all the Region of Algarve is well equipped with good Hospitals and the health care costs are not expensive, just a nice information, hopefully no one will need it.
15. Roots deep in tradition and culture
Part of the allure of traveling is experiencing a different and unique culture, and the Algarve has held strong onto its own. Hints of Portugal’s maritime past and influence during the Age of Discoveries are still visible in various forms, from the fortifications to museums and long-standing fishing markets. Medieval buildings and even some homes still reflect styles introduced by the Moors, centuries ago. The Algarve is also an excellent location where tourists can taste culture in the form of traditional cuisine and liquor such as medronho (take care, its really powerfull).