Explore & Indulge in the Algarve October 3, 2022
Getting Around in the Algarve
One of the most underrated Algarve tips is to skip the rental car. The public transportation around the Algarve is as convenient as it is inexpensive, and it’s exceptionally straightforward to use. Trains connect major cities from Lagos in the east to Vila Real de Santo António in the west and more northern cities like Lisbon.
The Algarve has a great new bus fleet for smaller towns that the train can’t reach (Vamus Algarve). There are multiple routes around the region, including service from the Faro airport and even a few scenic bus routes explicitly created for sightseeing. Once you’re in the towns, walking is easy.If you don’t mind paying a little extra, rideshare apps are available in the Algarve, including Uber and Bolt. Of course, if you want to explore The Algarve deeply and on your own time, you would want to rent a car, and that’s easy enough to do so from the airport.
What to Eat in the Algarve
Dining is a full-on experience in Portugal! One of the best Algarve tips we can give you is to INDULGE! Food is a very important aspect of Portuguese culture, so you’ll want to try some authentic cuisine while you’re here.
Most restaurants will bring out appetizers shortly after you sit down. This could be anything from a dish of olives to marinated carrots. While delicious, be warned that these are not put on the table for free. There is a small fee for these plates, usually marked as a “couvert” on the bill. If you don’t want to indulge, simply tell the waiter “no thank you” (“não obrigado/a”) before they leave the appetizer on the table.Moving onto mains, some must-tries in the Algarve include grilled sardines, piri-piri (spicy) chicken, and Cataplana (a grilled stew with fish or meat). You’ll also need to adhere to local mealtimes, as most restaurants close between service times (roughly 2 pm and 7 pm). Prime dining time in Portugal is between 7 pm and 9 pm, and reservations are recommended – especially on weekends. The Portuguese have a serious sweet tooth, so stop by a “pasteleria” after dinner and enjoy in local pastries. Pastel de Nata, a custard tart, is possibly the most popular, and you’ll see it everywhere.
How to Save Money in the Algarve
If you’re searching for money-saving Algarve tips, the best thing you can do is travel during the off-season or shoulder season. July and August are busiest and, therefore, the most expensive times in the Algarve.
You could also save a few Euros by skipping the appetizers when you dine out. These come out whether you request them or not, but you can always politely pass on them. Also, try to avoid touristy outposts near the beach. While it may be convenient, these establishments usually hike up the prices and don’t serve mediocre food. Instead, venture further into town and your wallet (and stomach) will thank you.
Safety in the Argarve
In particular, Portugal and the Algarve are very safe vacation destinations. That being said, petty theft is not unheard of, so never leave your items unattended at the beach or in the rental car if you have one. You should also look out for pickpockets in the more touristy areas – avoid touching the place where you are keeping your valuables as this tips them off!
If you plan on swimming, be sure to heed the flags on the beach: green is good, yellow means proceed with caution and stay near the shore, and red means you should stay out of the water. If you are not a strong swimmer, try to pick a beach that has lifeguards and be aware of strong currents and riptides.We hope this information has helped you plan (and then ENJOY) your vacation to The Algarve, Portugal!