Planning a trip to Portugal’s Algarve region can be overwhelming. With over a dozen resort towns to choose from, finding the best places to stay in the Algarve Portugal is a big decision and will depend on what you are looking for in your choice of Portugal beach resorts.
Which is why we’ve put together this guide of the best places to stay in Algarve, recommendations for the best beaches in Algarve and a selection of Algarve hotels for every budget and travel style. Now, let’s pick the best Algarve town for you!
We will cover off all types of The Algarve accommodation options from Hostels to luxury The Algarve hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in The Algarve, the best The Algarve hotels, best places in The Algarve to visit, the best places to stay in The Algarve, hotels near The Algarve attractions, The Algarve neighborhood guide and many more.
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Table of Contents
Lagos – Where to stay in Algarve for first timers
The combination of multiple beach options, plentiful resorts, nightlife and entertainment makes Lagos Algarve the best area for tourists, especially those visiting the Algarve for the first time. At one hour from the Faro airport, Lagos is one of the farthest resort towns from the capital city, but rental cars and resort shuttles are readily available.
Unlike many beach resort areas in the Algarve, Lagos also has a fair amount of history and culture to explore, making it the perfect destination for a family holiday that offers more than just beach time. Lagos’ old town has monuments, museums and a historic fortress. With plenty of nightclubs in Lagos, it’s also one of the best towns in Algarve for nightlife.
Where to stay in Lagos Portugal
Portimao – Where to stay in Algarve for shopping
At the mouth of the Arade River, Portimao is the largest city in the western Algarve, and was once a large hub for shipping and fishing. As a larger city, this is a good option if you want to know where to stay in Algarve without a car, as you can use public transportation to get to and from Portimao, as well as getting around the city easily.
Portimao itself does not have a beach, but you can easily find a boutique hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, or simply take a day trip to nearby beach resort of Praia da Rocha, just two kilometres from the center of Portimao. The central location of Portimao makes it easy to check out Lagos and Albufeira, each less than 30 minutes by car.
Best places to stay in Portimao
Faro – Where to stay in Algarve for day trips
Faro is the largest city in the Algarve, and anyone flying in will pass through the Faro airport. If you want an all-around cultural vacation with a few day trips to the beach, then Faro is the best place to stay in the Algarve.
Faro is also the best location from which to explore Ria Formosa Natural Park, a tranquil natural escape from the touristic beach resorts of the Algarve. As the largest city, Faro has more accommodation options and travellers looking for a budget-friendly hostel or hotel will easily find something to suite their tastes.
Best places to stay in Faro
Tavira – Where to stay in Algarve for couples
Just 30 minutes east of Faro is the tranquil town of Tavira. Travellers come to Tavira to experience history and culture, which is most evident in the Moorish architecture of the region. For those who wish to explore the estuaries and pristine beaches and islands of Ria Formosa Natural Park, but prefer not to stay in Faro, then Tavira is a good option.
Since this side of the Algarve is much more quiet and relaxed than the ritzy beach resort of western Algarve, Tavira is the best place to stay in Algarve for couples looking for a quiet romantic getaway.
Best places to stay in Tavira
Almancil – Where to stay in Algarve for luxury travellers
Almancil is an exclusive area just 15 minutes from the Faro airport. It is best known for luxury resorts and empty sandy beaches. Located in what is known as the Golden Triangle of the Algarve, visitors to Almancil will be surrounded in opulence, and foodie travelers will be rewarded with not one, but three Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other Algarve town. Two luxury resorts make up the bulk of acommodation in Almancil, with several golf courses attached to these resorts.
Best places to stay in Almancil
Budget Hotels in Almancil
Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto
Alvor – Where to stay in Algarve with family
Nestled between Lagos and Portimao, Alvor is a quiet, family-friendly Algarve town that offers a more laid-back alternative to the larger cities surrounding it. The nearby Ria de Alvor Nature Preserve protects marshlands and wildlife, while the Praia do Alvor is one of the largest beaches in the Algarve. There’s not much in the way of nightlife here, and Alvor tends to attract an older crowd, but should you wish for quiet accommodation you can stay in Alvor and make a day trip to nearby Portimao or Praia da Rocha for more entertainment options.
Best places to stay in Alvor
Albufeira – Where to stay in Algarve for nightlife
Just 35 minutes from the Faro airport, Albufeira Algarve is one of the liveliest towns in the Algarve. Albufeira has an old town area with cobblestone streets and quaint restaurants, family-friendly waterparks and attractions and it’s easy to find a hotel in Albufeira.
If you are coming to the Algarve for nightlife, you will inevitably end up on the Strip of Albufeira, where some of Portugal’s best bars and nightclubs stay open until the wee hours. This partying reputation attracts lots of weekend crowds and stag do’s, so if that’s your scene, this is the best area of the Algarve for you!
Best places to stay in Albufeira
Olhão – Where to stay in Algarve for relaxation
The nearest town to both Faro and the Ria Formosa Natural Park is the old fishing village of Olhão. If you plan to take any day trips by ferry to nearby islands, they leave from Olhão, making this a good place to stay. This area is a quiet respite from nearby Faro and the proximity means you can still enjoy anything you’d like to see in Faro, but have a quiet retreat at the end of the day.
Olhão itself has many cute cafes, shops and restaurants, and you’ll definitely have a more local, authentic feel than in some of the larger cities and ports.
Best places to stay in Olhão
Monchique – Where to stay in Algarve for beach lovers
If you are coming to the Algarve for outdoor adventure rather than beaches or nightlife, then Monchique is the spot for you. Nestled in the forested hills above Lagos and Portimao, Monchique is a destination for hiking holidays and has been called the “greenest town of the Algarve.”
The highest point in the Algarve is also known for nearby hot springs and wellness resort at Caldas de Monchique. After a vigorous hiking holiday, should you desier a day at the beach, Praia da Rocha is just 35 minutes by car from Monchique.
Best places to stay in Monchique
Mid range Hotels in Monchique
Family Friendly Hotels in Monchique
Casa dos Batalim
Sagres – Where to stay in Algarve for nature lovers
At the westernmost tip of the Algarve, Sagres is a nature-lover’s retreat from the chaos of other beach resorts. The lush landscape ends in dramatic cliffs and wide, sandy beaches. The ruggedness of this area attracts surfers and beach bums and while there are fewer hotels in Sagres, it’s quite popular for campervans. The surrounding national park and preserve offers ample hiking opportunities, as well, making this a well-rounded place for adventure travelers.
Best places to stay in Sagres
Vilamoura – Where to stay in Algarve for golfing
Not far from Almancil, Vilamoura is another exlusive resort area. Vilamoura is best known for several local golf courses, as well as luxury resorts and gourmet restaurants. Vilamoura also has one of the best beaches in the Algarve and a posh marina where yachts are welcome. Nearby Quarteira Harbour is a fishing hub, meaning seafood is fresh and plentiful in Vilamour.
The marina also hosts day trips for fishing and dolphin-watching. Between golf, sightseeing and beaches, Vilamoura is easily a place you can spend a week, especially if you are looking for a five-star experience.
Best places to stay in Vilamoura
Carvoeiro – Where to stay in Algarve for active people
Just twenty minutes from Portimao, the village of Carvoeiro retains an authentic feel of a Portuguese village, while still offering plenty of tourist activities and accommodations.
There is a little bit of everything in Carvoeiro: family-friendly waterparks, hiking trails, pristine beaches, cliffs, caves and boat excursions. Other activities in Carvoeiro include scuba diving, kayaking, stand-up-paddleboarding, Jeep tours, a visit to the Alfanzina Lighthouse. Of course, fresh seafood and Portuguese specialties await you at several locally-owned restaurants.
Best places to stay in Carvoeiro
Budget Hotels in Carvoeiro
Pestana Gramacho Residences
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