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Alvor, Algarve, Portugal


Alvor is one of the finest resort towns of the Algarve, and is the ideal destination if you are seeking a relaxed, beach-based holiday. Historically, Alvor was a fortified town and fishing port, which today has developed responsibly into a charming and mature holiday destination. The town lies on the banks of the Alvor Estuary, overlooking the protected marshlands of Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve, while to the south is the Praia do Alvor, one of the largest sandy beaches of the Algarve. Alvor is a delightful town, with distinctively Portuguese appearance; there are traditional white-washed houses, narrow cobbled streets and small fishing boats pulled up along the banks of the river.


Alvor may be a relatively small town, but it contains a surprisingly large selection of restaurants, shops and late-night bars, all of which are found within the pretty historic centre. Alvor has a calm and welcoming ambience, and a favourite with families during summer, and retirees outside of the peak months.

A holiday to Alvor is often focused around the beach, but there is a lot to see within the region, including the lively resort of Praia da Rocha, the historic city of Portimão and the Algarve’s famed waterparks. Alvor is a wonderful destination for a relaxing holiday, and this article will provide an introduction to the region.

Alvor effortlessly combines all of the aspects needed for an enjoyable beach-based holiday. There is a vast sandy beach, the weather is always glorious, and the region provides exceptional value for money. Alvor boasts an extensive selection of modern hotels, authentic restaurants and social bars, while still retaining a traditional Portuguese charm about the town. Alvor benefits from being close to the central Algarve, with its buzzing holiday atmosphere and varied activities, but is sufficiently remote not to feel overrun with hordes of package tourists. The holiday activities found within the region include; boat tours, coastal hikes, golf courses, water parks, surfing and big nights out.

The Algarve has a rich history, and this can be discovered by visiting the historic towns of Silves, Portimao and Lagos. All of these towns can be easily visited as day trips, using the inexpensive public transport.

Alvor is calm and low-key but they surrounding region certainly is not, and a holiday here can be peaceful or exciting as you wish to make it.

Alvor is suited for visitors who are looking for a simple, calm and inexpensive beach holiday. Alvor may not have historic monuments or a vast number of tourist attractions, but the town boasts Portuguese charm and a pleasant, laid-back ambience. Generally, Alvor caters for the slightly mature visitor, who does not want a town full of rowdy drunks looking to party all night long. As Alvor is less hectic than many of the other resort towns in the central Algarve, it is equally suited for families with young children.

From Alvor it is very easy to visit the towns of Portimão and Praia da Rocha, as these two destinations are connected by the inexpensive local bus network. Praia da Rocha is a busy and hectic resort town that is situated on a beautiful beach. This is the place to head to for a big party night out, as the town is crammed full with themed bars and late night venues.

Portimão is a large residential city that offers a scenic harbour, good shopping, and a chance to experience typical Portuguese daily life. Portimão is a major transport hub and from here it is possible to catch further buses to the historic towns of Silves and Lagos. Silves was the ancient capital of the Algarve and contains the Algarve’s best-preserved castle along with other monuments that reflect the once importance of the town.

Lagos is a much larger city and was the centre for Portugal’s glorious 14th century age of exploration. Lagos’ attractions including a fort, city walls, decorative churches and even a former slave market. Within walking distance of Lagos are the highly weather cliffs of the Ponte da Piedade, which are regarded as best natural feature of the Algarve. 

The main international airport is Faro airport, and this is located 70km to the east of Alvor. Faro airport is a major international airport and has direct flights covering the whole of Europe. All of the major low-cost airlines fly into Faro, which can provide great value flights, if booked far enough in advance. For the onward connection from Faro airport to Alvor, it is recommended to pre-book a transfer as the journey by public transport is difficult and time-consuming.

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