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The Best (non-surf) things to do in the Algarve

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The Best (non-surf) things to do in the Algarve

Charlote Philpotts is a Philosophy and Literature Graduate, PR Account Exec and Travel Blogger who has a soft spot for Portugal. We are all guilty of being single-mindedly surf obsessed sometimes here at Errant so we asked Charlotte for her top non surf things to do in The Algarve:
We all know the Algarve is a great place to surf, but the popular Portuguese region also has a whole host of attractions to keep you busy when you’re out of the waves. In today’s post we round up the best things to do and see on your next trip.
Explore the sea caves of Algar Seco
If you fancy yourself as a bit of an explorer, then take a trip to Algar Seco. The stunning collection of underwater caves, tunnels and shimmering pools can be reached on land by walking down a series of steep steps or by water on one of the boat trips run by local fisherman. With crystal clear waters and a wide selection of marine life shacking up there, it’s one not to be missed.
Party at The Cocktail Garden
There’s plenty of places to have a drink in the Algarve but The Cocktail Garden in Monte Carvoeiro is one of my favourites. Luis and Catia are a dream duo working every night during the season to keep you supplied with the best cocktails in the region. They screen all the major sporting events, have regular karaoke nights and serve free salted popcorn all night long – what more could you want?!
Wine and Dine at Vilamoura Marina
If you want to see how the other half live there’s nothing like checking out the boats moored in Vilamoura Marina. With the average boat costing millions of pounds they are definitely a sight to behold! The marina is also jam packed with restaurants, little shops and a Haagen Dazs ice cream shop (yes, a whole shop!), making it the best place in the Algarve to while away an evening.
Chill out at Praia do Paraiso
One thing that most surfers will appreciate is a good beach, and a far cry from the busy tourist spots that can be found on much of the Algarve’s coastline,
Praia do Paraiso is a beautiful little secluded bay where its rich coloured cliffs and crystal blue waters make it the perfect tranquil retreat. The beach can only be accessed by a long flight of stairs from the street overhead and there are no facilities down there, which means it doesn’t get too crowded with lots of families. There is also a gorgeous little restaurant on the street above called O Boteco where you can eat some delicious Portuguese seafood and watch the sunset.
Play 18holes on the Algarve’s greens
If spending a day chilling out and doing nothing isn’t your thing, then why not take advantage of one of the Algarve’s many golf courses. They are known to be some of the best in the world and suit all abilities from beginner to a budding Tiger Woods. You can find trip advisor’s pick of the courses here: (
Take a trip to FIESA
For something a bit out of the ordinary, you could head down to the world famous FIESA, an International Sand Sculpture Festival. With huge sand sculptures of anything and everything you can imagine, it is sure to impress. The festival runs from May – October and has a different theme each year, meaning you can head back summer after summer.
Step back in time at the Castle of Silves
If you want a bit of culture from your trip, then take a walk around the Castle of Silves. There are no fancy interactive guides at this attraction, and a lot of the information is only written in Portuguese. However the infrastructure is some of the best preserved in the whole of the Algarve, meaning you can get a real taste of Portugese history!
Have you ever visited any of these places? Where are your favourite spots in the Algarve? Let us know in the comments below.
(All photos taken from here)

Hans van Mourik

Co-founder SurfaWhile, ♥️ tech, travel, sports & outdoors.

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