Western Algarve – Portimão, Lagos and Praia Salema

"Ever felt the urge to really disconnect, get away from it all but worried where you’ll find a decent bed and a good bottle of something palatable…….now you have your spot! Just don’t tell anybody!" - Reviewed by Lisa

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This off-the-Algarve-main-track destination oozes history, beauty, and tranquillity, all liberally sprinkled with stunning beaches and remarkable places to dine, golf and surf.


Let’s start in Portimão, Western Algarve’s biggest city. Portimão retains a relaxed air, lovely places to wander and discover with its extensive waterfront walkway and plenty of nods to its fishing-rich history. With Praia da Rocha next door, a huge swathe of sandy beach with a choice of places perfect for late-night revelry and partying.


Next stop Lagos and the pace slows markedly, the surf picks up and the charm quota increases. Steeped in history, Lagos offers a maze of cobblestone streets lined with bars, restaurants, and boutiques.

Praia Salema

For true tranquilly and unrivalled scenery, look no further than Praia Salema. Voted one of the best family beaches in the world with crystal-clear waters, fishermen here still plough the local waters and dinosaur fossils are just waiting to be discovered!


  • 80 min to Faro International Airport
  • 10 km to Sagres
  • About 2-1/2 hours from Lisbon


  • Beaches – Lagos and Western Algarve offer beaches galore, perfect for swimming, windsurfing, shelling, and snorkelling. Gently sloping sandy beaches run for miles at a low tide or create Instagram-worthy coves and bays.
  • Surfing – With windy Sagres at the far end of the coast, when the surf picks up there are dozens of places to hunt your perfect wave, as well as plenty of choice for board and wetsuit rental. Why not try kite surfing and electric hydrofoils, too.
  • Hiking – Miles of unspoilt trails hang the clifftops from Portimão to Sagres, joining the heralded Costa Vicentina at Europe’s most south-westerly point and continuing up the west coast. Combine nature and culture passing ruins of deserted forts and lonely lighthouses.
  • History – From Prehistoric to Roman to one of the world’s most important naval Bases – the place Henry the Navigator set out from on his voyages of discovery. Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake and Lord Nelson, all passed by on their voyages of exploration and called this the end of the world!
  • Golf – Challenging courses abound, something to suit every player and pocketbook, each guaranteed to offer breath-taking views across the ocean, river, and lagoons. Play amongst ancient ruins and enjoy the heady aroma of the area’s diverse landscape.
  • Gastronomy – Watch the fishing boats land their catch and enjoy relaxed lunches of the freshest grilled sardines or multitude of fish, octopus, and crab. Take a trip to any of the local markets for flavourful organic delights.