Cities in the Algarve

Our local crew would like to introduce you to some of the main cities in the Algarve.


Overlooking some of the Algarve’s most dramatic scenery, the small, elongated village of Sagres has an end-of-the-world feel with its sea-carved cliffs and empty, wind-whipped fortress high above the frothing ocean.     


As far as touristy towns go, Lagos (lah-goosh) has got the lot. It lies along the bank of the Rio Bensafrim, with 16th-century walls enclosing the old town’s pretty, cobbled lanes and picturesque piazzas and churches. Beyond these lies a modern but not overly unattractive sprawl. The town’s good restaurants and the range of fabulous nearby beaches add to the allure. With every activity under the sun (literally) on offer, plus a pumping nightlife, it’s not surprising that people of all ages are drawn here.


This is the base location of Portiate Charters, If you have chartered a yacht in Portugal with Portiate, then you will eventually end up in this town. Bustling Portimão is the western Algarve’s main commercial centre and the second most populous city in the Algarve. Those expecting a gritty port town will be disappointed/relieved the centre is a small, friendly hub with a pleasant waterfront, an assortment of outdoor cafes, and sizzling fish restaurants in the old quarter and quayside. You can also arrange a boat trip up the Rio Arade. Most people only pass through en route to Praia da Rocha.


Ferragudo is a quaint former fishing village at the mouth of the River Arade across from Portimão and Praia da Rocha.

Ferragudo with its picturesque church, fisherman’s houses and Castel de São João do Arade makes for a pleasant half-day or full-day excursion. This place is well worth a visit.


Carvoeiro is a picturesque Portuguese resort town that is set amidst a stunning coastline, and makes for a fantastic holiday destination for tourists who are wishing a calm and relaxed holiday. Carvoeiro has so much to offer, including pristine beaches, a traditional Portuguese ambience and an extensive selection of restaurants and bars. 

Many tourists visit Carvoeiro purely for a peaceful holiday but there is a lot to do within the region, from challenging hiking trails, thrilling water sports and interesting day trips.


Albufeira is the largest, liveliest and most energetic of all of the resort towns that line southern Portugal’s beautiful Algarve coastline. Albufeira provides stunning beaches, a glorious climate, a vast selection of restaurants and a buzzing nightlife.

Being the largest resort town of the Algarve, Albufeira has an extensive range of activities, attractions and hotels, making the town an ideal holiday destination for families, couples or groups looking to party. This guide will provide an introduction Albufeira for tourists who are planning to visit this fantastic region of Portugal.


Vilamoura is one of southern Portugal’s finest resort towns – offering so much more than just stunning beaches and a glorious climate. Vilamoura was envisaged in the 1980s as an exclusive beach resort and elite golfing center, and today the town has matured into a stylish and modern holiday destination that boasts celebrated golf courses and outstanding tourist facilities.


The Ilha da Culatra (Culatra Island) is a large sand bar island that is located south of the resort towns of Olhão and Faro. The island is part of the Ria Formosa national park and this has limited development, there are no paved roads on Culatra and the only method to reach the island is by ferry.

Along the southern side of the island there are golden beaches, with calm crystal clear waters while on the northern side there are the lagoons. The Ilha da Culatra is the location to head for to escape the crowds and even in the summer season peace and quiet can be easily found.

The main attraction of Culatra Island is the natural scenery and abundant wildlife that is combined with the great empty beaches that run the length of the Island. Ilha da Culatra has two small villages, one on the western side called Farol and the second on the northern banks called Culatra, both villages traditionally supported small fishing fleets but today tend for the tourist trade.

When booking one of our skippered boats, you can expect many more tips about some of the cities you should visit in the Algarve.

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