The sunny South of Portugal is famous for its stunning coastline and irresistible allure to travellers seeking the ultimate motorhome escape. But there's so much more to the area than its golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. From typical architecture and off the beaten track villages to local traditions and nature reserves teeming with wildlife, delve into the heart of this region and discover its hidden gems along the way. Whether you're a beach enthusiast or a history buff, we've got a list of places you won't want to miss on your motorhome road trip in the Algarve!
The Algarve offers endless choices for your van or motorhome getaway. Embark on this scenic route that meanders through the region's most beautiful spots, guaranteed to ignite your sense of wanderlust and create unforgettable memories along the way.
Day 1 - Begin your adventure by discovering the charms of Faro before revelling in the fresh air and natural beauty of Ria Formosa Natural Park. You won’t want to miss this renowned gem, considered to be one of Portugal's Seven Wonders. To finish off the day, consider a visit to the pretty coastal town of Tavira.
Day 2 - Take a moment to unwind and soak up the sun on the idyllic shores of Praia da Marinha and Praia da Albandeira. The golden sand and azure waters are bound to win you over! And as your road trip through the Algarve unfolds, be sure to include a visit to the captivating Benagil Caves.
Day 3 - Head to Ferragudo and discover its enchanting atmosphere as you meander through this picturesque village, nestled on top of a hill. Stroll along its winding scenic paths and tucked-away corners that reveal its unique charm! Next, make your way to Silves, a town teeming with culture and history where the true highlight awaits - a visit of its castle.
Day 4 - Set out to explore the captivating Lagos region, allowing yourself the opportunity to make a stop in town if you feel like it. However, be sure to devote enough time to the awe-inspiring cliffs of Ponta da Piedade, a true eye-opener! If you have extra time to spare, treat yourself to the sun-soaked beach of Luz or plan a little trip to the quaint village of Salema.
Day 5 & 6 - Begin your expedition with the fortress of Sagres, located near Cabo Sao Vicente, the southernmost point of Portugal. If you have time, take in the view from Cabo de Sao Vicente for one of the most beautiful sunsets. The sea stretches for miles in the background and the horizon is so blurry that you can't even distinguish the sea from the sky. From there, hit the road for a captivating tour of the South-West Alentejano and Costa Vicentina Natural Park which is home to some of the most exquisite beaches. Take your pick from the likes of Praia da Cordoama, Praia da Arrifana or Praia da Odeceixe, all boasting their own unique beauty. If you’re an avid hiker, don’t worry, the region's trails promise an unforgettable adventure.
Day 7 - Conclude your road trip with a captivating journey through the mountainous landscapes nestled in the heart of the Algarve. Hop in your van and explore the hidden gems of Monchique and Alte. These two villages offer a fresh and captivating perspective, allowing you to witness a whole new side of the Algarve region.
Faro, the capital of the Algarve, seems like a perfect starting point. With an airport on site, it's ideal for getting there by plane and then renting a motorhome in Faro. Surrounded by ramparts, this city has a great cultural and historical heritage. You'll discover a superb Gothic cathedral and a Bishop's Palace as you can wander through its narrow cobbled streets.
Embarking on a short 8-kilometre journey from Faro, you'll stumble upon Olhão, a charming coastal town exuding an air of tranquillity. This hidden gem offers more than meets the eye, as it’s home to a quaint fishermen's district brimming with charm and character. And when it’s time to unwind by the sea, look no further than the sun-kissed beach on the idyllic Ria Formosa island. With its fresh water and gentle ripples, it's perfect for little ones.
Make sure you include a stop in Tavira, just 28 km from Olhão. With latticed doors adorning traditional houses, this pretty town is a true reflection of the region's Arab heritage. Through its narrow, winding and sloping streets, you'll discover plenty of churches, ramparts and even a castle. Tavira is a true marvel that will leave you spellbound at every turn.
If you're planning a road trip in the Algarve lasting several weeks, you can’t miss Lagos, Portimão and Albufeira! These vibrant coastal towns are brimming with excitement and offer a wide array of experiences. And when it comes to exploring charming villages, don't miss out on the gems of Ferragudo and Alte. These spots promise to captivate you with their unique charm and authentic local vibes.
No motorhome trip to the Algarve would be complete without exploring its breathtaking beaches! Bordering the Atlantic coast and surrounded by towering cliffs, they are famous for their crystal-clear waters and gorgeous rocks emerging from the ocean depths. Swimmers and water sport lovers are bound to be blown away by the Algarve’s idyllic coastline, while surfing enthusiasts will be thrilled to discover Portugal's unmissable spots. And if that doesn’t float your boat, there are plenty of other outdoor activities for you to discover on your trip.
One of the most famous beaches is Praia da Marinha located in Lagos. It has earned its reputation as one of the best in Europe, and once you set foot on its shore, you’ll understand why! As well as having crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect spot for diving and snorkelling, it boasts some beautiful cliffs with uniquely captivating shapes. Calling all photographers, these cliffs are a real treat that are guaranteed to leave you in awe.
Falesia beach, in Albufeira, is just as spectacular and even bigger! Stretching over 10km, this beach is a testament to nature's grandeur. Sheltered by red cliffs with a unique charm, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shore and relish in the captivating hues that change colour with the shifting light.
If you want to discover more on your Algarve road trip, be sure to explore Ponta da Piedade, the Benagil Caves and Albandeira beach.
A road trip in the Algarve in a motorhome or a van is an excellent way to discover the area, as there are plenty of campsites and motorhome parks to choose from. There’s no doubt you'll find somewhere to suit your budget and needs!
If you're looking for a place with plenty of great facilities, the Yelloh Village Turiscampo Algarve Campsite is the way to go. Located in Lagos, it has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool baths, entertainment for children, a wellness centre, a restaurant… And so much more! A pitch costs around €60 for two nights, and we recommend you book well in advance.
If you're after a more affordable option, we recommend the Armação de Pêra Campsite. You'll find a swimming pool, play area and wifi access for around €100 a week for two people.
There's also the Albufeira Campsite, which costs between €3.85 and €9.50 a day, depending on the type of motorhome and time of year. Electricity costs between €2.50 and €3.50, and the daily charge for each adult is between €3.20 and €5.80.
But don't worry, these aren't the only options! You'll find campsites all along the coast so there's no need to change your motorhome itinerary through the Algarve just because you're looking for accommodation.
You'll also find plenty of motorhome parks. Here are a few places where you can spend the night:
Just 10 km from Albufeira, you'll find the Falésia Algarve Motorhome Park. Set in the heart of the countryside, it's right next to Falesia beach. It costs €9 a day, including electricity, water, a bathroom and WiFi. The same company also has a motorhome park inland in Silves, which costs €8.50.
Another option is Club Almada d'Ouro, in Odeleite. The daily rate is €5, with water and electricity included. It has toilets, showers, WiFi, a washing machine, picnic area, bar and drainage.
As for the capital, Faro, you'll find a free car park close to the port and the city centre: Largo de San Francisco car park.
There's also Camperstop Messines, next to São Bartolomeu de Messines, in a very peaceful area. It costs €7.50 per day, with the price decreasing according to the number of days you spend there. This price includes water, showers, toilets and WiFi.
If you hadn't already noticed, a road trip in the Algarve sounds like a great idea for a holiday! So what's stopping you from hiring a motorhome or a campervan in Portugal and embarking on a road trip?
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