Algarve in the Winter ? Discovering Portugal’s Cliffs and Beaches

Is it worth to visit Algarve in the Winter? Check out the best hiking trails and photos of this region of Portugal here! 

“Is it worth to visit Algarve in the Winter ?” was the question that plagued my mind over and over as I started to plan my week long journey to the South of Europe.

Sure, the relatively cold temperatures make it impossible to swim but the beauty of the Algarve lies not only on the beach life but rather on the amazing cliffs and the many hikes that you can enjoy all year round.

Ready to explore some of Portugal’s finest cliffs and beaches?

Algarve in the Winter

The cliffs and beaches of the Algarve region

Albufeira or Lagos? Where to go in the Algarve region?

Before we start, let’s make one thing clear: Algarve is the name of a region in Portugal and not a city by itself.

In fact, there are many small towns and cities scattered all around the Algarve region although the main ones in terms of tourism are (from East to West) Albufeira and Lagos.

PS. Some people actually confuse Lagos, Portugal with Lagos, Nigeria when it comes to booking hotels so be careful about that!

Algarve in the Winter

Looking between the plants of the Algarve

Which one is the best? In my opinion this all depends on the season.

For Algarve in the Summer, Albufeira offers the best beaches to swim in while for Algarve in the Winter, Lagos offers the best hiking trails.

Plus, thanks to its westernmost location, you can enjoy impressive sunsets like this one below. Pretty neat, uh?

Algarve in the Winter

Sunset in Lagos, Algarve region

How cold is Winter in the Algarve? Can I swim? What to do and see in Lagos? 

Winter in Lagos is reasonably warm and even though the water of the Atlantic Ocean is way too cold for you to swim, you can easily lay down in the beach and relax during your Winter holiday to the Algarve.

That being said, the nights are really cold thanks to the wind so it is suggested that you pack at least one jacket and a pair of long trousers.

Algarve in the Winter

Old Town of Lagos in the Algarve

The town of Lagos is quite big although the historical area is a very small one. Some points of interest include the city walls and the miradouros (viewpoints) that offer impressive views of the city’s architecture.

Inside the historical old town itself you shall encounter traditional Portuguese white houses and an endless number of restaurants with some of the best (and cheapest) food of the South of Europe.

Can you believe that you get a beef steak with fries for only 5 euros?

Algarve in the Winter

Raphael Alexander, the man behind Journey Wonders

Lagos is conveniently located on the way between Sevilla and Lisbon so a stop here is natural when you’re planning your South European Journey of Wonders (bus from Sevilla to Lagos is about 20 euros while the train from Lagos to Lisbon is 20 euros more).

So… what are the best hiking trains of Algarve in the Winter? Well, funny you ask because we’re about to explore some of the best spots of Lagos, Portugal my friends!

Algarve in the Winter

Natural beauty of the Algarve

Algarve in the Winter: The best hiking trails of Lagos, Portugal

When it comes to hiking trails, the Algarve region is the favourite of many travellers all around the world and it isn’t hard to see why. Lagos has one big marked circuit that goes from the top of Praia do Canavial to the Praia dos Estudiantes located a few minutes away from the historical Old Town.

Completing this trail will take you about 3 hours at a leisure pace and you can even descend from the cliffs to enjoy some beach time and take a close look at the many iconic arches of the Algarve.

Algarve in the Winter

Winter hiking in the cliffs of the Algarve

Along the trail you will find a couple of restaurants and toilets (as well as staircases that lead you down from the cliffs to the beaches) so you don’t have to worry about a thing, just enjoy the pleasant hike of wonders and feel one with Mother Nature.

And speaking about nature, I must admit that the vegetation of the hiking trail really took me by surprise since I wasn’t expecting to see as many flowers and colorful plants in the middle of the Winter.

At some points I had to pinch myself twice to make sure I wasn’t dreaming about Spring!!!

Algarve in the Winter

The flora of the Algarve region

If you’re looking for the perfect escape from the cold European Winter, the Algarve region of Portugal is probably your best choice since you can hike for ages without any worry in the world.

Would you like to visit the Algarve and explore its wonders? Come on, I know you do my dear wonder friends!

Note: During the Summer you can take scenic boat rides departing from the cliff nearest to the lighthouse in the middle of the hiking trail (Ponta de Piedade) while during the Winter they only depart from the Marina in Lagos.

Algarve in the Winter

Sunset in Lagos, Algarve in Portugal

Where to stay in Lagos, Portugal

Accommodation in Lagos is very affordable although you get what you pay for in terms of comfort (heating for those cold Winter nights is quite rare) and luxury. Here’s a list of my recommendations for all types of budget:

For budget hostels and guest houses, I recommend the Lagos Tagohostel and the Suite Thing Hostel. When it comes to luxury and boutique hostels my best choices are the Quinta Bonita Luxury Boutique Hotel and the Balmar Spa & Beach Resort.

You can make a booking for this and more properties via our Affiliate Link of Wonders!

Same price for you and a small pocket money commission for this website of yours.

Sweet deal, uh?

Algarve in the Winter

The call of nature at the Algarve

I hope you have enjoyed this article about the natural wonders of the Algarve region. Don’t forget to subscribe in order to get more awesome updates and tips straight to your e-mail!

Have you ever been to the Algarve region of Portugal? Would you like to? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think!

Until next time, my friends!

Visiting Portugal's biggest beach destination in the winter may sound crazy, but there are plenty of things to do: delicious food, stunning coast, roadtrips and more via @journeywonders

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10 Responses

  1. Johanna Bradley

    I have a home in the eastern end of the Algarve (in Tavira) and can recommend it as a year round destination. I love the off season when it’s quieter. I’m back there in April and might just try your Lagos walk. Many thanks for sharing. :)

    • Manuela

      Hello Johanna, i just read this article and since i am planning a long stay over december and january in Algarve, i was wondering which town would be better to stay in Lagos or Tavira, bearing in mind, as a single traveller, I’d rather not be too isolated. Many tks for your post and to Raphael for his helpful tips.

  2. Chantae

    Beautiful pics – would love to go someday! The picture of the reef is so stunning.

  3. Pericles Rosa

    I don’t swim in the Algarve even in the summer. The water is way too cold for me :-/ Great pics and article. I love this part of Portugal :)

  4. yoshiko

    we will go to Ponta da Piedade at 2018/02
    it’s there have boat to see Algarve caves??
    we have 12 persons~ want book a boat to see that