The Algarve is one of the best tourist destinations in Europe for people of all kinds! Portugal, in general, is a must-visit in Europe if you’re travelling solo, and the southern region of the Algarve especially should be on the top of your bucket list of places to explore. For us, at SeaBookings the Algarve is one of the best destinations for solo travellers, and especially for those who love the sea as much as we do! Here are some of our insights and tips to travel solo in the Algarve.
Safety to travel solo in the Algarve
One of the main reasons why the Algarve is a great place to travel solo is because it is very safe. Portugal has been on the top 5 of the safest countries for the last few years, and in 2020 it was ranked 4th on the list of the most peaceful countries published by the Global Peace Index. You can walk the streets of the algarvian towns at ease even at night, and there is very little crime overall in the region.
Of course, there can always be exceptions to the rule, but in general, you don’t have to worry at all when traveling solo in the Algarve. Portuguese people are also very helpful, so if you ever feel unsafe, you can always ask for help from local people. The Portugues police, called GNR, also speaks English and is very friendly and professional, so you can trust them to help you accordingly if you ever need anything.
How to get around in the Algarve
It is quite easy to get around in the Algarve between the main towns of the region. There are great bus and train connections between Faro, Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos that are very inexpensive and easy to catch. You can find most information online on the websites of the bus and train companies.
The bus terminals and train stations are easy to find, and you can always ask at your accommodation how to get there. Bus drivers and ticket sellers usually speak good English and you can always ask for help or more information if needed. Another option to get around is renting a car, which also gives you more freedom and flexibility to visit also remote beaches.
Of course, you don’t have to miss out on the amazing attractions the Algarve coast has to offer if you don’t have a car. Just book a boat tour from the city you’re staying in to visit amazing places like the famous Benagil cave or the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Boat tours are the best way way to get to know the most beautiful coastline of the Algarve! More adventurous travelers can also enjoy a kayak or SUP Tour!
Meeting people in the Algarve
Even if you’re traveling solo in the Algarve, doesn’t mean you have to stay alone for too long. In the Algarve it is super easy to meet new people from every corner of the world to connect with! Especially in Albufeira and Lagos there is a big backpacking community, and the cities are full of fun hostels and bars!
Did you know that Lagos and Albufeira are also famous for a wild nightlife? Especially Lagos is a magnet for young party people, and funny enough, it is full of Australians during summer! People from all over the world love to visit Lagos and spend some time there, thanks to the great atmosphere. Oh, not to forget the marvellous beaches all around the centre of Lagos!
But even if you’re not a party lion, there’s a lot of different kind of activities in the Algarve. Especially around the western end of the region, there are local yoga studios where you can just drop by for a class or any other event, and grab a delicious organic coffee at any of the new and modern cafés nearby. So whatever kind of people you’re looking for, in the Algarve you will probably find them!
Surfing in the Algarve is also a fun activity and a great way to explore the beaches. Surfers from all over the world come here to enjoy the consistently good conditions and the great variety of amazing surf spots. You can join one of the local surf schools around the coast to learn how to surf in the Algarve, and at the same time, it’s a great way to meet new people!
Activities for solo travelers in the Algarve
The Algarve is especially great for those who love activities in the sea or at the beach! There’s plenty of marvellous beaches surrounded by clear water and impressive rock formations. Did you know that there are many caves and grottos all around the coastline? The best way to visit them is with one of the many boat tours you can choose from in every town of the Algarve.
For those looking for more action, there’s a lot of options! Watersports in the Algarve are very popular, and there’s a lot to choose from! No matter if you would like to do a Kayak Tour to Benagil, a fishing tour, a Stand-Up Paddle Tour around the Ponta da Piedade or maybe even try out Flyboard in the Algarve – there’s something fun for everyone in the Algarve!
Our top 3 places for solo travelers in the Algarve
As you saw, there’s plenty to choose from when thinking about the Algarve as your next destination. However, the Algarve is quite big, and there are many different places you can stay at. These are our top 3 places for solo travelers in the Algarve
Lagos is the most popular backpacking destination in the Algarve and heaven for everybody looking for a vibrant town with amazing beaches and endless possibilities. Beach bums will love the variety of beaches to choose from like Praia da Batata, Praia Dona Ana, Porto de Mós or the long-stretched Meia Praia, that are all within walking distance from the beautiful city centre. There are many inexpensive and international hostels to choose from, and many different activities to do. Did you know that you can even do dolphin watching from Lagos? Another plus point is the buzzing nightlife and interesting events Lagos has to offer! All in all, Lagos is definitely the best place for solo travelers in the Algarve.
In Albufeira there are more tourists and thus also more people you can meet than in Lagos. You can relax at one of the beaches like Praia da Baleeira, Praia dos Alemães or Praia do Túnel and spend the nights having fun at one of the innumerous bars and clubs. Albufeira is (in)famous for crazy party nights it has to offer, so if you’re looking for a wild time Albufeira is the place to be! To get some refreshment on the day after, you can also enjoy a boat tour or even a SUP Tour in Albufeira!
The small coastal town of Sagres, in the far west end of the Algarve, is not as commercial as the previous two towns but by no means any less exciting. If you would like to start surfing during their stay in the Algarve, Sagres is a great destination. There are a lot of small hostels around Sagres and due to the many surf spots around Sagres, you have a fun and cool surfing vibe around the town.
For us, the Algarve is a perfect destination for solo travelers and we hope to have been able to help you with our tips for solo traveling in the Algarve! If you have any further questions, just send us an email – we’re always happy to help!