What do you think when you hear “Algarve”? Probably sun, summer, sea and lots of fun in the warm weather right? But did you know that there are also some very good reasons to visit the Algarve during winter? In this post, we’ll show you the best things to do in the Algarve in the winter!
The Algarve is a quite decent destination for everybody who wishes to escape the cold and wet winters in Northern Europe and enjoy some sunshine and rather mild temperatures! The average days with rainfall from December to March are around 10-15 per month, which isn’t so bad right? The average temperature in these months is around 15-20°C, which is great if you come from a country where it’s snowing and always around 0°C!
In general, I personally love the Algarve during winter. And if you do any of the following things to do in the Algarve in the winter you will surely enjoy your holidays in the winter in the Algarve as well!
Here are our top five things to do in the Algarve in the Winter
Yes, this one was to be expected, given that the Benagil cave is our all-time favourite activity! Luckily, there are quite some tours still running through winter, like the tour from Lagos, Carvoeiro or Portimão! And the best thing is, that you will have the cave that is usually swamped with people a lot more to yourselves!
So visiting the Benagil cave is definitely one of the top things to do in the Algarve in the winter, as this is when you actually get to enjoy it the most! Without the masses of tourists, you will be able to take even more impressive photos! And it’s somewhat romantic, isn’t it? Spending a cosy winter day on board of a boat visiting a rather empty cave! We love it, and that’s why it’s one of the things to do in the Algarve in the winter!
Hike the Rota Vicentina or Via Algarviana
If you come to the Algarve in the winter, you can actually do some hiking and explore the nature of the Algarve. Something, that isn’t really a great thing to do during summer, as it’s simply too hot. Also in the winter, everything is back to green and alive after the dry summer heat! The perfect time to go hiking in the Algarve!
Hiking the Roca Vicentina or Via Algarviana is, therefore, one of our top things to do in the Algarve in the winter. The Rota Vicentina is along the beautiful and wild Costa Vicentina. You can start from the Western point of the Algarve, at Cabo de St. Vicente. From here the Rota Vicentina goes up along the coast, that actually is already part of Alentejo, the next region after the Algarve. It passes the famous beaches of Carrapateira, Arrifana, Odeceixe, and go all the way up to Porto Covo. Here you can see the whole map.
The Via Algarviana actually crosses almost the whole inland of the Algarve, so that’s definitely also a beautiful thing to do in the Algarve in the winter. Here you can see the entire route. You can also start this from Cabo de St. Vicente and go East! The Via Algarviana takes you through the magic mountains of Monchique, across Silves, past Alte, Barranco do Velho and all the way to Alcoutim. On this route, you get to see very different landscapes from your typical Algarve brochure. That’s why it’s one of the best things to do in the Algarve in the winter, as you get to discover a whole new side of the Algarve!
Even though most people visit the Algarve during summer to go surfing, the surf is actually much better in the winter! There’s less wind and you get more south-swells, which means there are waves all along the south coast of the Algarve and much closer to your favourite coastal towns!
Of course, it’s not as warm as during summer. But the water temperature is actually not so cold, that you can’t handle it! If you have a good wetsuit, you should be fine! Since most of the surf schools are closed during winter, you already have a lot less crowd! So bring your surfboard, or buy a cheap one and go surfing in the Algarve in the winter. Enjoy clean waves with only a handful of people around you! Definitely one of our favourite things to do in the Algarve in the winter!
The Ria Formosa is a beautiful place to visit all year around. This natural reserve is blessed with unique flora! And during winter, you also have the advantage to be able to admire this little paradise without a lot of people around you! That way it will look it even more idyllic, for sure! Our boat tours depart from Fuseta and Olhão during the winter to take you to the stunning Ria Formosa Natural Reserve!
Join us on one of our tours to Ria Formosa to explore the beautiful deserted islands of the reserve, like Ilha Deserta, Ilha do Farol, Ilha da Culatra and Ilha da Armona. If you enjoy nature you will love Ria Formosa. There are even some bird species that can only be found in Ria Formosa. If you’re lucky, you will even be able to see some flamingos! So visiting Ria Formosa is definitely a great thing to do in the Algarve in the winter!
Enjoy long walks on empty beaches
The beaches in the Algarve are beautiful all year round, no matter the season. So you can imagine that during winter, the beaches that are usually so packed with people that you can barely find a spot for your towel, are completely empty during the winter months! But not any less amazing! So that’s why going for walks on empty beautiful beaches in the Algarve is truly one of the awesome things to do in the Algarve in the winter!
Praia da Marinha, Praia da Rocha in Portimão, Meia Praia in Lagos – just some of the amazingly beautiful beaches in the Algarve. And during winter you have them practically to yourself. Taking long beach walks clears the mind and will make you feel so good! You wouldn’t even recognise the beaches if you came back in Summer, and you’ll be so grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy these beaches by yourself in the winter! So grab your coat, go for a walk and enjoy!
After breathing some fresh winter air on the beach, why not enjoy a meal at a cosy restaurant?
We hope we could convince you that there are lots of fun things to do in the Algarve in the winter! Even though it’s not as warm as during summer, you have the advantage of not having masses of tourists everywhere. So if you like travelling in more peace and quiet, the Algarve is the perfect winter destination for you!