Where to Stay in the Algarve Region of Portugal 🇵🇹: Best Places to Stay

With its stunning coastline, quaint villages, and vibrant cities, the Algarve region of Portugal offers fantastic places for travelers to stay. When choosing the best cities and hotels in the Algarve, you’ll want to consider your budget, interests, and taste in accommodations.

Oup pick of the best hotels in Algarve 🔝

Wherever you stay, you’ll discover the Algarve’s mix of culture, cuisine, and stunning landscapes. As you explore the cobblestone streets, savor fresh sardines by the coast, or gaze out at the sunrise over a tranquil beach, you’ll find no shortage of beauty across this region.

Just be careful not to fall too hard in love with the Algarve – or you may never want to leave!

Quick Guide to the Best Towns in the Algarve, Portugal 📋

1. Albufeira – Where to Stay in the Algarve for Nightlife 🍸

🌊 Beach hub: Nestled along the southern coastline of Portugal, Albufeira has established itself as the vibrant, tourist hub of the Algarve region. Its prime coastal location provides easy access to some of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches, amazing seafood restaurants, and lively nightlife.

✈️ Well-connected: Albufeira lies just a 30-40 minute drive from Faro Airport, making it an ideal base to explore the Algarve region. A well-connected public bus system also connects Albufeira to other popular destinations like Lagos, Vilamoura, and Praia da Rocha.

🏖️ Top Beaches and Activities:

  • Praia da Oura -Busy summer beach home to water parks, beach bars, and cafes
  • Praia dos Pescadores – A sheltered sandy cove located below the old town
  • Boat tours – Numerous fishing and cave tours available from the marina
  • Watersports – Rent jet skis, small sail boats, or book paragliding adventures

🏰 Historic charm: The historic old town of Albufeira sits atop a plateau overlooking the ocean. Sample fresh catches of the day at family-run seafood restaurants in the old town square. As the sun sets, live music begins to flood from local bars out onto the streets.

🛏️ Accommodation runs the gamut from budget hostels to lavish 5-star beach resorts. Advance booking recommended during peak summer months.

All hotels in Albufeira →

Where to stay in Albufeira? 🏨

Luxury Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • Vila Algarvia Boutique & Suites – cozy family-run boutique hotel in traditional Portuguese style near the beach.
  • Alisios – comfortable eco-style hotel with a large garden and swimming pool.
  • Maria Guest house – a guest house with a homely atmosphere and attentive staff.

Budget hotels:

2. Vilamoura – Best Place to Stay in Algarve for Luxury 👛

✈️ Easy access: Vilamoura sits just 20km from Faro Airport, making it easily accessible for tourists. The city features a thoughtfully-designed layout centered around the marina, making key attractions walkable.

🛥️ Hub of activity: You will find themselves returning to the marina repeatedly—whether to charter a cruise, watch the boats, or enjoy waterside dining.

🏖️ Key Attractions:

  • Beaches – Praia da Falésia and Praia da Rocha Baixinha offer sweeping views and golden sands.
  • Golf – Vilamoura touts itself as the “European Golf Capital” with 6 courses. Highlights include Oceanico Victoria and Millenium Golf Course.
  • Water Sports – Yacht tours, jet skiing, and paddleboarding adventures can be booked straight from the Vilamoura Marina.
  • Casinos – Test your luck at Casino Vilamoura or slots at the Victorian-themed Casino at the Hilton Hotel.

🚌 Well-connected: Vilamoura also offers excellent bus connections to other resort towns and cities in the Algarve region. Taxis and private drivers are readily available for airport transfers or day trips.

All hotels in Vilamoura →

Where to stay in  Vilamoura? 🏩

Luxury Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • Apartamentos Turisticos Pinhal Da Marina – comfortable apartments with fully equipped kitchens and balconies overlooking the marina.
  • Laguna Resort – modern eco-style hotel with spacious rooms, swimming pools and a good location.
  • Prado Villas – elegant Mediterranean style villas with private pools and gardens, ideal for families.

3. Faro – Where to Stay in Algarve for City Life 🌆

🌞 Chill vibes: Faro charms visitors with its laidback vibe, historic sights, and proximity to some of the area’s best beaches. This compact, walkable city situated along the Banks of the Faro River serves as an excellent home base for exploring the surrounding region.

Faro Cathedral
Faros katedral
Faro Cathedral
Faros katedral
Faro Cathedral
Faros katedral
Arco da Vila
Governor's Palace gardens
Guvernörspalatsets trädgårdar

🏰 Historic charm: Pedestrian-friendly old town, protected by medieval walls, transports you back in time as you stroll the picturesque cobbled lanes lined with outdoor cafés, shops selling handmade crafts, and charming plazas. Top attractions here include:

  • The 13th century gothic Faro Cathedral with its tile-covered chapels and climbable bell tower overlooking the city
  • The small but fascinating archaeological museum housing artifacts from the Roman and Moorish periods
  • The historic stone Arco da Vila gate and the peaceful Governor’s Palace gardens

🏖 Nearby beaches: Just a short hop away lies the Ria Formosa, a protected lagoon famous for its sandy islands. You can hop on one of the frequent ferries to picturesque islands like Culatra or Armona for a day of swimming and relaxation.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable: Getting around compact Faro only requires walking or taking the occasional bus. And thanks to the modern Faro airport with frequent budget flights, access to the Algarve at large couldn’t be easier.

All hotels in Faro →

Where to stay in Faro? 🏨

Luxury Hotels:

  • AP Eva Senses – stylish boutique hotel with panoramic ocean views, offers luxurious rooms and suites, spa and Mediterranean restaurant.
  • Hotel Faro & Beach Club – a fashionable premium hotel with its own private beach, offering exquisite contemporary style rooms, gourmet restaurants, and a spa.
  • Main Street Apartments by Raspberry Cascade – luxury apartments in a historic building in the city center, featuring stylish design and all modern amenities.

Medium price range:

  • THE MODERNIST, Architecture experience – an unusual hotel in an Art Nouveau building, offers stylishly decorated rooms at a reasonable price.
  • Casa Apollo Guesthouse – a guesthouse with a homely atmosphere, located in a picturesque area of Faro, offers comfortable rooms and breakfasts.
  • CASA JUDITE – a cozy family-run hotel in traditional Portuguese style with attentive service and delicious breakfasts.

Budget Hotels:

4. Portimao – Best Area to Stay in Algavre for Nature Lovers 🌲

🌊 Scenic river: Nestled along the Arade River estuary, Portimão offers visitors scenic views. Its prime location places it within an easy drive of renowned beaches, historic sites, and natural areas.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable center: The city center is compact and walkable, with the riverfront, restaurants, shops, and hotels all located close together. For visiting farther-flung areas, an efficient bus system connects to nearby towns and cities. Tour companies also provide transport to regional points of interest.

🔝 Top sights in the Portimão area include:

  • Praia da Rocha Beach – This beach with golden sand and striking rock formations sits right along the city’s coastline. It offers ideal swimming and sunbathing. The adjacent pedestrian promenade lined with cafes and shops makes it easy to enjoy the seaside ambience.
  • Parque Natural da Serra de Monchique – Located 18 miles north of Portimão, this mountainous nature reserve entices visitors with its forested slopes and picturesque hamlets.
  • Silves – Only 7 miles inland, the former Moorish capital boasts an impressive castle with remnants of medieval walls enclosing the historic center below.
Castelo de Silves
Castelo de Silves
Parque Natural da Serra de Monchique
Parque Natural da Serra de Monchique
Parque Natural da Serra de Monchique
Parque Natural da Serra de Monchique
Parque Natural da Serra de Monchique

🍴 Food & fun: In addition, Portimão offers exceptional dining with fresh seafood as a local specialty in restaurants along the river or coastline, vibrant nightlife bars and clubs, golf courses, and shopping options from high end boutiques to small local shops.

All hotels in Portimao →

Where to stay in Portimao? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

  • Algarve Casino Hotel – a premium luxury hotel with its own casino, located on the waterfront overlooking the ocean.
  • NH Marina Portimao Resort – a sophisticated beachfront hotel with chic rooms, several restaurants and rooftop pools.
  • Jupiter Algarve Hotel – an elegant, contemporary style hotel with great ocean views, a luxurious spa and a restaurant with international cuisine.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • Aloha Hostel – a fun and stylish hostel with a colorful design, shared kitchens and free breakfast, best choice for young people.
  • Temple Suites Guesthouse – a guesthouse with spacious apartments, shared kitchen and friendly staff at an affordable price.
  • PTM DownTown Hostel&Suites – a modern hostel in the heart of the city center with hotel facilities at low prices.

5. Lagos – Where to Stay in Algarve for the First Time 👀

🌊 Coastal charmer: Lagos offers visitors gorgeous beaches, fascinating history, and a lively food scene. This compact, walkable city sits on a bay, with sandy beaches and dramatic rock formations just minutes from the historic center.

👟 On foot: Lagos is very accessible. The city center and beaches are best explored on foot, with most key sites within a 20 minute walk. Public buses and taxis make it easy to reach farther destinations. Rideshare services are also readily available.

🏝 Key attractions include:

  • Ponta da Piedade – rock cliffs and sea caves sitting above crystal clear waters.
  • Praia Dona Ana – One of Lagos’ most popular beaches, with vibrant rock formations and turquoise waters.
  • Lagos Market – A must-see for fresh seafood, local produce, handcrafted gifts and more. Open daily.
  • Forte Ponta da Bandeira – 16th century fort offering panoramic views of the ocean.
  • Lagos Marina – Bustling marina lined with restaurants, bars, shops and bobbing sailboats.
Ponta da Piedade
Ponta da Piedade
Praia Dona Ana
Lagos Marina
Lagos Marina
Lagos Marina
Lagos Marina

🛏 Wide options: Accommodations range from luxury oceanfront resorts to budget pensions and hostels.

All hotels in Lagos →

Where to stay in Lagos? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price segment:

Budget Hotels:

6. Carvoeiro – Where to Stay with Family 👪

Though small in size, Carvoeiro makes an ideal base for experiencing the Algarve region’s magnificent beaches and historic sights.

📍 Central location: Carvoeiro lies about halfway between Faro and Lagos, two of the Algarve’s most popular destinations. Carvoeiro’s walkable center lies closest to the beachfront. Moving inland, you’ll find more scattered shops, residences, and resorts.

👣 Walkable: Carvoeiro’s compact layout makes walking the best and most scenic way to explore. The main beach and town square sit just a few minutes apart on foot.

🔝 Top attractions are:

  • Praia do Carvoeiro: This bay cradled by rock formations remains Carvoeiro’s biggest draw. Sunbathe, swim in turquoise waters, or enjoy views from restaurants along the boardwalk.
  • Regional cuisine: Seafood reigns supreme in Carvoeiro. Savor the catch of the day at beachfront cafés or sample dishes at hilltop restaurants.
  • Beaches east and west: Within a short drive lie a string of incredible beaches and coves like Praia de Albandeira and Benagil.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family-friendly: Families also flock to Carvoeiro for the safe swimming beaches and self-catering holiday rentals. Scenic coastal trails allow more active travelers to truly experience the region’s rugged natural beauty.

All hotels in Carvoeiro →

Where to stay in Carvoeiro? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

  • Carvoeiro Hotel – a chic hotel with panoramic ocean views, offers spacious rooms with terraces and a rooftop pool. Perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • Placid Village – an exquisite boutique hotel in traditional Portuguese style, surrounded by a picturesque garden. High level of service and comfort.
  • Pestana Palm Gardens – a fashionable beach resort with its own beach, swimming pools and luxurious apartments. Stunning views of the ocean.

Medium price category:

  • Hotel Carvoeiro Plaza – cozy hotel in the heart of Carvoeiro, offers comfortable rooms and ocean views. Near beaches and restaurants.
  • Villa Welwitshia – charming boutique hotel in traditional Portuguese style, with manicured garden and pool. Hospitable staff.

Budget Hotels:

  • Vila Horizonte – a simple and inexpensive hotel for budget travelers, located 5 minutes from the beach.
  • O Quintal Guesthouse – family run guesthouse with a warm welcome and home cooked food. Good value for money.

7. Tavira – Where to Stay Away from the Crowds 🕊

🏰 Historic charm: Tucked away on the eastern Algarve coast, the city of Tavira offers a relaxed pace of life and rich history for visitors to uncover. Known for its collection of 37 churches, Tavira’s landscape is dotted with landmarks originating from its diverse cultural past under Phoenician, Roman, and Moorish rule.

🚶‍♀️ Walkable center: Tavira’s city center is conveniently walkable, with the main attractions clustered within a 1 km area. The well-preserved Roman Bridge straddling the Gilão River connects the historic center to the newer part of town. A mini-train offers hop on, hop off access if needing a rest during sightseeing.

Top attractions include:

  • Castelo de Tavira – This hilltop Moorish castle complex dating back to the 13th century AD boasts panoramic views of Tavira.
  • Igreja da Misericórdia Church – The renaissance doorway and tomb artwork make this church a standout.
  • Tavira Island Beach – Accessible via regular ferry, sandy beache on this barrier island offer a tranquil setting.

🍽️ Fresh flavors: Come hungry, as Tavira serves up fresh seafood like grilled sardines along with wines from the Algarve region. The pleasant weather means restaurant dining often spills out into charming open-air courtyards and patios.

All hotels in Tavira →

Where to stay in Tavira? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Quinta do Caracol – luxury boutique hotel in traditional Portuguese style with gourmet restaurant and swimming pool.
  • Downtown Alegria – elegant apartments in the city center with panoramic views and high level of service.
  • Tavira House – a stylish premium hotel with modern room design and a great location across the river.

Medium price category:

Budget hotels:

8. Salema – Perfect Place for Beach Holidays 🏖

🌊 Scenic cove: Nestled between the cliffs, Salema offers a peaceful respite from some of the busier resort towns of the Algave.

🚶‍♂️ Compact village: Salema’s compact size makes getting around quite convenient:

  • The beachfront avenue serves as the hub to access everything generally within walking distance
  • Local buses efficiently provide transport along the western Algarve route
  • Taxis offer affordablepoint-to-point rides for locations farther away
  • Rental cars allow flexibility for personalized sightseeing, though narrow village streets restrict larger vehicles

☀️ Sun & fun: Some of the top sights and activities in and around Salema include:

  • Praia de Salema – Swim, sunbathe or stroll along soft sands
  • Salema Beach Bars – Unwind at cozy cafes, restaurants and bars
  • Salema Boardwalk (Passeio dos Pescadores) – Enjoy pleasant walks along the beachside promenade especially at sunset

🏠 Cozy stays: Salema offers a variety of comfortable lodging options from hotels, guesthouses, self-catering apartments, and vacation home rentals.

All hotels in Salema →

Where to stay in Salema? 🏩

Expensive Hotels:

Mid-range price range:

  • Hotel Residencial Salema – a cozy, family-run, traditional Portuguese-style hotel with comfortable rooms and friendly staff.
  • Romantik Villa – charming villa apartments with a romantic atmosphere, ideal for couples.

Budget Hotels:

9. Sagres – Best Place in Algarve for Surfers 🏄‍♀️

☀️ Year-round mild: Sagres enjoys a mild climate year-round while providing easy access for travelers wishing to explore the region’s top attractions.

🚗 Car recommended: Renting a car is the most convenient way to reach Sagres and navigate its surroundings. The city is located just over 2 hours by car from Faro Airport, with ample parking available near the central marina and historic sites. Various bus routes also connect Sagres to other popular destinations like Lagos and Cape St. Vincent.

🔝 Top sites include:

  • Fortress of Sagres – This imposing fortress originates from Henry the Navigator’s 15th century navigation school and offers sweeping views of the coastline.
  • Cape St. Vincent – Drive about 30 minutes from the Sagres city center for breathtaking seascapes from the towering cliffs. An iconic lighthouse and on-site museum commemorate Portugal’s rich maritime past.
  • Beaches – Several stunning beaches line the coast near Sagres. Mareta, Tonel, Beliche and Martinhal are renowned favorites amongst beachgoers and surfers alike.

🍴 Fresh seafood: Sample fresh grilled sardines, shellfish rice, stewed octopus and other local specialties. Atmospheric cafes filled with the scent of pastries and strong Portuguese coffee provide fuel for exploring the area.

🛏 Varied lodging: From small boutique inns to international chain hotels, Sagres offers varied accommodations to fit most budgets. Seasonal campgrounds expand options for travelers as well.

Sagres →

Where to stay in Sagres? 🏨

Expensive Hotels:

  • Residencia Quinta do Poço Guesthouse – small traditional Portuguese-style hotel overlooking the ocean, offers luxurious rooms and personalized service.
  • Memmo Baleeira – a modern hotel at the foot of the cliffs with panoramic views of Mareta Beach and the ocean, featuring stylish interiors and a high level of service.
  • Mareta Beach House - Boutique Residence – contemporary style boutique hotel on the beachfront with private pool and panoramic views.

Medium price range:

  • Mareta View - Boutique Bed & Breakfast – a cozy family-run traditional Portuguese-style hotel near the beach with panoramic views and a homey atmosphere.
  • PuraVida Divehouse – comfortable hotel specializing in diving and surfing, with its own pool and easy-going atmosphere.
  • Casa Azul Sagres – traditional Portuguese-style guesthouse near the city center, offers cozy rooms and apartments at a reasonable price.

Budget Hotels:

  • Sagres Natura – simple and inexpensive eco-style hotel amidst a pine forest near the beaches, ideal for nature lovers.
  • Sagres Sun Stay - Surf Camp & Hostel – fun hostel with a surfer atmosphere, offers reasonably priced rooms and surf and yoga lessons.
  • Casa Sarguito – small family-run traditional Portuguese-style guesthouse in the historic city center at affordable prices.

Top Tips for Your Portugal Travel 📝

Here are 5 tips that will make your trip safe and comfortable:

1. 💧 Drink bottled water and monitor alcohol intake. The change in water can upset your stomach. Go easy on alcohol in the heat.

2. 😎 Use high SPF sunscreen and a hat for UV protection. The Algarve has very strong sun, especially midday. Reapply sunscreen often.

3. 🇵🇹 Learn some basic Portuguese phrases. Hello, please, thank you, etc. Locals appreciate the effort. Carry a small Portuguese phrase book.

4. ❕ Be aware of your valuables in crowded tourist sites. Use RFID blocking bags and keep an eye on your camera or phone, especially in markets.

5. 🏩 Check accommodation reviews and proximity to sights. The Algarve has stunning beaches, caves, historic sites. Pick lodging convenient to what you want to visit.

Best Hotels near Faro International Airport 🛫

Ria Formosa Guest House

Located just a short drive from Faro Airport, Ria Formosa Guest House offers cozy accommodations with a personal touch. Situated near the scenic Ria Formosa Natural Park, guests can enjoy peaceful surroundings while still being close to the airport and city center.

The guest house provides comfortable rooms, friendly service, and easy access to nearby beaches and outdoor activities.

Sleep & Go Faro Airport Guest House

Perfect for travelers seeking convenience and affordability, Sleep & Go Faro Airport Guest House provides straightforward accommodations just minutes away from the airport terminals.

With clean and comfortable rooms, this guest house offers a convenient place to rest before or after your flight. Plus, with easy access to public transportation, you can explore Faro’s attractions and nearby beaches with ease.

Pine House - Faro Airport, Beach and City Center

This modern guest house offers stylish accommodations with all the comforts of home.

Whether you’re catching a flight, soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches, or exploring Faro’s historic sights, Pine House provides a comfortable and convenient base for your Algarve adventure.

Best Areas in Algarve on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Visiting Algarve ❔

What is the most beautiful part of the Algarve?

The Algarve boasts numerous beautiful spots, but the coastal cliffs of Ponta da Piedade stand out as one of the most breathtaking areas. Here, rugged golden cliffs meet the clear blue waters of the Atlantic, creating a picturesque landscape.

Where to stay in Algarve without a car?

For those without a car, Lagos is an excellent choice for accommodation in the Algarve. This vibrant town offers a mix of historical charm, stunning beaches, and a well-connected public transportation system, allowing you to explore the region conveniently.

Where to stay in Algarve for nightlife?

If you’re seeking a lively nightlife scene, Albufeira is the place to be. With its bustling streets filled with bars, clubs, and live music venues, this coastal town offers a vibrant atmosphere that lasts well into the night. The Strip in Albufeira is particularly renowned for its nightlife.

What’s the best area to stay in Algarve for couples?

Couples looking for a romantic retreat should consider staying in Carvoeiro. This charming fishing village exudes a relaxed ambiance, offering picturesque views, intimate restaurants, and serene beaches.

What is the best time to visit the Algarve?

The best time to visit the Algarve is during the spring (April to June) or the fall (September to October). During these seasons, the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are not as overwhelming as in the peak summer months. This allows you to enjoy the beauty of the region comfortably without the intense heat and large crowds.