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The best things to do in the Algarve with kids

The best things to do in the Algarve with kids

Well-known for its seashores (and golf programs), its year-round solar and string of household sights, you’ll be spoiled for selection for issues to do within the Algarve with youngsters.

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And in addition to the larger resort cities, it’s simple to get off the crushed observe on this tempting nook of Portugal, whether or not you enterprise to the far west or jap Algarve, or stick with one of many quieter spots alongside the coast between Albufeira, Carvoeiro and Portimao.

So whether or not your youngsters are followers of waterparks or boat journeys, animal sights or castles (to not point out sandcastles), or if you happen to’re in search of days out with toddlers, I’ve picked out a few of my favorite issues to do within the Algarve with youngsters to start out you off.

Take pleasure in a seaside day

The place to start out however with a seaside? The Algarve is dwelling to a number of the most stunning seashores in all of Portugal, from lengthy golden stretches of sand to little coves solely accessible at low tide (or by boat).

Wherever you keep alongside the coast, you’ll discover numerous gorgeous sandy seashores for adults to loosen up and kids to burn off some vitality, construct sandcastles, seek for shells, play seaside volleyball, and go swimming within the calm turquoise waters.

There are too many to say, and also you’re unlikely to go far fallacious wherever you decide however listed here are only a few of our favorite family-friendly seashores within the Algarve…

The best things to do in the Algarve with kids

Praia da Rocha, Portimao

One of many greatest seashores within the Algarve, Praia da Rocha can also be a preferred one – near the centre of Portimao, there are eating places lining the boardwalk on the again, loungers to rent, a viewpoint looking alongside the sand and loads of area to calm down and benefit from the water.

On windier days, the rocks which give the seaside its title additionally act as a useful windbreak, and there’s parking close by (although get there early if you’d like an opportunity of an area).

Praia do Anção, close to Faro

Near Faro, Praia do Anção is a well-liked household seaside within the Algarve, sitting near Faro and on the sting of the Ria Formosa pure park.

The lengthy stretch of golden seaside has lifeguards patrolling the calm waters, sunbeds and umbrellas to hire, watersports galore, and loads of beach-side cafes and eating places. Loads to maintain the entire household entertained for a day.

Take a look at my full information to Portugal with youngsters right here

Praia da Manta Rota, Vila Nova de Cacela

Praia da Manta Rota is one other nice seaside within the east of the Algarve – this one on the different finish of the Ria Formosa. The massive seaside continues for miles, so there’s loads of room for youths to run round and discover.

With wetlands and sand dunes on the again, it’s additionally identified for beautiful wildlife. Nonetheless, there are fewer meals choices alongside the seaside, so it’s a good suggestion to deliver some drinks and a picnic if you happen to’re staying all day.

Salema Seashore, Salema

Salema Seashore is a hidden gem within the western Algarve, positioned near the beautiful fishing village of Salema.

The small, picturesque golden seaside is surrounded by limestone cliffs and has gained awards for its pure magnificence – though youngsters might be most tempted by the possibility to seek for fossilised dinosaur footprints within the sand.

Praia da Gale, Gale

One other little hidden gem, Praia da Gale manages to get the steadiness between a quiet escape from the crowds and having a few little eating places and cafes close by.

The entire stretch of coast round Gale is a succession of coves, sectioned off by some large rocks – there’s a path on the cliff and dunes behind, and you may as well get from cove to cove at low tide.

Wander eastwards in the direction of Praia Lourenco and also you’ll discover caves alongside the best way too. Be prepared for some scrambling and clambering! Or head west and you may stroll right down to Praia de Armação de Pêra, a extra open – and busier – stretch of sand.

Strive some watersports

With its lengthy stretch of shoreline and pristine waters, the Algarve is the best spot to check out a string of watersports, particularly if you happen to’re visiting with older youngsters and teenagers.

Browsing is among the hottest water sports activities within the Algarve. There are many locations for youthful ones to offer browsing a go too, whether or not it’s their first time or they’re already a professional. Sagres and Lagos within the west of the Algarve are the perfect spots within the area to search out youngsters’ surf faculties and surf rent.

Aside from browsing, you’ll discover loads of different methods to take to the Algarve waters. You’ll be able to strive rise up paddleboarding, bodyboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and crusing – whether or not you need to study to sail or choose a skipper to take you out.

You’ll be able to rent your personal gear and stick near the seashores, or head out on guided excursions alongside the coast. There’s even family-friendly coasteering for age 7+.

View of one of the coves seen across a turquoise sea with rocky cliffs behind, as part of a boat tour from Portimao - one of the best things to do in the Algarve with kids

Take a ship tour

A household vacation within the Algarve isn’t full with out not less than one boat journey – and there are many differing kinds, so that you’ll be tempted to decide on a couple of throughout your keep.

Algarve boat excursions take you to discover the shoreline’s untouched seashores, hidden coves and dramatic caves, whereas youngsters can even get pleasure from recognizing the area’s wonderful wildlife, together with wild dolphins.

For extra concepts of the perfect Algarve boat excursions with youngsters, try my prime picks

Dolphin-spotting in Albufeira

Cruise alongside the shoreline near Albufeira and also you would possibly see dolphins swimming and leaping round within the pure surroundings – if you happen to’re fortunate, there’s even an opportunity of recognizing whales at some instances of the 12 months.

There are numerous dolphin watching boat excursions out there to e-book – together with choices full with marine biologists who will fascinate youngsters with info about these fantastic creatures.

View across the beach inside the Benagil cave to the hole in its rocky roof - one of the most popular boat trips in the Algarve with kids

Go to the Benagil cave

The Benagil Caves (Algar de Benagil) are one of many Algarve’s most iconic sights and a must-see for the entire household.

Solely accessible from the water, it’s simple to leap on a ship tour to go to them – and a complete host of different much less well-known however equally eyecatching caves, plus the remainder of this gorgeous stretch of shoreline.

We booked a visit from from Portimão with Atlantis excursions (related journeys out there through Tiqets and Viator) for a incredible two-hour journey in a inflexible inflatable boat, recognizing rock formations, listening to extra in regards to the coast and getting recommendations on the place else to go to in addition to exploring the caves.

You’ll be able to watch my video of our boat journey to the Benagil cave right here.

Cruise across the Ria Formosa

The Ria Formosa lagoon is a nature lover’s paradise, consisting of a labyrinth of canals, islands, wetlands, and sandbanks – a world away from the busy resorts.

On a cruise across the Ria Formosa, youngsters can get pleasure from recognizing the realm’s wildlife, together with many protected fowl species in addition to an opportunity of seeing dolphins.

There are numerous completely different journeys on provide however I’d positively advocate the full-day tour (approx 5-6 hours) we tried with Odyssey excursions, which takes you to a few completely different islands, in addition to a guided tour across the waters – unspoiled Farol was my favorite, together with the sight of a sea eagle and tales of the endangered seahorses residing within the protected waters.

My daughter walks across the wide empty beach towards the white and red lighthouse of Farol Island during a fantastic boat trip around the Ria Formosa during a day out in the Algarve with kids

Sail on a pirate ship

A pirate ship cruise is among the most enjoyable issues to do within the Algarve with youngsters, crusing alongside the shoreline searching for hidden bays and coves (with buried treasure? Who is aware of…)

Youngsters will love changing into pirates for the day on board a standard ship, with loads of pirate ship cruises to select from. The Santa Bernarda pirate ship might be the Algarve’s most well-known, with a half-day journey from Portimao.

Hit the waterparks

For extra water-based enjoyable within the Algarve with youngsters, head to one of many area’s incredible waterparks for the day.

Algarve waterparks are often open between April/Could and September/October. Be sure you verify the opening dates and instances earlier than your go to although, particularly if you happen to’re travelling out of peak season.

Striped waterslides in different colours curving round and round in loops at Aqualand - one of a string of waterparks if you're looking for days out in the Algarve with kids

Aquashow Park

Aquashow Park is the biggest water park and theme park in all of Portugal, present in Quarteira, only a few minutes from Vilamoura and the Golden Triangle.

The massive waterpark has loads of epic slides and water coasters for youngsters and adults of all ages to get pleasure from – from the 32m Free Fall/Kamikaze and racing slides to a lazy river, wave pool, and an aquakids space for toddlers and youthful youngsters.

There’s additionally a brand new indoor water park, very best if you happen to’re visiting the Algarve outdoors the height summer time months. The one indoor water park within the Algarve, there are children’ water slides and child pool, in addition to a wave pool, journey pool with climbing wall and much extra for households.

Slide & Splash

Slide & Splash is one other large family-friendly waterpark, however this time positioned within the western Algarve, near Portimão and Alvor.

Older youngsters and teenagers can get their adrenaline pumping on the corkscrew and kamikaze, whereas little ones can take advantage of the froth slides and tropical paradise.

Aqualand

Aqualand is probably the most central waterpark within the Algarve and is straightforward to achieve from most resorts. It’s slightly smaller than the opposite water parks, however Aqualand nonetheless makes for an amazing time out with youngsters within the Algarve.

The park is dwelling to the very best water slide in Portugal and has two devoted areas for youthful youngsters, that includes slides, fountains, and extra.

Zoomarine, Guia

One of many greatest household sights within the Algarve, Zoomarine is a mixture of water park and wildlife exhibits – finest identified for the chance to swim with dolphins.

Whereas Zoomarine has gained awards over time for its work with animals, and is an accredited zoo, the captive dolphin experiences are understandably very controversial.

My very own animal-obsessed daughter flatly refused to even think about visiting – if you happen to do select to, it’s attainable to keep away from the dolphin experiences and exhibits, and stick with the waterpark (which has the same old mixture of slides and wave pool, in addition to a T Rex river rafting journey) plus different exhibits that includes birds of prey.

Ring-tailed lemur - one of the animals you can spot at Lagos zoo in the Algarve with kids

Go to Lagos Zoo

Lagos Zoo is one other of the most well-liked Algarve household sights, particularly for animal lovers.

The small zoo is dwelling to over 140 completely different animal species, together with many unique birds and primates however there’s additionally a petting zoo the place youngsters can work together with pleasant goats, donkeys, rabbits, and guinea pigs – good with youthful youngsters.

The zoo focuses on conservation, so there are many alternatives for youngsters to study in regards to the animals and the work being achieved to guard them. Don’t miss feeding instances and the common keeper talks.

Lagos Zoo is extraordinarily accessible if you happen to’re visiting the Algarve with toddlers, and it’s simple to navigate all the park with pushchairs (in addition to wheelchairs).

For extra of the perfect issues to do in Lagos with youngsters, in addition to concepts for day journeys from Lagos, try my prime picks

Krazyworld, Algoz

A zoo, petting farm, swimming pool, waterslides, inflatables, pedal karts, minigolf, high-ropes, and paintball are simply a number of the wonderful kid-friendly actions on provide at Krazyworld.

The interactive zoo lets all the household rise up shut and private with quite a lot of completely different animals. You’ll be able to stroke dwarf goats, llamas, and deer within the petting zoo, take pictures with the lemurs, feed the resident crocodile (from a distance after all), experience the ponies, and go to one of many largest snakes in Europe.

Then, if you’re achieved with the animals, seize your swimwear and head to the pool for a day on the water slides and inflatables – or get pleasure from a household recreation of minigolf or paintball as a substitute.

Round 20 minutes inland from Albufeira, there’s a lot to do at Krazy world for a enjoyable household time out within the Algarve.

Sand Metropolis Lagoa

Maybe probably the most uncommon time out within the Algarve with youngsters, the sand sculptures at Sand Metropolis are distinctly spectacular – I visited anticipating to whereas away an hour with my daughter and got here away marvelling on the element.

Divided into sections impressed by the completely different continents, the sand sculpture park additionally options different areas themed by delusion, the ocean and characters from movie and TV – together with Harry Potter, the Marvel universe and Paddington!

Count on to identify all the things from the Queen to Yoda, the temples of the Mayans, Ta Prohm in Cambodia, the Wild West, Historic Egyptian god Anubis, a herd of elephants and an enormous octopus.

All of that are, after all, constructed from sand. There’s even an space with some buckets and rakes the place you will be impressed to make your personal, if you happen to really feel impressed by seeing a number of the world’s largest sand sculptures. An excellent choice for a cloudy day within the Algarve however if you happen to go to in midsummer, head there early or late as there’s no shade.

Go to a fortress

Head to in the direction of the border with Spain or in the direction of the historic city of Silves and you may uncover a number of historical castles to discover.

Silves itself was as soon as a mighty Moorish capital referred to as Xelb (or Shelb), rivalling Lisbon in affect, and its fortress remains to be the perfect preserved on the Algarve right now, with a string of day journeys to Silves Fort.

With some elements relationship from the eighth century, Silves Fort nonetheless towers above the city, with its fairly twisting streets and cathedral – it’s largely the partitions and fortifications which stay, so be ready to make use of your creativeness, nevertheless it’s an enchanting distinction to the Algarve coast.

Learn my evaluate of a go to to Silves Fort with youngsters

A Portuguese flag flies over the battlements of Silves Castle

Head additional east, and Tavira has its personal Moorish fortress; additionally partly in ruins, there are nonetheless some nice views out in the direction of the coast. Tavira fortress is free to enter and you may as well wander across the fortress gardens.

And a brief distance away, proper on the border with Spain, you’ll be able to see the third of the Algarve’s castles at Castro Marim.

The Castelo do Castro Marim is a medieval development, constructed on Roman and Moorish fortifications, with later additions when the fortress was restored – once more, there isn’t an enormous quantity to see inside (although you will get an audio information) nevertheless it’s solely a small price and there are extra nice views.

Cabo de Sao Vicente

The Romans believed this was the top of the world, and that the solar dissolved into the ocean each night time – looking to the infinite sea and horizon from Cabo de Sao Vicente, you’ll be able to perceive why.

Essentially the most south-westerly level of mainland Europe, it’s round 900 miles to the Azores and greater than 4,500 miles to the US, which supplies you some concept of how explorers should have felt as they set off into the unknown from this spot.

Even on a sunny summer time’s day, count on it to be very windy, and it’s not onerous to think about how bleak it have to be in winter – underneath blue skies, it’s merely stunning although.

You’ll be able to go to the lighthouse on the finish of the world as properly. The lighthouse constructing itself is never open, although you could possibly get entry on Wednesday afternoons, however you’ll be able to wander contained in the partitions and look out to that infinite blue ocean and absorb the views.

There’s additionally a small fort close by, though it was closed once we visited, and you may stroll out on the headland to look over to the lighthouse and again to Sagres – with uneven floor and sheer drops, do watch the place you stroll although and watch out with youthful youngsters. Finest to reach early, as it may possibly get unexpectedly busy.

Fortaleza de Sagres (Sagres Fort)

Sat on the headland at Sagres, the massive fort will be seen for miles – as you’ll know if you happen to’ve visited Cabo de Sao Vicente already.

Whereas the earliest sections date from the fifteenth century, most could be unrecognisable to Henry the Navigator because it has been repeatedly rebuilt, expanded and fortified since then, with main rebuilding work achieved within the late 18th century.

Inside there’s a small lighthouse and you may climb a number of the fortifications, in addition to wanting right down to the mysterious markings on the bottom – a circle divided into sections, no-one is sort of positive whether or not it’s a form of compass rose, an enormous sundial or one thing else.

Do save a while to wander inside the partitions, however brace your self for robust winds as you do: there are extra nice views, together with again to Cabo de Sao Vicente and right down to the seashores, with boards giving particulars on a number of the crops and animals which reside right here, plus stones piled up into cairns.

The fort can get very busy, so once more it’s value arriving early. You’re additionally strolling distance from Sagres city right here, in addition to the city’s seashores, though these are finest for browsing than paddling with some large waves.

Time journey at Parque da Mina

The Parque da Mina is a theme park with a distinction, the place you’ll be able to journey again in time to find how life was lived within the Algarve in instances passed by.

In addition to an outdated farm, the place you’ll be able to feed livestock and study extra in regards to the nature and wildlife of the realm, there’s a museum set inside a home, furnished as it will have been within the early 1700s.

When you’ve explored these, head down into the decommissioned coal mine in addition to exploring the park, together with a bridge over a waterfall. Positioned round 5 miles from Portimao.

Discover the Centro de Ciencia Viva

Uncover extra in regards to the pure world – from the ocean to area – at one of many Centro de Ciencia Viva museums throughout the Algarve.

In addition to one simply outdoors Faro, which focuses on the ocean, there are two different areas in Tavira and Lagos.

The Faro centre is a good one to mix with a go to to the Ria Formosa, in addition to answering all these questions youngsters ask on the seaside, resembling how waves are shaped, whether or not coral is an animal and why the ocean is salty.

Get tickets with free cancellation for the Faro Centro Ciencia Viva

At Tavira, there’s a lot of hands-on enjoyable, with challenges primarily based round vitality and water – together with a water backyard – in addition to ones to get youngsters fascinated by sound.

In the meantime the exhibitions at Lagos have a look at navigation and discovery – a lot of Portugal’s explorers left from this a part of the Algarve, and in addition to telling a few of their tales, it appears on the science concerned of their voyages.

Play a spherical of mini golf 

Portugal’s Algarve is legendary for its unbelievable world-class golf programs. And luckily, there are many locations for little golfers to select up a membership too, with some very enjoyable mini golf…

Minigolf journey park, Albufeira

This 20-hole mini golf course is a well-liked choice with households in Albufeira – hitting the steadiness so there’s sufficient of a problem with youngsters, with out being completely unattainable, it’s a enjoyable solution to spend an hour or two with a restaurant and holes set round a small lake.

Journey Golf Alvor

Dinosaur lovers will get pleasure from strolling amongst prehistoric beasts at Jurassic Park themed Journey Golf Alvor. The positioning additionally has ten pin bowling with particular mini lanes for youthful youngsters plus a restaurant on website. 

Household Golf Park Vilamoura

At Household Golf Park in Vilamoura, there’s not one however two 18-hole mini-golf programs, all themed round historical Rome – there are info to find as you go, so it’s secretly academic as properly! There’s a restaurant right here too.

Golfland

Additionally in Alvor, you’ll discover Golfland, set inside a stunning tropical backyard. The park has hundreds to do for all the household, together with an 18-hole mini-golf course, indoor golf simulators, a playground, video games room, eating places, and each day leisure. 

Quinta do Lago

Quinta do Lago in Almancil (the Golden Triangle) has a novel mini-golf course that options miniature variations of a number of the world’s most iconic golf holes, resembling Augusta, Belfry, and Sawgrass. An excellent place for avid golfers to get the little ones concerned within the sport early on.

My daughter on one of the holes of the mini golf course at Quinta do Lago, inspired by great golf courses around the world - one of the fun things to do in the Algarve with kids

Experience a vacationer prepare

If you wish to discover a number of the Algarve’s beautiful cities and cities in a approach that’s positive to maintain the little ones entertained, bounce on one of many area’s many vacationer trains.

The colorful trains allow you to bounce on and off at areas throughout the cities and alongside the coast. They’re not solely a enjoyable solution to sightsee however the trains are additionally a straightforward solution to get round if you’re travelling with little legs.

A number of of the enjoyable vacationer trains to take a look at are…

Go to an journey park

With excessive ropes programs in addition to paintball, Parque Aventura in Albufeira is nice if you happen to’ve exploring the Algarve with older teenagers, or those that fancy a bit extra adrenaline of their vacation.

There are three completely different ranges for the excessive ropes programs, beginning with Curious and ranging as much as Fearless, taking you thru the timber, throughout bridges, rope nets and large zip strains.

You need to be over a metre tall to sort out the simplest course, and over 1.4m for the Fearless choice however in any other case there’s no want for any expertise. Or tackle the paintball area, stretching for greater than 2,500 metres squared inside a forest, crammed with pure obstacles in addition to a sequence of synthetic ones.

There’s a sister website at Lagos, the place you’ll discover the identical excessive ropes and paintball to get pleasure from, in addition to at Vila Actual de Santo Antonio within the far jap Algarve, by the border with Spain, which has its personal excessive ropes course.

Discover Monchique

If you wish to uncover extra of the Algarve away from the coast, there’s some nice strolling and mountain biking within the space round Monchique – the colorful city itself can also be value a go to.

The realm is legendary for its thermal springs, Caldas de Monchique, which the Romans valued for his or her therapeutic powers – the temperature remains to be a continuing 31C right now.

Or head as much as the highest of Mount Foia, the very best level within the Algarve at 902m – whilst you can hike it, the best choice with youngsters is to enterprise up by jeep until you’re skilled walkers.

Inside the similar Serra de Monchique mountain vary, the Serra da Picota is the second highest level at 774 metres and will be quieter than Foia. You may also drive many of the approach up, though it’s finest to stroll the final part.

Aerial view of the forests and protected landscape of Monchique in the Algarve, a great day out from Lagos with kids if you love the outdoors

Head off highway

Whereas the Algarve is legendary for its coast, you’ll be able to head inland to find one other facet to this a part of Portugal, with jeep safari journeys by way of the Algarve with youngsters.

There’s a full-day jeep tour appropriate for age 2+ (though personally, I’d say it’s higher for older youngsters) the place you’ll head into the mountains, style native jam in little villas, uncover a number of the surroundings to find outdated settlements which have barely modified for hundreds of years.

Or this half-day jeep safari contains related experiences, in addition to the possibility to swim in a crystal clear spring and style honey alongside the best way.

Go horse driving

One other enjoyable approach for the entire household to discover the attractive seashores and plush countryside of the Algarve is by horseback. There are numerous completely different routes you’ll be able to take across the area, together with sundown treks on the seaside – appropriate for 12+, though most horse treks and excursions can be found for youngsters aged six and above.

Many horse driving centres within the Algarve provide personal and group classes for freshmen or those that want a refresher on a horse. There are additionally smaller ponies for youthful youngsters (4+). Horse driving garments and boots are provided.

A view of the dishes on offer at Ramires restaurant - tomato salad, chips and piri piri chicken. Where was piri piri chicken invented? Here in Guia on Portugal's Algarve

Eat piri piri hen

You may not suppose consuming piri piri hen must be on an inventory of prime issues to do within the Algarve with youngsters – however when it’s the place which invented the dish, how are you going to miss out?

Within the quiet city of Guia, Restaurante Ramires lays declare to being the primary place to invent the dish – and that’s just about all you’ll discover on the menu right now too (although you will get plain hen if you happen to ask). Who wants Nando’s?

Learn my evaluate of a go to to Ramires restaurant to strive their authentic piri piri hen

The place to remain within the Algarve with youngsters

You’re spoiled for selection relating to locations to stick with youngsters within the Algarve too – I like having my very own area for beachy holidays like this, and stayed with on the beautiful Villa Vivenda Gale Mar on one current journey, in addition to one other villa simply outdoors Praia da Luz.

Plum Information – which we used for our current journey to Lisbon, staying in a self-catering condo – additionally has properties within the Algarve all alongside the coast.

Or for family-friendly motels within the Algarve, try the choices on reserving.com in addition to bundle holidays from TUI.

Take a look at my full information to Portugal with youngsters right here

*First revealed 2022, final up to date 2024*

Disclosure: This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

Lemur/Aqualand/Monchique photographs courtesy of Depositphotos, all others copyright MummyTravels

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