It's no surprise that Algarve holidays are eternally popular with British holidaymakers: this sun-soaked corner of southern Portugal features dazzling beaches, secluded coves and a dramatic rocky coastline, complemented by an emerging food scene, a warm welcome and year-round sunshine.
Holidays in Algarve are the perfect beach break for many, and the shine simply cannot be taken off this Portuguese dazzler. The Algarve is a destination for families, groups, singles and couples.
The Algarve is the main resort area in Portugal, and flights arrive into Faro Airport (FAO) on a regular basis throughout the year.
Resorts pepper the Algarve's stunning coastline, which is met by the Atlantic Ocean. Seas here are rougher than in Mediterranean destinations, which is a huge bonus if you like to get to grips with watersports during your sunshine holidays.
The Algarve features a huge range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. You can pick from self-catering apartments and villas, high-end spa hotels, hotels featuring world-class golf courses, and just about everything in between. Car hire in the Algarve is a great option for getting to and from the airport and exploring the region during your holiday.
Choose your resort in the Algarve based on what you like to do. There are peaceful havens and there are party towns, such as Albufeira. Popular coastal resorts include Acoteias, Alvor, Vilamoura, Praia da Falesia, Olhos de Agua, Quinta do Lago, Quarteria, Vila do Bispo, Balaia, Carvoeiro, Lagos, Praia da Luz, Praia do Vau, and Portimão.
The inland resorts of Monchique, Silves and Loulé also welcome tourists and even if you don't stay there, they are worthy of day trips to take in the stunning scenery in the Monchique Mountain range, to look around Silves Castle and to visit the food markets in Loulé.
Most of the resorts operate for 12 months of the year, though the main holiday seasons are spring, summer and autumn, when the warmest weather can be enjoyed on the Algarve's spotless beaches.
Once you've chosen your resort and arrived at your Algarve accommodation, there is plenty to do besides lounging on the beach or by the pool. The kids will love the Algarve's water parks and the Zoomarine theme park near Albufeira, which also features a dolphin lagoon.
The whole family will enjoy the rock formations and cliffs of Algar Seco, while you can feel like you're at the end of the world at Cabo de Säo Vicente, or Cape St Vincent, which is a headland near Sagres Point.
To find holidays in this delightful part of Portugal, use the search tool on TravelSupermarket and compare prices on holidays in the Algarve today.
This popular holiday destination bakes in 12 hours of daily sunshine and average temperatures of 30C in the summer months. Spring and autumn are pleasant and warm, while winter experiences daily averages of around 16C. Rainfall is highest in winter, but even then, there isn't much to speak of.
Loulé Carnival; February: This is one of the biggest events in the Algarve and is centred on the cosmopolitan town of Loulé. Brazilian-style processions of wild colours and even wilder participants snake through the streets. This is a real highlight of the events calendar and one not to be missed.
April 25th commemorations; April: Be in Faro to see the commemoration of the peaceful revolution that ended a dictatorship in Portugal in 1974. Music and dance is performed during this annual event.
Fiesa; May-October: If you think you've ever built a decent sandcastle, prepare to be blown away at this annual large-scale sand sculpture contest in Pera.
Festival Med; June: The town of Loulé is once again the host for a fantastic annual event in the Algarve. This time it's a highly regarded music festival that features acts from around the world.
Festival do Marisco; August: Savour a taste of Portugal and the Algarve at this gastronomic festival in Olhão. Get the taste buds tingling with local cuisine and row upon row of stalls dishing up the freshest seafood imaginable.
Best of Algarve holidays for...
Grown-up families: Organised boat trips make it easy to discover the jagged rock formations and caves that sprawl seaward from Lagos. If you fancy a picnic, you can grab supplies at the supermarket before you leave.
Relaxing: For a spot of tranquillity and some of Portugal's best beaches, head out to the sandy islands of the Ria Formosa national park. The islands are easy to reach and, in the summer, boats ferry people back and forth from Faro.
Kids & teens: The ocean-themed Zoo Marine theme park is a sure-fire hit with youngsters. Entry tickets include access to the park's swimming pools, an exciting dolphin show and a fascinating aquarium. Buses run frequently to the park from Albufeira.
Romance: Stroll hand-in-hand along Tavira's boutique-lined riverfront, dipping into cafés for refreshment. Once the sun sets, sit down for a tasty meal and a bottle of Duoro Valley wine at one of the town's outdoor fish restaurants.
Babies & toddlers: Need to keep little ones out of the midday heat? Try a trip to the petting zoo at Krazy World - perfect for curious toddlers. Even the littlest adventurers will get on well with the gentle fairground rides here.
Active types: Vilamoura, a resort town to the west of Faro, is world famous for its golf courses. Tee off early in the day and you'll be able to make it to the beach in time for some sunbathing!
Nightlife: Fancy a proper night out on your Algarve holidays? Albufeira's main bar street doesn't get going until at least midnight - but once it does, you can party until dawn. Keep an eye out for happy-hour cocktails.