“Is it worth to visit Algarve in the Winter ?” was the question that plagued my mind over and over as I started to plan my week long journey to the South of Europe.
Sure, the relatively cold temperatures make it impossible to swim but the beauty of the Algarve lies not only on the beach life but rather on the amazing cliffs and the many hikes that you can enjoy all year round.
Ready to explore some of Portugal’s finest cliffs and beaches?
Albufeira or Lagos? Where to go in the Algarve region?
Before we start, let’s make one thing clear: Algarve is the name of a region in Portugal and not a city by itself.
In fact, there are many small towns and cities scattered all around the Algarve region although the main ones in terms of tourism are (from East to West) Albufeira and Lagos.
PS. Some people actually confuse Lagos, Portugal with Lagos, Nigeria when it comes to booking hotels so be careful about that!
Which one is the best? In my opinion this all depends on the season.
For Algarve in the Summer, Albufeira offers the best beaches to swim in while for Algarve in the Winter, Lagos offers the best hiking trails.
Plus, thanks to its westernmost location, you can enjoy impressive sunsets like this one below. Pretty neat, uh?
How cold is Winter in the Algarve? Can I swim? What to do and see in Lagos?
Winter in Lagos is reasonably warm and even though the water of the Atlantic Ocean is way too cold for you to swim, you can easily lay down in the beach and relax during your Winter holiday to the Algarve.
That being said, the nights are really cold thanks to the wind so it is suggested that you pack at least one jacket and a pair of long trousers.
The town of Lagos is quite big although the historical area is a very small one. Some points of interest include the city walls and the miradouros (viewpoints) that offer impressive views of the city’s architecture.
Inside the historical old town itself you shall encounter traditional Portuguese white houses and an endless number of restaurants with some of the best (and cheapest) food of the South of Europe.
Can you believe that you get a beef steak with fries for only 5 euros?
Lagos is conveniently located on the way between Sevilla and Lisbon so a stop here is natural when you’re planning your South European Journey of Wonders (bus from Sevilla to Lagos is about 20 euros while the train from Lagos to Lisbon is 20 euros more).
So… what are the best hiking trains of Algarve in the Winter? Well, funny you ask because we’re about to explore some of the best spots of Lagos, Portugal my friends!
Algarve in the Winter: The best hiking trails of Lagos, Portugal
When it comes to hiking trails, the Algarve region is the favourite of many travellers all around the world and it isn’t hard to see why. Lagos has one big marked circuit that goes from the top of Praia do Canavial to the Praia dos Estudiantes located a few minutes away from the historical Old Town.
Completing this trail will take you about 3 hours at a leisure pace and you can even descend from the cliffs to enjoy some beach time and take a close look at the many iconic arches of the Algarve.
Along the trail you will find a couple of restaurants and toilets (as well as staircases that lead you down from the cliffs to the beaches) so you don’t have to worry about a thing, just enjoy the pleasant hike of wonders and feel one with Mother Nature.
And speaking about nature, I must admit that the vegetation of the hiking trail really took me by surprise since I wasn’t expecting to see as many flowers and colorful plants in the middle of the Winter.
At some points I had to pinch myself twice to make sure I wasn’t dreaming about Spring!!!
If you’re looking for the perfect escape from the cold European Winter, the Algarve region of Portugal is probably your best choice since you can hike for ages without any worry in the world.
Would you like to visit the Algarve and explore its wonders? Come on, I know you do my dear wonder friends!
Note: During the Summer you can take scenic boat rides departing from the cliff nearest to the lighthouse in the middle of the hiking trail (Ponta de Piedade) while during the Winter they only depart from the Marina in Lagos.
Where to stay in Lagos, Portugal
Accommodation in Lagos is very affordable although you get what you pay for in terms of comfort (heating for those cold Winter nights is quite rare) and luxury. Here’s a list of my recommendations for all types of budget.
Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Lagos:
Quinta Bonita Luxury Boutique Hotel, this family-run boutique hotel offers panoramic views of the bays of Lagos and Praia da Luz. The surrounding gardens are filled with multi-level sun terraces and there is a heated outdoor pool.
Belmar Spa & Beach Resort, the lavish resort overlooks the beautiful beach of Porto de Mos. It offers a wide range of luxurious spa treatments and an outdoor pool.
Budget Hostels and Guest Houses in Lagos:
Lagos Taghostel, offering a central location in Lagos, overlooking the marina, Lagos Taghostel features a 24-hour reception and surf lessons.
Suite Thing Hostel, situated in Lagos in the Algarve Region, 2 km from Meia Praia Beach Lagos, Suite thing Hostel boasts an outdoor pool, barbecue and sun terrace.
I hope you have enjoyed this article about the natural wonders of the Algarve region. Don’t forget to subscribe in order to get more awesome updates and tips straight to your e-mail!
Have you ever been to the Algarve region of Portugal? Would you like to? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think!
Until next time, my friends!