Alvor holidays

Located on the banks of the Odiáxere River, Alvor is a bustling seaside resort that still keeps all the character of its fishing village past. From traditional whitewashed houses to narrow cobbled streets and a beautiful harbour filled with colourful fishing boats, holidays to Alvor Portugal have plenty of old-school charm. Wander around historic sites like the 16th century church and ruins of the medieval castle, or visit the nearby Ria da Alvor Nature Reserve for some wildlife spotting. Your holiday wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the vast and pristine beach of Praia do Alvor. Popular for kite-surfing, you can soak up the sun or rent pedalos and kayaks at this sandy beach. When it comes to nightlife, the cobbled streets lacing the old village centre are dotted with bars where you can sip a cocktail or two. Alternatively, jump in a taxi to Portimão, the livelier resort town next door.

Things to do

Quieter and more reserved than the nearby resort town of Praia da Rocha, this destination might not have a long list of adrenaline-pumping activities, but there’s still plenty of things to do. Alvor holidays are perfect for leisurely strolls along the beach, souvenir shopping in the town’s boutique shops and plenty of kid-friendly activities like mini-golf and fairground rides. Pull up a chair at one of the great seafood restaurants lining the harbour and tuck into some freshly grilled fish as you take in the sea view. Wander along the elevated walkways of the Ria da Alvor Nature Reserve or tee off at the 18-hole golf course on the edge of the village. 

Excellent beaches

Alvor’s golden sandy beach is a regular hotspot for holidaymakers as the shores provide a delightful chance to relish in the warm weather reclining on sunloungers and under parasols. It’s easy to spend a whole day at this Blue Flag beach as there are lots of top notch amenities, including cafes, where you can get a bite to eat, a refreshing drink or delicious ice cream. Have fun paddling in the shallow waves or if you’re feeling more adventurous have a go at windsurfing, sailing or any of the other water sports available.

History and culture

The resort is on the Rio Alvor in the western part of the Algarve. Now a popular holiday destination, Alvor was once a small Moorish fishing village. It’s well known in the region because it was the place where the great King João II died in 1495. You can still find tradition flowing through the cobbled streets of Alvor and in nearby historical landmarks like the stunningly Manueline-decorated church, Igreja Matriz, less than a 20-minute drive away.

Vibrant nightlife

Alvor is not just a relaxing holiday destination; it’s also home to a great range of nightlife suiting varied tastes, so tailoring your night out couldn’t be simpler. If you’re in need of an evening with a touch of sophistication, have an early dinner and cocktails whilst watching the sun set by the harbour.

For something a little more upbeat, head over to the Irish bars for sports and live music before dancing in one of the lively clubs in the area. Or maybe hop into a taxi to the livelier Portimão, which is just next door. It’s said that Alvor is home to some of the best cuisine in the Algarve with lots of restaurants filling the streets with delicious cuisine from around the world.

Map of Alvor

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20 ℃

Holidays here are most popular in July, when there’s approximately 11 hours of sunshine a day and highs of 23°C.

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2 hours 45 minutes

About 77km east of Alvor is Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport.

Alvor is best for...

Sun worshippers: Within walking distance of one of the largest sandy beaches in southern Portugal, you’ll find lots of space to enjoy the warm weather and relax.

Nature lovers: Keep an eye out for wild flamingos as you cross the sand dunes and mud flats of the scenic Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve. It’s a haven for other birdlife too.

Families: Kids will love building sand castles and paddling in the calm, warm waters of the sand Blue Flag beach. 

Fast facts for Alvor

Language: Portuguese is the language spoken here.

Currency:  You’ll need to make sure you change up your spending money before travelling on holiday.  The currency needed is the Euro (€).

Local time: Alvor is the same time as GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Faro Airport. The transfer time to Alvor is about 1.5 hours. 

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Alvor is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at  www.visitportugal.com/en.

Visa / health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday.

Holiday destinations related to Alvor:

  • Carvoeiro
  • Lagos
  • Praia da Rocha
  • Vilamoura
  • Albufeira
  • Getting around Alvor

    On foot: It’s quite small and you’ll be able to explore the centre easily by walking.

    By taxi: Jump in a taxi for a quick and easy way to visit nearby towns. You can pre-book and there’s a fare list displayed in every cab, so you’ll know exactly how many euros you’ll need for the trip.

    By train: Head to bustling Portimão or any of the stops in between with a short train ride on the main Algarve line.

    By car: See more of Algarve’s scenic views and picturesque beach resorts at your own pace when you pick up a rental car. You can hire a car from Faro Airport when you land, or collect it from somewhere closer to your hotel.

    Events in Alvor

    Carnival: Every year in late February to early March, the infectious sights and sounds of carnival return. The tranquil town comes alive with parades, dancing, music, and colourful decorations.

    Live jazz: It’s impossible not to enjoy the smooths sounds of the saxophone, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a better place to listen to it than at Alvor’s Jazz nights in July. There are more summer jazz festivals in the area; from May’s Maio Lindo Maio in Portimão through to August’s Lagos Jazz Festival.

    Motor racing: Watch the cars whizz around the race track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. This 100,000-capacity circuit is only 20km away and has hosted famous events like the World Touring Car Championships. Petrol heads will love the driving experiences you can book here. 

    Alvor weather

    Temperature: Average summer temperatures are a balmy 20-23 (°C).

    Best time to visit: Book Alvor holidays between June and the end of August, which are the driest and hottest months. It’s perfect beach weather.

    The summers can be long and hot, so make sure you pack sun cream and a hat if you’re visiting when temperatures are at their highest. Spring and early autumn are still quite warm, and you’ll normally be able to spend time on the beach between mid-May and late September. Winters are mild but at times slightly unpredictable. 

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