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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.
Holidays here are most popular in July, when there’s approximately 11 hours of sunshine a day and highs of 23°C.
2 hours 45 minutes
About 77km east of Alvor is Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport.
For a relaxing beach holiday in a laid-back fishing village, book your holiday with us to Alvor.
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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.
Awarded the prestigious European Blue Flag, the golden sandy beach is perfect for all the family. Take a quick dip or paddle in the cool water, with averages temperatures reaching 20-22°C in the summer. The calm sea and slight winds make it ideal for windsurfing, water-skiing and sailing, but if you’d prefer to sunbathe and relax as you read a good book, you’ll find plenty of space to lay your towel. With sun parasols for hire, showers and cafés, it’s easy to spend all day here with the kids. As the sun sets, wander back along the seafront with an ice cream.
The Ria da Alvor Nature Reserve will top the things-to-do list for nature lovers and walkers. Follow the elevated walkways as they cross the sand dunes and mud flats of the reserve, taking in the stunning views over the estuary and keeping an eye out for pink flamingos as you go. If you’d like to get the most out of the area, take a guided canoe tour across the water or hire a bike.
The cobbled streets will lead you down to the pretty fishing harbour. Watch the fishing boats as they bring in their haul from the Atlantic, before ordering the catch of the day at a harbourside restaurant. Expect fresh fish dishes like monkfish, lobster, or the signature Portuguese delicacy of grilled sardines. Away from the waterfront, you’ll find lots of selfie spots in front of the castle ruins or the old Igreja Matriz church with its ornate doors and pillars still intact.
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.
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: It’s the same as GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, is just under an hour’s drive away.
Flight time from UK: Approximately 2 hours 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.
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.
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.
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.