• Departing from? Departing from
  • Travelling to? Travelling to
  • When? When
  • How long for? How long for
  • Clear Search
  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
  • Travelling to?Italy + 1
  • When?March 2015
  • How long for?7 nights
  • Clear Search

Algarve Holidays

Whether you are a sun-seeker, a lover of good food, a keen photographer, a history buff or some combination of any of these, Algarve holidays have what it takes to send you back home again enriched and refreshed. 

On a Travel Department holiday, our guests benefit from more than twenty years' experience accrued in organising and leading truly memorable trips to this beautiful part of Portugal. Each of our Algarve holidays include flights, transfers, three or four star accommodation and, to ensure you get the most out of your precious time away, the services of knowledgeable local English-speaking guides.

Although its beaches and deserved reputation for warm weather might suggest that this is a summer destination, holidays to the Algarve can be enjoyed at any time of the year, you might even like to consider our Christmas or New Year’s Getaways to the Algarve.

The Algarve is one of those rare places where the landscape and seaside views are so perfect that it’s sometimes hard to believe that it’s not a dream. Multi-hued cliffs, sitting atop layers of sedimentary rock mark the dividing line between land and sea. The Atlantic waves shape and erode the cliffs, as they have done for millions of years. Spectacular and sometimes near-fantastical sea stacks, caves and arches are the awe-inspiring results. Some of these can be enjoyed from the white sandy beaches; others are accessible only by boat. Meanwhile, a little further inland, white-washed villages and quaint port towns look out over the sea. Beyond them are the hills, which, in the spring, froth with the whites and pale pinks of almond blossom.

General Information about the Algarve

To help you plan your holiday to the Algarve, we’ve outlined some general information that you may find helpful below.

Practical Information

  • Currency: Euro (€)
  • Local Time: WET (Western European Time)
  • Passport: A valid passport is required for this holiday. EU citizens do not need a visa, however non-EU citizens should check requirements.
  • Climate: The Algarve enjoys a temperate coastal climate, with mild and sunny spring and autumns with average temperatures between 18c and 24c. Summer months are typically sunny and warm with little rain and winter is mild with cool evenings.

Packing List

  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A rain jacket
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera

 

Landscape

Even those who have yet to visit the Algarve might have an inkling that the place is synonymous with crashing Atlantic surf, wide sandy beaches, and limestone and sandstone cliffs that are topped with pine trees. These, together with the sea stacks and quaint villages, are among the most photographed of the Algarve's many charms. However, innumerable small, out-of-the-way coves and caves await discovery by the visitor, as do several inland lakes, lagoons and salt marshes. Many of these wetland areas are important habitats for birds, both native and migratory.

Culture

Evidence of the Algarve's one-time Moorish rulers still abounds. As well as the old town walls in Lagos and several castles, the narrow streets and unusual chimneys in many of the towns and villages also hark back to the five centuries of Moorish rule. Several excellent local museums provide interesting displays and more information for the curious visitor.

Food

Eating out is an intrinsic part of most holidays to the Algarve. As a coastal area, it can be no surprise that seafood features prominently on many menus. There is a wide selection of cafes and restaurants, where visitors can enjoy the catch of the day. Few places can be better to do this than Olhao, a fishing town with an early morning seafood market that dates back to the Middle Ages. It is an ideal spot in which to wander and admire the fishermen's latest catch, before retiring to a waterfront cafe for a breakfast of coffee and egg custard tarts (pasteis de nata). Local restaurants serve the seafood in a variety of ways that caters for most tastes. One of the more unusual, Cataplana, derives from the area's Moorish past, and consists of whatever seafood the fishermen have brought in, cooked in a clam-shaped copper pan, together with wine, sausage, tomatoes, herbs and garlic. Other meals are more straightforward but no less tasty: clams or barnacles served with nothing more than olive oil and garlic, octopus accompanied by a tomato salad, or sardines grilled to perfection. Chicken, often seasoned with peri-peri, forms another important part of many traditional meals in the Algarve. And, of course, a glass of sweet port to wash down a meal comes highly recommended by many locals and visitors alike.

Climate

Although situated on the Atlantic coast, the Algarve is blessed with a balmy, Mediterranean-style climate. Twelve hours of sunshine a day is usual in high summer but even the hottest spells are tempered by refreshing north-westerly breezes. Winters are mild, making Algarve holidays attractive all year round.

History and Sights

With its Roman and Moorish past, and long tradition of seafaring exploration, history imbues the Algarve. There are traces of the past everywhere. You can visit Sagres and Cape St. Vincent, from where Henry the Navigator, the fifteenth century prince, initiated so many of the voyages undertaken by Portuguese mariners. The walled old town in Lagos is another fascinating destination, as is the nearby town of Silves, with its red-brick Moorish castle. Algarve holidays can be as relaxing, energetic or stimulating as you wish. If several days unwinding in the resort town of Albufeira and enjoying its splendid beaches appeals to you, or even if you want to add in some history, our Algarve Coast and Country trip provides the perfect balance between relaxation and exploration. Remember, too, that the Algarve is a great getaway even during the cooler months of the year. If spending Christmas or New Year at home does not appeal to you, then a trip to the Algarve on our Christmas or New Year getaway could be the escape you are looking for. As well as the opportunity for some sightseeing in the Algarve and also across the Spanish border in Seville, we will make sure you enjoy some traditional and seasonal Portuguese celebrations.

Peace of mind with Travel Department

Why us?

  • We’ve done the research for you, creating perfectly planned itineraries
  • Outstanding value for money – Flights, transfers, accommodation and excursions included in nearly all our tours
  • We are experienced and dedicated to your experience
  • No holiday surcharges –
    guaranteed

Our guides

  • Friendly and welcoming everywhere you go
  • Local experts, passionate about their area
  • Take pride in making your holiday memorable
  • Innovative itineraries with amazing excursions

 

Our promise

  • To remember your holiday is a very precious time
  • To go the extra mile for you, our customers
  • To describe our holidays in an honest manner
  • To use your feedback to continually improve our service

Fully protected

  • 24/7 emergency contact number while abroad
  • We are a privately owned business and have been around for over 20 years
  • Licensed and bonded by the Commission for Aviation Regulation. TO number: 163. TA number 0757