People flock to the Algarve for one reason: its beautiful beaches.
Golden sands and clear waters are one attraction but it’s also the safety and cleanliness of the beaches that make them perfect for family holidays; in 2012 69 Algarve beaches were awarded a Blue Flag which signifies excellence in water quality, cleanliness, safety and environmental management. Most of these have lifeguards on duty throughout summer to give added peace of mind.
The Algarve wraps around a cape in south-west Portugal with beaches on both the south coast and the west coast facing the North Atlantic Ocean. The west coast is wilder and more spectacular. The south is an idyllic stretch of beach resorts and calm bays.
If you like wide, golden sands, with umbrellas and sunloungers for hire, beach restaurants, water sports and lovely views across the bay or to inland mountains then head to Alvor Beach. If you prefer a bit more privacy there are small coves dotted to the east, and to the west the Alvor River meets the sea forming an important seabird nesting ground.
Photo courtesy of Dan Taylor via Flickr.