As it’s such a popular destination for many different types of holidaymakers, the Algarve is well suited for the kind of holiday that isn’t just about lounging around the pool ( though there’s nothing wrong with that, of course). From golf and fishing to sailing and watersports, you and your friends will be spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do but to save you a bit of time and give you a bit of inspiration we’ve found the best things to do in Algarve for grown-ups that’ll have everyone having fun. Couple a few of those with one of our luxury villas in the Algarve and you’ll be headed for a holiday full of amazing memories.
1. Shimmy your way through the Algarve by Segway
The futuristic-looking Segway is the latest form of mobility for forward-thinking holidaymakers and it’s now available to hire in the Algarve. The two-wheeled vehicle moves when the driver leans forward or back and is narrow enough to trundle off the beaten track. There is a range of tour options involving the electric machine: it’s quiet enough to go bird watching in the Ria Formosa Nature Park and robust enough for a day’s sightseeing in Faro or navigating the sandy tracks around the beach at Vilamoura. Of course, you can make plenty of stops at your leisure for shopping, lunch or sight-seeing. Let your two-wheeled adventure begin.
Location: Jardim Manuel Bivar, Faro 8005, Portugal
Book: Call +351 962 006 153
2. Spot rare birds with Natura Algarve
Spreading out 60 kilometres west from Faro, the Ria Formosa Nature Park is a vast network of boggy wetlands, sand dunes and salt plains. The creeks and islets of the protected park are home to around 200 types of aquatic birds. For birders, there’s good spotting all year-round including the great spotted cuckoo, flamingo and spoonbill plus the rare, migrating purple swamphen. If your group are keen birdwatchers or simply enjoy the pleasure of a scenic nature trip then a boat tour with eco-pioneers Natura Algarve is a low-key and laid back afternoon activity. The boat sails the shallow channels, away from the nesting sites but near enough to get a good view, and helpfully, binoculars are included in the tour. There is a stop at the island of Cultura, where you can enjoy some super fresh seafood for lunch.
Location: Hotel Real Marina, Avenida 5 de Outubro, Marina de Olhão, 8700-307 Olhão
Book: Book online at Natura Algarve
3. Wine taste among art at Quinta dos Vales
This innovative farm has created a fantastic space for art and wine lovers alike, set against the stunning backdrop of its flower-filled estate garden. Its main money-maker is the production of wine, of which it does very successfully – often winning national and international awards. Tour the extensive vineyards and cool wine cellar, then taste the reds, whites and rosés to find out for yourself just why these delicious wines are considered some of the best in the Algarve. You can also wander around the grounds where you’ll find 100-odd art installations scattered about, many sculpted by owner Karl Heinz with input from local artist collaborations. You’ll come away armed with new knowledge about this fantastic boutique wine producer and, if you like what you taste, perhaps a few bottles too.
Location: Dos Vales, Sítio dos Vales, 8400-031 Estômbar, Portugal
Book: Online at Quinta dos Vales
4. Visit a working cork factory with Novacortica
Not many visitors to the Algarve know that Portugal is the main producer and exporter of cork. Or that cork is not just used for stoppering your wine bottles but is widely utilised in fashion, interior design and even spaceships! You can find all this out and more on a visit to the factory at Novacortica, in the district of São Brás de Alportel, a typical whitewashed Algarvian town, surrounded by plantations of gnarled cork trees. The factory offers a glimpse at the processes involved in the production of cork ‘discs’, from a brief talk to a walk-through of the factory floor to see first-hand how it works. A fascinating tour with an educational slant, this one is recommended for groups who are interested in learning about local industries and ways of life.
Location: São Brás de Alportel, Portugal
Book: Call +351 289 84 01 50 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Get back in the saddle with Bike A Wish
Hop on a bike to explore the Algarve and to take in the sights and smells of this vibrant region. Bike A Wish are pioneering the eco-benefits of cycling and have a fantastic array of bikes to hire, including options to transport younger members of the group. They have a range of guided tours on offer as well, including a ride around Vilamoura harbour and Roman sites, or combination tours where you can add-on a sunset trip or an hour’s horse riding. A top option is to pre-order a picnic, you’ll just need to decide on a pretty spot to eat it, which – in the Algarve – shouldn’t be too hard.
Location: Praça Parlatório Romano, 10, Edifício Marina Arcadas, Nº 3, 8125-427 Vilamoura
Book: Online at Bike A Wish
6. Drop anchor at deserted beaches with Southwest Charter
One of the best things about holidaying in a group is that you have the numbers to hire on an exclusive basis, and, depending on the size of your group, it may work out to be more economical than you may think. The beautifully maintained vessels offered for private charter by Southwest come with a knowledgeable crew and skipper who can take care of the difficult parts while you and your loved ones simply enjoy your outing on the sparkling seas. Your boat will leave from Lagos marina and will meander past rocky coves and caves, perhaps dropping anchor to swim on an empty beach, or even sailing the natural canals of the Ria Formosa Nature Park. With jaw-dropping vistas at every turn, your group will return with a newly acquired taste for life at sea.
Location: Marina de Lagos Loja, 28, 8600-780 Lagos, Portugal
Book: Call +351 913 002 025
7. Ride pillion style with Bike My Side
This is surely one of the coolest and most original ways to see the Algarve. Your group of friends can travel by vintage sidecar in convoy around the cliff-top routes and forest-edged roads of this pretty region of Portugal. Whether you’re seasoned pillion-riders or first-time have-a-gos, the experience of being in a sidecar will thrill and delight in equal measure. The most beautiful beaches tour is essential for lovers of the sea, and certainly won’t disappoint as you fly by sun-bleached strands and azure-blue seas, with stops at the jaw-droppingly lovely Praia do Alemao and Praia da Marinha beaches among others.
Location: Urbanizacao Quinta Francesinhas – Lote 11 L,Portimao 8500, Portugal
Book: Call +351 917 015 996
Whether you’re looking to challenge your stamina or just indulge in some well-earned R&R, we’ll have the perfect villa for you. To learn more about what the Algarve has to offer, head over to our guide to the region’s resorts. Our friendly and helpful concierge team is on hand to help you find your ideal destination, so whether you’re looking for recommendations that fit your criteria exactly or want to inquire about booking, get in touch with them by clicking the handy link or giving them a call on 0800 133 7999.