the algarve roadtrip

The Algarve Awaits Your Road Trip Adventure

Ah, the Algarve! The mere mention of this Portuguese paradise conjures images of sun-kissed beaches, turquoise waters, and picturesque cliffs. But what if we told you that there’s a side to the Algarve that often remains hidden from the typical tourist eye? Yes, it’s time to explore the road less traveled and embark on an epic adventure with your trusty road trip companion. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the Algarve, showcasing the most beautiful and wild camping spots along the way. So, fasten your seatbelt, roll down your window, and let’s hit the road!

Road Trip Through the Algarve: An Overview

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of the Algarve’s best camping spots, let’s set the stage for our epic adventure. The Algarve, situated in the southernmost part of Portugal, is a region brimming with natural beauty, rich culture, and a vibrant history. It’s renowned for its Mediterranean climate, making it a year-round destination for travelers seeking sun, sea, and sand. But there’s so much more to discover beyond the beaches.

The Itinerary: What to Expect

Our road trip through the Algarve will take you on a mesmerizing journey, covering a variety of terrains, from coastal wonders to rugged mountain landscapes. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming villages, delectable cuisine, and experiences that will leave you in awe. Here’s a sneak peek of our itinerary (driving in from Spain):

Moncarapacho: The Eastern Gem

  • Strolling through Tavira’s charming streets
  • Campsite: Outbase Explorers

Silves: History and Culture

  • Discovering Silves Castle
  • Campsite: Quinta Sol Poente

Monchique: A Mountain Retreat

  • Hiking in the Serra de Monchique
  • Campsite: Camping Vale da Carrasqueira

Lagos: Where the Adventure continues.

  • Exploring the historic city center
  • Campsite: Quinta Alfarrobeira

Sagres: Where Land Meets Sea

  • Visiting Cape St. Vincent
  • Campsite: Orbitur Sagres

Now that you have a glimpse of our thrilling itinerary, let’s delve into the specifics of each destination, shall we?

Moncarapacho: The Eastern Gem – Strolling Through Tavira’s Charming Streets

When you decide to start your Algarve adventure from our base in Moncarapacho, Tavira, located in the eastern part of the region, awaits with its quaint charm and scenic beauty. Explore Tavira’s enchanting streets:

  • Roman Bridge: Walk across the historic Roman Bridge that spans the Gilão River.
  • Tavira Island: Take a short boat ride to the stunning Tavira Island, known for its pristine beaches.
  • Gastronomy: Indulge in Algarvian cuisine at local eateries, where fresh seafood is always on the menu.

Campsite: Outbase Explorers – Moncarapacho
With the feeling of wild camping we tried to create the best possible campervan experience. Located on a 3,5 Ha property and only space for 5 vans, our place offers lot’s of space for private retreat.

Silves: History and Culture – Discovering Silves Castle

As your road trip through the Algarve continues, make your way to Silves, a town steeped in history and culture. Silves was once the capital of the Algarve during the Moorish era, and remnants of its rich past are waiting to be explored:

  • Silves Castle: Wander through the well-preserved castle, which offers stunning views of the town.
  • Orange Orchards: Silves is famous for its orange orchards, and you can even pick your own fresh oranges.
  • Medieval Festival: If you’re lucky, your visit might coincide with the annual Medieval Festival, a vibrant celebration of Silves’ history.

Campsite: Quinta Sol Poente
This small scale campsite is located on a big rural plot as well and belongs to a little farm which is run by Nuno & Brunna and their family. It is a pleasure to stay here for the night and to enjoy their unlimited hospitality.

Monchique: A Mountain Retreat – Hiking in the Serra de Monchique

Now it’s time to head inland to Monchique, a picturesque mountain town nestled in the Serra de Monchique. Here, the pace of life slows down, and you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery. Here’s what awaits:

  • Serra de Monchique: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the pristine trails of this mountain range.
  • Local Handicrafts: Shop for traditional handicrafts and take home a piece of Monchique’s culture.
  • Mineral Springs: Soothe your weary muscles in the natural mineral springs at Caldas de Monchique.

Campsite: Camping Vale da Carrasqueira
The rural park for campervans Vale da Carrasqueira is situated in the heart of the algarvian mountains, but the magnificent beaches who made the region famous are just near by. This privileged geographical position allows easily to make excursions into the seaside, with beautifull beaches and a busy night live, as well as into the Algarve countryside, rich in nature, tradition and handcraft patrimonial.

Lagos: Where the Adventure continues – Exploring the Historic City Center

As you continue your road trip through the Algarve, Lagos will be the 4th stop. This historic coastal town is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a captivating old town that oozes charm. Park your campervan and take a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets of Lagos, where you’ll find:

  • Street Art: Marvel at the vibrant street art that adorns the town’s walls, adding a modern twist to its ancient beauty.
  • Pristine Beaches: Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Praia Dona Ana or take a boat tour to the mesmerizing Ponta da Piedade.
  • Local Cuisine: Sample fresh seafood dishes at local restaurants; don’t forget to try the famous cataplana!

Campsite: Quinta Alfarrobeira
Quinta Alfarrobeira, close to the ocean beach and lagoons of Meia Praia and 1 km from the authentic village of Odiáxere, is a 12-hectare estate active in rural ecotourism, small-scale organic farming and crafts. They offer private space for 2 motorhomes on a platform overlooking the countryside, valley, orchard and vegetable garden.

Sagres: Where Land Meets Sea – Visiting Cape St. Vincent

From Lagos, your journey end’s westward in Sagres, a place where the land dramatically meets the sea. Sagres is renowned for its rugged coastline and is home to Cape St. Vincent, Europe’s southwestern most point. Here’s what not to miss:
Cape St. Vincent: Stand at the edge of Europe and watch the sun dip below the horizon at this breathtaking cape.

  • Surfing: Sagres is a surfer’s paradise, so if you’re up for some waves, this is the place to be.
  • Fortress of Sagres: Explore the historic fortress and soak in the maritime history of the region.

Campsite: Orbitur Sagres
The first caravels to bring “news from the new world” during the times of Portuguese exploration left from Sagres. Here also, 1 km from the beach, you will find a beautiful campsite set in the midst of pine woods, with good commercial services and a welcoming atmosphere. It has mobile-homes and other services for hire. The surroundings are ideal for quiet walks with a blue background to the sea. Cabo de São Vicente stands out both for its history and great natural beauty.

FAQs: Your Road Trip Queries Answered

Q1: How long should I plan for this road trip?

  • A1: Ideally, allow at least a week to fully enjoy the Algarve’s beauty. However, you can customize the trip to fit your schedule.

Q2: Is it safe to camp in these campgrounds?

  • A2: Yes, these campgrounds are well-maintained and safe for travelers. Exercise standard camping precautions.

Q3: Do I need a special camping permit in the Algarve?

  • A3: No, but in case you like to park and sleep outside of camping parks you are only allowed to stay a maximum of 48 hours on one spot and you cannot put your furniture outside.