The Algarve, the Portuguese paradise everyone talks about and everyone returns to. Whether it's for the beaches, gastronomy, climate, wine, or all of the above. Most famous for its long beaches and cliffs, this region in the south of Portugal also harbors an interior with Arabic echoes and ecologically valuable spaces. You're planning a route through the Algarve in a motorhome or campervan. Dare to live the adventure.
Portugal is undoubtedly one of the favorite destinations for motorhome and campervan enthusiasts.
1. Tavira in motorhome or camper van
Tavira boasts a beautiful historic center composed of a labyrinth of streets. A good idea to explore it is to enter through the Dom Manuel I gate and start by visiting the Church of Mercy, considered the most remarkable Renaissance expression in the Algarve. You mustn't miss visiting the castle walls, which offer a fantastic view of the entire city. Nor should you miss the archaeological nucleus of the Almohad quarter or the Islamic Museum Nucleus, which documents the significance of the Islamic period in Tavira with artifacts from various archaeological excavations. Other must-visit places include the municipal market, the Church of Sao Paulo, the Carmo Church, or the Hermitage of Santa Ana. The coastline of the Tavira municipality is formed by the Ria Formosa Natural Park, characterized by a coastal sandy dune area with beaches and dunes protecting the lagoon area. A paradise.
You can spend the night at the PSP Tavira campsite, which has a fee of 30 euros per overnight stay, wastewater disposal, chemical toilet disposal, and electricity. It's closed from May 1st to October 1st. See on Google Maps.
Another option for an overnight stay is the free St. Luzia area. Camping equipment deployment is not allowed. See on Google Maps.
2. Faro in motorhome or camper van
The capital of the Algarve since 1756, Faro welcomes us in its living room, the Manuel Bívar garden, the place where everything happens with views of the leisure harbor, the Ria Formosa, and the sea. The Villa Arch allows access to the old part of the city known as "vila adentro." Inside, you'll find the Arab Door, the oldest lock arch in Portugal, from which a maze of streets departs that are worth discovering, highlighting the Convent of Our Lady of the Assumption. Meanwhile, in Largo da Sé, dominated by the buildings of the episcopal palace, stands the cathedral, erected in 1251, in the place formerly occupied by the mosque. You also can't miss visiting the Church of San Francisco, with beautiful gilded woodwork and azulejos. Faro is definitely worth a visit.
You can park mixed and free. See on Google Maps.
Another option is mixed and free parking at Faro Beach. See on Google Maps.
3. Portimao in motorhome or camper van
Portimao is one of Portugal's small tourist towns. It has three kilometers of beaches. The most popular is Praia da Rocha, but you should also visit Praia Tres Castelos or Joao de Arens, one of the less crowded beaches with indescribable tranquility. The beauty of its natural harbor attracts water sports enthusiasts every year. Furthermore, here visitors can explore historical monuments like the Church of Our Lady of Conception. Its coastline will enchant you. A true marvel.
You can spend the night at the Portimao campsite, which has a fee of 18 euros per overnight stay, wastewater disposal, chemical toilet disposal, and water change. It's open all year. See on Google Maps.
4. Albufeira in motorhome or camper van
The town of Albufeira has nearly 30 kilometers of coastline and is the municipality with the most Blue Flag awarded beaches in all of Portugal. The most famous ones are Santa Eulalia Beach, Gale Leste Beach, Olhos d'Agua Beach, and Maria Luisa Beach. Furthermore, the most emblematic monuments in this town are the Mother Church, the Clock Tower, and the Mercy Chapel, where each of them can help you learn more about the history of the Algarve. You can also explore various caves and natural tunnels, such as the Xorino Caves. Its low, white houses, spread between parallel streets filled with shops, bars, restaurants, and sports clubs, are lively both day and night. An incredible place to enjoy a vacation.
You can spend the night at Algarve Motorhome Park Falésia, which has 125 spaces and a fee of 7 euros per overnight stay, wastewater disposal, chemical toilet disposal, and water change. It's open all year. See on Google Maps.
Another option is Palmeira Beach parking, which is free. The maximum allowed stay is 48 hours. See on Google Maps.
The last option is Acoteais Motorhome Park, which has 56 spaces and a fee of 10 euros per overnight stay, wastewater disposal, chemical toilet disposal, and water change. It's open from January 2nd to December 29th. See on Google Maps.
5. Carvoeiro in motorhome or camper van
The picturesque scene Carvoeiro offers is hard to forget. While in other coastal tourist destinations, apartment buildings and hotels saturate the surface, Carvoeiro still retains its maritime charm. The houses in this lovely village literally cling to the Atlantic, perched on a steep cliff from which its streets descend. They are mostly white houses, low in height and sometimes decorated with red, orange, and blue details. At the foot of the town lies another of its greatest attractions: Carvoeiro Beach, with soft golden sand, is a perfect place to enjoy the sea.
You can spend the night at Carvoeiro Lagoa Camperpark, which has a fee of 7.50 euros per overnight stay, wastewater disposal, and chemical toilet disposal from January 1st to March 31st and from October 1st to December 31st. The price rises to 10 euros from June 16th to September 30th. [See on Google Maps](https://www.google.com/maps?q=N+37.11206,+W+8.
6. Lagos in motorhome or camper van
7. Sagres in motorhome or camper van
Sagres is a charming little village that boasts one of the most impressive landscapes in the Algarve. It features rugged cliffs, an intriguing fortress battered by the wind, and excellent beaches. In addition to the village with the fortress, you should also visit the Church of Nossa Senhora da Graça, the museum dedicated to discoveries, or the cliffs of Cape Sao Vicente. About 4 kilometers from Sagres, on the way to the cape, you'll find the Beliche Fortress, built in the 16th century on a cliff, inside of which stands a chapel where the Church of Santa Catarina once stood, now in ruins. To top it off, the town has a Mediterranean south coast and an Atlantic west coast, offering a wide variety of beaches.
You can spend the night at the mixed and free Sagres Fortress parking, which is just 10 minutes from the beach. See on Google Maps. Coordinates: N 37°00’21", W 8°56’45”.
Another option is the mixed and free parking at Cape Sao Vicente. See on Google Maps. Coordinates: N 37°01’26", W 8°59’41”.
8. Olhao in motorhome or camper van
Olhão boasts the largest fishing port in the Algarve and is known for its old fishermen's neighborhoods with beautiful bustling streets and excellent beaches. The neighborhoods feature flat-roofed Arab-style houses that are very pleasant for strolling. It's worth visiting the fishermen's quarter, a cluster of cubic whitewashed houses, many adorned with tiled facades. Narrow streets crisscross this neighborhood, showcasing Moorish influence. A great place to admire it is from the bell tower of the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, which serves as an excellent viewpoint over the city. Additionally, this town serves as a convenient access point to the various islands of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, especially Culatra and Armona, as well as the environmental center of Quinta Marim.
You can spend the night at the mixed and free Olhão parking area. The maximum authorized stay is 48 hours. See on Google Maps. Coordinates: N 37°01’29", W 7°50’51”.
9. Quarteira in motorhome or camper van
Quarteira is a pleasant town with a fishing tradition that has transformed from a small fishing village in the 1960s into one of the Algarve's major tourist centers, with numerous hotels, vacation apartments, and excellent restaurants. During the summer, the extensive Quarteira beach and its main avenues, filled with restaurants and shops, are very popular.
You can spend the night at the motorhome area, which offers 200 parking spaces and charges a fee of 3 euros per overnight stay, including the disposal of chemical toilets. It's open year-round. See on Google Maps. Coordinates: N 37°04’24", W 8°04’37”.
Another option is the parking at Loulé Velho Beach, which is free. The maximum authorized stay is 48 hours. See on Google Maps. Coordinates: N 37°03’24", W 8°04’43”.
Additionally, you can consider Vilamoura Rustic Motorhome Aire, which charges 8 euros per overnight stay, including the disposal of sewage and chemical toilets. It's open year-round. See on Google Maps. Coordinates: N 37°06’44", W 8°06’23”.
10. Ferragudo in motorhome or camper van
Ferragudo is a picturesque fishing village that boasts one of the most beautiful silhouettes in the entire region. It has preserved its houses cascading down to the river, crowned by the profile of the church on the hill. The quaint streets feature white houses with roofs adorned with decorated chimneys. It's a delightful blend of a fishing village and a small, welcoming tourist destination.
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