1 Olhão

Its highly atmospheric old town has a superb market and it’s the departure point for boat trips to some fabulous offshore-island beaches.

2 Ilha de Tavira

Take the ferry to this island with an enormous stretch of dune-backed beach – the best in the eastern Algarve.

3 Rio Guadiana

The river marking the border with Spain offers some of the region’s least spoilt scenery, meandering north to the pretty village of Alcoutim.

4 Boat trip, Lagos

Explore the extraordinary rock formations and grottoes on a boat trip from the historic town of Lagos, from where Portugal’s navigators once set sail.

5 Surfing in Sagres

The beaches around Europe’s most southwesterly town are rated as some of the best in Europe – whatever your surfing skills.

6 West-coast beaches

A stunning variety of wave-battered sandy swathes grace the dramatic and largely undeveloped west coast between Sagres and Odeceixe.

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