Cheap Vacations to Alvor
Alvor is a picturesque little resort west of Albufeira on the sun soaked Algarve. The old town of Alvor is actually set inland on a little estuary with a broad beach running the length of the modern resort. The quaint old town has manged to retain an authentic feel despite the cafes, bars and restaurants that line the maize of cobbled streets and alleyways leading down to the modern promenade and fishing harbour.
Secluded coves and rocky inlets
The majority of the resort hotels lie outside the old town, stretched along the cliff tops that overlook the beautiful Praia do Alvor. Many of these hotels have direct access to secluded coves and rocky inlets. There are surprising little tunnels leading through the rock face linking beaches and some laid back beach cafes to keep you going during the day.
The modern promenade in the old town is a great link between the town, the estuary and the sea front. There are several smart cafes and restaurants that are perfect for a drink or light lunch. You can sit and watch the local fisherman landing their catches in the ancient harbour. From here, it is a short journey to the large fish restaurants beyond the promenade. Alvor is popular with families and couples as well as golfers looking for a challenge. The Pestana Golf Academy is in the heart of the modern resort.
Things to do in Alvor
On the beach in Alvor
Your choice of beach may be dictated by the location of the hotel you choose. The large resort hotels to the east of the old town have easy access to the beaches that lie beneath the impressive cliffs. The dramatic erosion of the cliff has left lovely little sheltered coves that are perfect for families. The soft sand and gently lapping waves make for a great combination. The main beach lies beyond the old town and harbour. There is plenty of free car parking and a simple wooden boardwalk that leads through the dunes to the wide open expanse of the Praia do Alvor. The smart beachside restaurant offers a welcome retreat from the Algarve sunshine.
The beach alongside the Pestana Alvor Praia Beach and Golf Hotel is perfect. You can choose from the wide open expanse of beach heading west or nip in between the rocky outcrops and enjoy the relative seclusion of the bay next door, complete with beach bar.
Eat and drink in Alvor
The beach bars and restaurants lining the sea front are likely to keep you happy during the day. Whether you want a simple sandwich or a piece of grilled fish you will find it. The old town is packed with simple cafes and restaurants serving both local and international meals. Take a walk down to the harbour and see what’s cooking on the open air charcoal grills. Fish is the obvious speciality in the area. The more popular restaurants in town have impressive roof top terraces.
For a big city dining experience make the short journey to the bustling town of Portimao.
Alvor is a family friendly resort and the choice of nightlife reflects this. There are some lovely Irish bars in and around the old town as well as a range of cocktail bars and places you can try your hand at karaoke. The cobbled streets that run down towards the estuary are busy with lively bars and restaurants that will keep you entertained into the early hours. Nearby Praia da Rocha is the place to go for local nightclubs. It is approximately 4 miles away and easily reached by either bus or taxi.
Look out for the energetic street entertainers that populate the old town during the summer months.
Shopping in Alvor
The centre of the old town is full of souvenir shops specialising in local ceramics, leather goods and jewellery. You will also find a range of supermarkets – perfect for those holiday essentials. The local market hall is worth a visit if only to take a peek at local life. The range of fresh fish and vegetables is incredible. Portimao is the place to go for larger stores and designer boutiques.
Things to see in Alvor
The old 16th century church of Igreja Matriz is worth a visit. The impressive door is a classic example of gothic architecture. A more family friendly sight is the amazing sunset over the estuary. Head down to the harbour, pull up a chair and a cold drink and watch the sun sinking into the horizon. For a day away from the resort, head west and take in the delights of Lagos. This ancient walled city is a great place to walk around and the modern marina provides a sharp contrast with the ancient streets and squares of the old town.
For an authentic lunchtime experience, try the local fish market in Lagos. The top floor has a great restaurant.
Tropico Beach Bar Restaurante
This incredible beach restaurant is on the outskirts of the town but is only a very short taxi or nice evening walk away. The tables on the beach, the friendly service, great fish and fantastic views will make it worthwhile!
Cafe na Ria
This bar is on the harbour front and is the perfect place to sit back with a cocktail and enjoy the sun setting over the harbour. The laid back music and service are perfect for this bar sitting in the shadows of the local palm trees.
Praia do Alvor
This beautiful beach is the perfect place to spend a long sunny afternoon. Head into Alvor and look for signposts pointing you in the direction ‘Praia’. You can expect to find a long sweep of perfect sand, calm waters and a great place to grab a snack and a drink. Head to the promenade behind the beach afterwards for a stroll and sun set cocktail.
- Currency – EUR
- Time Zone – GMT + (0)
- Travel Time – Faro (FAO - 2 hours 45 minutes (London)
- Transfer Time – 1 hour (Taxi)