With so many stunning towns in the Algarve region of Portugal, it can be difficult deciding where to stay in the Algarve.
Each town has something unique to offer, from stunning beaches and natural landscapes to historic buildings or a buzzing nightlife. Below you will find some of the best areas to stay in the Algarve.
Where to Stay in The Algarve
Below are some descriptions of all of the main Algarve towns to help you choose the best ones to base yourself from.
I’ve also included some hotel recommendations after extensive research for some great options no matter your budget. There are some backpacker budget places to stay in the Algarve below, as well as some mid-range resorts and luxury hotels in the Algarve.
I hope this helps you decide where to stay in the Algarve and if you need more Algarve inspo, these posts will surely help you plan your stay:
- A Perfect 3-7 Day Algarve Itinerary: Hike, Surf + Beach Bum!
- 11 Adventurous Algarve Tours Worth Taking
- 17 Algarve Beaches You Have to Visit
1. Where to Stay in Odeceixe
One of the less known towns in the Algarve region is Odeceixe, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered when deciding where to stay in the Algarve.
The town sits on a hillside, opposite the valley of the Ribeira da Seixe, with most of the town built around the main street, which is full of lively bars and cafes, small shops and a couple of minimarkets.
The town is characterized by its laid-back atmosphere and gorgeous beach, which offers great surfing conditions, safe swimming and soft sands.
Budget: Casa Dorita
Offering sea views, comfortable bedding and even balconies, this budget hotel is a good base in Odeceixe. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant where you can enjoy European, Mediterranean and local dishes.
Mid-range: Monte Joao Roupeiro
Located just out of this Algarve town in the Portuguese countryside, a stay here will leave you feeling completely relaxed thanks to the outdoor swimming pool and natural surroundings.
Luxury: Casa Do Moinho
This 5-star accommodation’s highlight is its outdoor swimming pool, which boasts panoramic views of the surrounding natural park. Rooms have chic, modern furnishings, with some rooms coming with a kitchen and dining area.
2. Where to Stay in Sagres
Located on the western tip of the Algarve region, Sagres is blessed with a rugged yet beautiful stretch of coastline. When deciding where to stay in the Algarve, Sagres is ideal for those that are looking for adventure, with its dramatic landscapes carved by years of raging seas and bracing winds.
Due to these conditions, Sagres is a popular Algarve town for surfers who come to try their luck on the turbulent seas. Other activities include cycling, hiking over the cliffside trails or simply taking in the sunshine and views from the cliffs and beaches.
The town itself is laid back and peaceful and has multiple beaches, all of which face different directions. The Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vincentina is an area of natural beauty, filled with remote beaches.
Part of the town’s allure is its remote setting, but you’ll also find a number of modern hotels and popular restaurants, making it one of the best areas to stay in the Algarve.
Side note: This is where I choose to stay in the Algarve! It’s become a second home to me and is definitely my favorite Algarve town.
Budget: Don Tenorio Aparthotel
The Don Tenorio offers both room and apartment accommodation just 900 yards from Mareta Beach. The large pool is bordered by lush green gardens and plenty of sun loungers.
Mid-range: Mareta View
This modern, boutique hotel not only overlooks the beach but also offers a tropical palm garden, sundeck and hot tub. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast, drinks at the charming ocean bar and 24-hour room service.
Luxury: Martinhal Sagres
The impressive resort of Martinhal certainly reflects its 5-star status, overlooking the beautiful beaches of Sagres. The resort has a total of 5 pools, boutique style rooms and villas with private balconies, artificial grass tennis courts, 3 restaurants, 4 bars and a number of day time and evening activities.
3. Where to Stay in Lagos
Lagos is one of the best areas to stay in the Algarve thanks to its perfect combination of modern attractions and rich history. The monuments and buildings that line the streets tell a story about the many different people who have called the town their home, and impressive natural harbor has been the start of many maritime adventures.
The beautiful beaches are also a major attraction to this part of the Algarve, and there are many to choose from. Stone archways and cliffs separate the tiny coves, all of which have been blessed with picturesque blue waters. Popular family attractions include a few water parks and a zoo that gives you the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
At night, the streets change, and buskers and street entertainers emerge as the many restaurants, bars and clubs fill with people who party long into the warm Portuguese evenings.
Budget: Dona Ana Garden
Although a budget option, the rooms here are clean and spacious, with the center of this Algarve town just a 10-minute walk away. The hotel features a heated pool, free parking and wi-fi.
Mid-range: Casa Luma B&B
With clean, contemporary rooms and the option of a continental breakfast every morning, the Casa Luma is a popular accommodation choice. Rooms have free wi-fi, a private bathroom and a terrace.
Luxury: Boutique Hotel Vibenda Miranda
Only a 5-minute stroll to the beach, this boutique hotel features an outdoor spa pool, sauna, a range of massage options and Atlantic Ocean views. And rooms are uniquely furnished and have their own private balcony or terrace.
4. Where to Stay in Portimao
Portimao is one of the biggest Algarve towns, traditionally a town used for shipbuilding, sardine fishing and fish processing, today, the town is a bustling tourist hub. Head to Portimao for its extensive shopping opportunities, its beautiful scenic promenade and wide range of historic buildings.
The waterside restaurants all serve a range of freshly cooked seafood, and the countless bars and coffee shops will satisfy even the fussiest foody.
When deciding where to stay in the Algarve, note that the town center is full of Portuguese charm, with pedestrianized streets linking the open-air plazas, many of which are filled with pavement cafes.
The Museu de Portimao is a great place to stop and learn about the history of the city, while the impressive buildings of the Camara Municipal de Portimao and the La Rosa Factory are well worth a look.
Just south of town is the popular beach resort of Praia da Rocha, with a long golden stretch of sand.
Budget: Hotel Made Inn
With modern, themed rooms, terraces with panoramic views and buffet breakfast, this hotel is the ideal accommodation if you are on a budget. Surrounded by shops and restaurants it is in the ideal location in the center of this Algarve town.
Mid-range: Jupiter Marina Hotel
Located on the city riverside, this lovely hotel features a rooftop, infinity swimming pool, Balinese beds and beautiful views. The hotel is set in the former cannery of Facho factory, and each room has modern décor, air con, flat screen TV and balcony.
Luxury: Bel Vista Hotel and Spa
This beautiful hotel is set in a stately, historical building offering boutique accommodation in the Praia da Rocha part of town. With direct access to the beach and al fresco dining on the terrace restaurant, the hotel simply oozes charm and sophistication.
5. Where to Stay in Carvoeiro
Carvoeiro is the definition of a Portuguese resort town, set to a backdrop of rugged cliffs and golden beaches, it is one of the best areas to stay in the Algarve. If you are a looking for a relaxing break away from it all, then Carvoeiro is your destination.
The beaches of Praia de Carvoeiro and Praia do Vale Centeanes are some of the most picturesque in the region, framed by towering cliffs and a collection of beachside amenities.
In addition to enjoying the beaches, Carvoeiro is also likely to appeal to nature lovers, with options to kayak along the coast, take on challenging cliffside hiking routes and cycle the twisting roads.
Budget: Carvoeiro Beach and Pool
Just a short distance to the beach and with an outdoor pool, the accommodation provided is perfect for a budget stay. With a helpful reception team, you can really get the most out of your holiday to the Algarve.
Mid-range: Rocha Brava Village Resort
Situated on a clifftop the resort offers its guests the choice of 3 swimming pools, 4 tennis courts and a gym. The many apartments are surrounded by lush gardens, and with on-site restaurant, coffee shop, bar, supermarket and crazy golf, you won’t even have to leave the property to have a fantastic holiday.
Luxury: Tivoli Carvoeiro
This 5-star hotel boasts large, impeccably decorated rooms, all of which have an elegant and temporary design and come with air conditioning, wi-fi, a minibar, TV and large private bathroom with complimentary amenities. You can also enjoy the fitness center, spa, pool and on-site restaurants during your stay.
6. Where to Stay in Albufeira
The town of Albufeira is arguably one of the best areas to stay in the Algarve, it is the most touristy in the region, and simply bursts with energy and things to do. The beach is large and picturesque, curving around the coast with plenty of room for everyone.
One of the things this vibrant Algarve town is well known for is its nightlife scene, with its ‘Strip’ street a riot of color, bars, clubs and drinks deals. There are also a range of waterparks and theme parks, making it a desirable location for families too.
The Old Town couldn’t be more contrasting to the strip, with cobbled streets and small pubs, which makes for a lovely place to explore during the day.
Budget: Alfagar Cerro Malpique
This hotel offers a number of self-catering apartments across two buildings. Each apartment comes with a fridge, coffee maker, balcony and satellite TV, providing everything you need for a comfortable stay. For relaxation, head to the hotels steam bath, or sip a drink on the terrace, complete with sea views.
Mid-range: Hotel Baltum
In the center of Albufeira, this hotel is the perfect choice for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the bustling streets of the town. As well as a range of rooms with private bathrooms, the hotel also has a range of fully-equipped apartments, an attractive terrace, and an onsite restaurant.
Luxury: Vila Gale Cerro Alagoa
A little piece of luxury in the heart of the Algarve, this hotel features an interior heated pool and sauna as well we two exterior pools, a varied breakfast and on-site restaurant, serving traditional Portuguese cuisine. All rooms are impeccably decorated with chic furnishings and offer a mini-bar, air-con and work desk.
7. Where to Stay in Vilamoura
Offering world-class golf courses, stunning beaches and bustling marina, it is no wonder that Vilamoura is such a popular Algarve town. The town is both stylish and sophisticated, home to gourmet restaurants, chic bars and million-dollar yachts.
The beaches on this area of the coast have soft, golden sands and aqua blue waters, as well as a range of water sports options to entertain the whole family.
Budget: Parque Mourabel Oasis
With two outdoor pools, kitchenettes[VP1] and balconies, a stay in Parque Mourabel Oasis certainly will not feel like a budget option. Enjoy live music or karaoke in the evenings, and spend your days on the tennis court, sunbathing or using the hotel bikes.
Mid-range: Vilamoura Garden Hotel
This beautiful hotel is located a mile from the Marina, however, with a beautiful outdoor pool and sun terrace, you may not want to leave. Rooms are modern and tastefully decorated, with some even having an additional private seating area.
Luxury: The Lake Resort
For 5-star luxury, this resort not only offers a natural sandy beach pool, but also a floating restaurant, spacious rooms, a spa area and more.
8. Where to Stay in Faro
With a fascinating history, surrounded by beautiful nature and with an abundance of Portuguese charm, Faro is one of the best Algarve towns to base yourself in to see all the that this stunning region of Portugal has to offer.
As an airport town, it is one of the most easily accessible, yet is so much more than just a point of entry to the southern coast.
The historic center of the city is framed in ancient walls, inside of which you can find quaint pedestrianized streets, lively plazas and an abundance of pavement cafes and inviting shops. By night, the city transforms into a buzzing hub of activity, with plenty of nightlife options to enjoy.
The nearby Ria Formosa nature park is made up of mudflats and saltwater lagoons, a mecca for nature lovers thanks to the number of birds and wildlife that call the area their home. There are also a number of pristine, soft sand beaches which are popular with locals and tourists alike, helping to make it one of the best areas to stay in the Algarve.
Budget: Residencial Condado
Located in the heart of Faro, the rooftop terrace of this hotel offers some great views of the city. Rooms are simply decorated with a satellite TV, and some come with a balcony. With 24-hour tea and coffee, luggage storage and free wi-fi, it is a great budget venue to base yourself.
Mid-range: Hotel Monaco
Modern, spacious rooms, a central location and outdoor pool have all helped Hotel Monaco become a popular hotel. The stylish bar is the perfect place to relax with a drink after a long day, or alternatively make use of the various spa treatments available.
Luxury: Hotel Faro and Beach Club
This beautiful hotel is located in downtown Faro, overlooking the Old Town, Marina and Ria Formosa Natural Park. The spacious rooms all come with a balcony and the rooftop terrace restaurant offers incredible views. The hotel’s beach club is easily accessible thanks to the free shuttle.
9. Where to Stay in Tavira
As an old Moorish town, Tavira has managed to maintain much of its original charm, character and heritage, as well as being a popular tourist hub. The town is located along the coast of the Gilao River and is made up quaint churches, cobbled streets, tiny plazas and a plethora of historical buildings.
Don’t let the old town charm fool you, however, as by night the town comes alive with families dining al fresco in the many restaurants of the historical center, and the buzzing Ubi club is one of the best areas in the Algarve to party, set in a huge old factory you can dance until the sun rises.
To the south of town you’ll find some of the least developed beaches on the coast, simply oozing rugged, natural beauty. For the more active individual, there are a number of hiking paths, golf courses, cycling routes and waterways just waiting to be explored.
Budget: HI Tivira
With double rooms, twin rooms or shared dormitories, this hotel offers accommodation to suit a range of budgets. Rooms are simple and clean, and the shared kitchen is helpful if you don’t fancy eating out.
Mid-range: Vila Gale Tavira
These elegant rooms come with a private balcony and classy furnishings. The hotel features an outdoor pool and spa, health club, restaurant and bar, and is situated on the banks of the Ria Formosa.
Luxury: Fazenda Nova Country House
The ultra-modern suites here come with all the added extras for a truly luxurious stay, including a continental breakfast, seating area, toiletries, a bathrobe and slippers. With a summer pool and on-site restaurant, you’ll never have to leave the resort.
What To Do in The Algarve
If you’ve found the best area to stay in the Algarve and are now wondering what you can actually do around the area, these posts will help you plan everything you need:
- A Perfect 3-7 Day Algarve Itinerary: Hike, Surf + Beach Bum!
- 11 Adventurous Algarve Tours Worth Taking
- 17 Algarve Beaches You Have to Visit
What are you most excited about doing? Where did you decide to stay in the Algarve? Let us know in the comments!