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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

Top 10 Portugal Things to Do

Updated: May 24, 2022

Portugal is known for finding the first global empire, being one of the most peaceful countries in Europe, City of Seven Hills, and cavern-like beaches along the world-famous Algarve Coast. With my travel to 7 continents reaching 33 countries in 5 continents now, my spirit and soul drew me to stay on the Algarve Coast in Portugal for a month,

During my one month on the Algarve Coast in Portugal, I stayed in Alvor and visited Lagos, Faro, Portimao, and Lisbon. Beyond the incredible sites of the Grand Canyon meets the Atlantic, my time in Portugal was extra special because I spent a week with my parents in Portugal after not seeing them for over two years.

It is time to put Portugal on your bucket list.

Portugal is known for its incredible fishing towns like Lagos, 7 wonders, and housing the oldest bookstore in the world in Lisbon. The Portuguese embrace diverse passions from loving being a football nation to producing the most cork in the world. The coast of the Algarve is world famous for its cliff-like Grand Canyon beaches along the Algarve Coast with Mesozoic sedimentary rocks and limestone cliffs along the south coast from 20 to 250 million years old.

Portugal Things to Do
Portugal Things to Do

Portugal History

Portugal is becoming a popular destination for tourism for great reason. With a rich history, colorful cities like Lisbon, and breathtaking towns along the 400 mile stretch on the Algarve Coast, is no surprise.

Portugal is the oldest country in Europe. It has maintained the same defined borders since 1139. Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries with 230+ million people speaking around the world.

Algarve Coast Alvor Town

Whether you will spend one day in the Algarve Coast and Portugal, or a month like I did, you will love it.

It's not easy to narrow down Algarve Coast in Portugal to a Top 10 Things to Do, but here goes!

Portugal Top 10 Things to Do

  • Stay on the Algarve Coast

  • Visit Beaches of Algarve Coast

  • Walk in Villages like Alvor, Lagos, Faro, and Ferragudo

  • Take a Boat Ride from Lagos

  • Visit Algar Seco Cave

  • Marvel at Sand City

  • Take a Day Trip to Lisbon

  • Ride in a TukTuk in Lisbon

  • Go Souvenir Shopping in Lagos in Lisbon

  • Enjoy foodie favorites like seafood, juices, and coffees

Alvor, Portugal

Algarve Coast, Portugal

Algarve Coast is the world-famous 400+ mile southern coastline of Portugal. It is immersed in beautiful fishing villages, cliff-like sandy beaches, and incredible weather most of the year.


Portuguese. English is spoken everywhere as well.


It has a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. The maximum temperatures are 61 degrees to 84 degrees in July and August. In Lisbon and other cities inland, temperatures may be higher.




Debit and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Mostly souvenir and street food stands take only cash. You may find ATMs virtually everywhere. Look for ATMs with the MB sign for Portuguese national bank for lower fees.


  • Oldest country in Europe

  • Same defined borders since 1139

  • Portuguese is official language with 9+ countries

  • 400+ mile southern coastline along Algarve Coast

  • Lisbon is City of Seven Hills

  • Portugal houses oldest bookstore in the world in Lisbon

  • More than 600,000 expats live in Portugal

  • May live comfortably on about $1,400 monthly

  • Average rent is about $700 monthly

Alvor, Portugal

All shots are my own on Canon EOSM100, Sony A330, and/or my iPhone 13 or via Airbnb.

Travel to Portugal

Travel to Portugal may be with a number of flights to Lisbon and Faro airport in the Algarve Coast. I flew to Lisbon Airport from US. My mom and dad flew in and out of Faro Airport. Depending on where you are traveling from, check both airports. From the Algarve Coast, I took a bus from Portimao for three hours to/from Lisbon for $30 USD.

Lagos Church

Where I Stayed in Portugal

VRBO in Alvor, Portugal

I stayed at an adorable two-story loft VRBO in center of Alvor, Portugal on the Algarve Coast. The owner offered a one month discounted rate. The photos don't do the place justice. I enjoyed incredible stay, views, and access to Alvor and all of Algarve during. my stay.

Algarve Coast, Portugal beaches in Alvor

Top 10 Algarve Coast, Panama Things to Do

Undoubtedly, the Algarve Coast and Portugal offers much more than what I share in my Top 10 Portugal Things to Do. Although I experienced a lot during my month in Portugal, I barely scratched the surface. It is a travel destination I would return to in the future again and again.

No matter how much time you have to visit Portugal, make the most of it. Whether you spend a day, a week, or months in the Algarve Coast, Portugal, always make any travels your own!

In putting together the Top 10 Portugal Things to Do, I considered how I would experience travels knowing what I know now to make it easier and more enjoyable for you.

My Algarve Coast, Portugal Top 10 Things to Do includes:

  • Stay on the Algarve Coast

  • Visit Beaches of Algarve Coast

  • Walk in Villages like Alvor, Lagos, Faro, and Ferragudo

  • Take a Boat Ride from Lagos

  • Visit Algar Seco Cave

  • Marvel at Sand City

  • Take a Day Trip to Lisbon

  • Ride in a TukTuk in Lisbon

  • Go Souvenir Shopping in Lagos in Lisbon

  • Enjoy foodie favorites like seafood, juices, and coffees


1 Stay on the Algarve Coast

There are many places you may stay in Portugal. I recommend you stay somewhere along the Algarve Coast, as over 90% of the sites on the Algarve will be within 15 to 45 min from you.

If you stay in Lisbon, you will be about 3 hours away from the Algarve Coast.

Algarve Coast Portugal

From left to right, Alvor, Lisbon, Ferragudo,

Lagos, Alvor Beaches, Lagos


2 Visit Beaches on Algarve Coast

Algarve Coast has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It seems like Grand Canyon meets the Atlantic. You will want to visit the beaches in Alvor, Lagos, and Carvoeira.

My favorite experiences included walking on the boardwalk and visiting Alvor Beaches dos Três Irmãos, Joao de Arens, and Submarino all within 15 min walking from the center of town, a boat ride from Lagos along the coastline to Ponta da Piedade, and Carvoeira on the Algarve Coast.

From left to right, Alvor, and Ponta da Piedade near Lagos.


3 Walk in Villages in Portugal

When you visit Portugal. you don't want to miss walking in picturesque villages like Alvor, Lagos, Faro and Ferragudo. Each and every town delights at every turn taking you back in time.

From left to right, Lagos, Alvor and Lisbon


4 Take a Boat Ride from Lagos

Lagos is a beautiful town about 15 minutes or so from Alvor. You may park along the sea and find several boat tour companies like Happy Tours that do Cave Tours. These are to places like Ponta da Piedade. You will experience indescribeable cliffs, beaches, and views.


5 Visit Algar Seco Cave

Before visiting Portugal, I found out about the Bengali Cave. After trying to visit it via a boat two times, I started looking at other options. The Bengali are accessible via boat only and are highly subjective to weather and wave conditions that didn't line up during my time in the Algarve Coast.

When I researched cave systems in the Algarve, I came across the incredible Algar Seco, which is easy to explore on land. It blew my mind in every way from the huge 20-60 million year old rocks to the beautiful surroundings of the coast. This is not to be missed during your trip to Algarve Coast.

Algar Seco is in Caroveiro and about 20 minutes from Alvor.


6 Marvel at Sand City

Sand City on the Algarve Coast is the Biggest Sand Sculpture Park in the World. While in Alvor, we came across a sign on the Alvor Boardwalk. I am so grateful we went to go visit the park. You will see sculptures from artists all around the world of everything imaginable.

The incredible larger than life statues of sand include the 7 Wonders, 7 Continents, world famous celebrities and leaders, comics and more!


7 Take a Day Trip to Lisbon

The beautiful capital of Portugal, Lisbon is not to be missed. The City of the Seven Hills delights in its views, neighborhoods, history and food at every turn! With it being a short 2-3 hours away from the Algarve Coast (depending where you stay), it is easy to do as a day trip.


8 Take a Tuk-Tuk Tour in Lisbon

When I started researching ways to see the city sites in a short amount of time in Lisbon, I came across Tuk Tuks that are electric! Talk about a cool way to see the city and be climate conscious.

The bonus? I found a pink Tuk-Tuk when my parents and I did a tour with The Hermes Tour!

In about 2 hours, we went through


🇵🇹 Alfama

🇵🇹 Old Town

🇵🇹 Portas do Sol View

🇵🇹Senora do Monte

🇵🇹 Learned about earthquake, revolution, Christ Redeemer statue smaller version, and much more!


9 Souvenir Shop in Lagos and Lisbon

I found the best souvenir shopping in Lagos and Lisbon. In Lagos, I got the adorable skirt you see me wearing in Lisbon, cork purse, blue and white scarf, and gifts for others. In Lisbon, I got cork coasters, pens and journals.


10 Foodie Favorites in Portugal: Algarve Coast

The Algarve Coast in Portugal is known for its seafood, coffee, and treats.

From left to right, shrimp in Alvor, salmon tacos in Lisbon, and octopus in Alvor

Top 10 Things to Do: Portugal Algarve Coast

Portugal is the Bom Dia. That is clear to see. I am amazed that Portugal is not #1 on every bucketlist.

Whether you want to experience staying on the Algarve Coast, visiting the breathtaking beaches, boat rides along the Algarve Coast, day trip to Lisbon, or any of my other Top 10 Things to Do in Portugal, you will love it.

What activities interests you to do for Top 10 Portugal Things to Do?

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