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Algarve Road Trip – The Perfect 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary (With Map)

Looking for the perfect Algarve road trip itinerary?

There are a lot of stunning places to explore in Portugal.

From the capital city of Lisbon, popular Porto, to the sunny destination of the Algarve region.

We spent here a couple of beautiful winter months and got to explore the Algarve like locals.

From the stunning beaches, dramatic cliffs, rolling hills, historical towns to authentic cuisine, reach heritage and friendliest people.

There’s a lot to explore on a road trip in the Algarve.

We came to the Algarve for the first time on a week holiday and had only seven days here. 

A week in the Algarve is a perfect time to explore some of the best places the region has to offer.

Whether you are starting from Faro airport or making your way down here from Lisbon, there’s plenty of time to explore the Algarve.

Let’s explore the best places to visit on the Algarve road trip.

Algarve Road Trip - The Perfect 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary

Here’s our 7-day itinerary:

Day 1 Sagres – 1 night in Sagres

If you love beach, waves and coastal walks, this destination is a perfect starting point on your road trip.

Located just over an hour away from Faro airport, Sagres is a must-visit destination.

Although Sagres is a very popular surfing town, there are many things to do here for non-surfers.

Relax at one of the best beaches in the Algarve, explore the fort and the lighthouse or walk one of the many hiking trails.

Best places to eat in Sagres:

We highly recommend the following restaurants we visited during our trip here :

  • Arte Bianca – Italian restaurant serving delicious pizza on sourdough. A must try!
  • Three Little Birds – the shrimp tacos are a must-try!

Algarve, Portugal - The Perfect 7 Day Itinerary

Day 2 Lagos – 1 night in Lagos

Drive 30 min east from Sagres, and you will find Lagos charming old town.

We recommend two days here as there is a lot to explore.

Start from the town centre and walk the cobblestone streets admiring the charming whitewashed buildings.

Stop at one of the many cafes and watch the world go by.

When you are ready, head to Forte da Ponta da Bandeira for spectacular views at the top.

Later make your way to Farol da Ponta da Piedade and chill at Praia da Balança
for the afternoon or explore the dramatic cliff formations.

Algarve Road Trip - The Perfect 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary

Best places to eat in Lagos:

We highly recommend the following restaurants we visited during our trip here:

  • Casa do Prego – book well in advance if you wish to get a table here. It is one of our favourite tapas restaurants in the Algarve. Everything on the menu is absolutely delicious!
  • The Green Room Burritos and Cocktails – Great spot for casual dining and a few cocktails with friends.
  • Mar d’Estorias – a great spot for a drink or a bite with stunning rooftop views.

Day 3 Monchique – 1 night in Monchique or 2 nights in Lagos

Today you have the option to stay another night in Lagos and head to Monchique for a day trip.

Or pack your bags and check in to one of the nice hotels in the Monchique mountains.

Monchique has many fantastic hiking trails with sweeping views of the Algarve.

Spend the day exploring some of the scenic trails in the region or simply enjoy the thermal baths and spas here.

Day 4 Alvor/Carvoeiro – 1 night in Alvor or Carvoeiro

Algarve, Portugal - 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary

Alvor and Carvoeiro are only 25min drive apart.

Today you can explore both places.

In the morning, hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail – one of the most scenic trails in the Algarve.

Before you start the trail, make sure to put on comfortable shoes, take suncream, water and some food.

The whole trail is about 11,5km long (round trip), so you can decide if you wish to make the whole trail or turn back sooner.

Here you get to explore the dramatic cliffs, hidden beaches and turquoise waters.

If you don’t fancy a hike, simply book one of the many boat tours that will take you along the rugged cliffs.

Here you can admire the stunning coastline from the water.

After the eventful morning, spend some time in Carvoeiro and enjoy a delicious meal at the Onze restaurant.

For the afternoon, we recommend going to Alvor. Here you can enjoy an afternoon exploring the small streets and have a beverage at a few of the many Irish bars here.

For sunset, head to Alvor marina and enjoy a glass of wine or a cold Sagres while watching the sun go down.

If you decide to book a place in Alvor and explore its surroundings, then we highly recommend starting your day with a walk on the beach.

The Praia de Alvor is by far one of the best beaches in the Algarve you should explore on the road trip.

Whether you decide to start your walk from Praia de Alvor or Praia dos Três Irmãos, we guarantee you will love this beach.

Alternatively, rent a SUP and admire the views from Ria Alvor.

If this is the day where you just want to do nothing and relax, then Alvor is the perfect place to be.

Best places to eat in Alvor:

We highly recommend the following restaurants we visited during our trip here :

  • Restinga – our favourite restaurant on the beach. The chilli prawns are a must-try!
  • A Lota – serving fresh seafood every day. We tend to order way too much here.
  • Pizzeria D’Alvino – seriously, you have to try this place. My favourite is, by far, the pizza Siciliana.

Day 6 Olhão or Tavira – 1 night in Olhão

Today we are heading to one of our favourite towns in the Algarve.

You get to choose whether to stay in Olhão or Tavira.

If you decide to visit Olhão, you will be welcomed by this charming town with narrow streets and whitewashed buildings.

Get here early to experience the Olhão market – one of the biggest markets in the Algarve.

Tavira is located within 20min drive from Olhão, making it a perfect destination to explore on a day trip.

Tavira tends to get extremely busy, especially in a high season.

Explore the old town, have a cold beverage by the river and when you are ready, head back to Olhão for an evening meal in one of the many restaurants we highly recommend.

Day 7 – Heading back home

It’s time to say goodbye to the Algarve. Luckily you are only a short 20min drive from the Faro airport.

You can extend this itinerary and make it a two week Algarve road trip itinerary as there’s a lot to see here.

We only scratched the surface in this post, and therefore if you have more time, we highly recommend adding extra nights to each destination. 

If you are travelling to the Algarve from Lisbon, then definitely consider this fantastic alternative route from Lisbon to Algarve

Thanks for stopping by,

Steve and Sabina