Top 7 must-do family activities in the Algarve this summer

Last updated 2nd July 2022

Families love the Algarve for fabulous beaches, family-friendly accommodation and great value holidays. In fact, according to the 2022 Post Office report on holiday costs, the Algarve is the third best value destination in the Eurozone. But if you need more persuasion to visit this summer, Algarve Tourism has put together a list of seven ‘must do’ family activities as well as some wonderful places to stay. Take a look.


Dolphin watching boat tour sails into Benagil Cave, Algarve

1/7. Wild dolphin watching, Albufeira, Central Algarve

Take a boat trip with AlgarExperience from Albufeira Marina to spot playful dolphins in the wild.  From June to September is the best time of year to see them, so sightings of Common and Bottlenose Dolphins are practically guaranteed during summer. Combine your adventure with a visit to the astonishing Benagil Cave.

Where to stay near Albufeira

  • Muthu Oura Praia Hotel is only 300m away from the beach and about five minutes from Albufeira Old Town. Families like it here for the range of self-catering apartments, as well as outdoor pools, tennis court and a convenient Golf Desk.
  • Salgados Palace five-star, all-inclusive hotel sits close to both Salgados Beach and Albufeira Old Town. Very family-friendly, it has three outdoor pools, a spa and wellness centre, plus two restaurants.

Find more places to stay near Albufeira


Guided cycling tour of Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, Algarve

2/7. Guided family bike tour, Ria Formosa Nature Reserve

Ria Formosa Nature Reserve’s barrier island system protects a warm-water lagoon of salt marshes, islets and tidal mud flats. It’s a unique environment which attracts many resident and migratory birds, and gives shelter to several endangered species of fish, plants and animals. Discover this idyllic area of Portugal on a three hour family bike tour with a professional guide to show you all the best bits.

Where to stay near Ria Formosa

  • Four Season Fairways Resort sits next to Ria Formosa. Private villas with luxury hotel details make this a great choice for families. As well as indoor and outdoor pools and a choice of restaurants, the Upside-Down Kids Club and Creche offers a range of daily activities, and babysitting is also available.
  • Vilar do Golf resort features charming family villas set in tropical gardens. Part of the 2000 acre Quinta do Lago Estate it also offers three large pools, golf courses, restaurants, coffee shops and a children’s summer activity club.

Find more places to stay near Ria Formosa


Dramatic Ponta da Piedade coast, Western Algarve

3/7. Kayak through Grottos and Caves, Lagos, Western Algarve

Discover the stunning coastline of Ponta da Piedade near Lagos on a family sea kayak tour with local guides. This is easily the best way to see some of the Algarve’s otherworldly caves and grottos, and to discover hidden beaches you can only reach by boat.

Where to stay near Lagos

  • Cascade Wellness Resort has a stunning cliff-top location overlooking Ponta da Piedade near Lagos. Kids will love the children’s club which features a large pirate ship. And families have the choice of apartments and villas, or rooms in the five-star hotel.

Find more places to stay near Lagos

4/7. Visit the largest sand sculpture park in the world, Lagoa

The Sand City Sculpture Park is a unique, permanent, yet ever changing exhibition that will amaze kids. Talented sculptors have shaped and carved everything from celebrities to fictional characters like Harry Potter and Daenerys Targaryen. You can also see famous places immortalised, as well as historical scenes and even royalty.  But, much like sand itself, the park is constantly shifting, so there’s always something new to amaze you.

Where to stay near Lagoa

  • Grande Real Santa Eulália five-star beach resort near Albufeira offers family apartments, suites or rooms. The Realito Kids Club is great fun and there are three pools just for children. Parents can look forward to another four pools, plus The Real Spa which includes 17 treatment rooms and a Hammam.

Find more places to stay near Lagoa


Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort, Western Algarve

5/7. Try boogie boarding or surfing on amazing Algarve Beaches

The best surf beaches are in western Algarve, around Sagres and Costa Vicentina. Here, boogie board fun is a great confidence builder for younger kids. Although older ones will probably be up for the real thing. So try Freeride Surf School for excellent surf lessons with highly qualified instructors, suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced.

Where to stay near Sagres

  • Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort sits in protected natural park overlooking Martinhal Beach. Kids love the mini-golf and playgrounds here, as well as the three pools. The resort offers a choice of boutique rooms and villas, all with private balconies or terraces. And if you want to explore, the charming town of Sagres is a few minutes’ drive away.
  • Sagres Sun Stay Surf Camp features good value dorms, private rooms or studios with a laid-back, family-friendly vibe. Surf courses and lessons can be arranged with their own surf school, and they also have a handy bike station to repair and clean bikes.

Find more places to stay near Sagres


Aquashow Waterpark, Quarteira, Algarve

6/7. Slip, Slide and Splash at wonderful waterparks

Waterparks like Aquashow or Slide & Splash are major family attractions in the Algarve. As well as monumental rides, chutes and flumes, most of them also have green space and picnic areas. And Aquashow in Quarteira is opening an indoor waterpark for Autumn 2022, ideal for cooler weather breaks.

Where to stay in Central Algarve

  • Aquashow Park Hotel lets you put waterparks at the heart of your holiday and is also only a short drive from stunning Quarteira Beach.
  • Jupiter Hotel Albufeira is five-star but all about family and having fun. It’s minutes from Blue Flag beaches, close to Albufeira Old Town and features five swimming pools, five restaurants and a great choice of family rooms and suites, many with fabulous views. Although if you want the best panoramas, head up to the lovely rooftop bar in the evening.

Find more places to stay in Quarteira


Restaurant at Pine Cliffs Resort, overlooking Falesia Beach, Algarve

7/7. Discover some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches

The Algarve has 87 blue flag beaches and famously good extras add up to an amazing experience for families. So look forward to golden sands, as well as beach cafes, restaurants, help points, lifeguards or water sports operators, and you won’t be disappointed.

For wide beaches with space to play football and volleyball, head west to Meia or go for Falésia in central Algarve or Barril in the east. If you want pretty beaches surrounded by cliffs try Dona Ana or Rocha Beach. And for surf beaches with space to boogie board too, Cordoama or Bordeira Beach are both highly recommended.

Where to stay near Falésia Beach

  • Pine Cliffs Luxury Collection Resort overlooks world famous Falesia Beach and offers a range of luxury multi-bedroomed suites, private villas and apartments. It’s an ideal choice for multi-gen family holidays and kids love the Porto Pirata playground, with its two life-size wooden pirate ships, basketball court and children’s pool.

Find more places to stay in Vilamoura

Ready to know more about the Algarve for summer 2022? Visit Algarve Tourism and find out all about the region, how easy it is to reach from the UK and why families love it so much. For more summer fun follow Family Traveller on Facebook and Instagram and listen to the Family Traveller Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon or wherever you get your podcasts.

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