Vibrant beaches dotted with golden limestone cliffs. Antiquated streets pulsating with excitement. An amalgamation of fresh seafood served in a big bronze bowl. This is Algarve. With almost 125 miles (200 kilometers) of coastline, this southern region specializes in all kinds of vacation offerings, from buzzing nightlife to sun-drenched beach days.
Must-Do: Known for its cliff-studded beaches, see the rock formations — chiseled by Mother Nature over centuries of powerful storms — in all their glory. One of the most famous, Ponta da Piedade, can be reached via hike or boat/kayak tour (the latter of which are conveniently offered through Interval Travel).
Eat: Try Portugal’s take on hot chicken: frango da Guia (also known as frango assado and frango piri-piri). The choice poultry is smothered in a spicy sauce made from melegueta peppers and garlic, then charred to perfection. Head to the town of Guia (the dish’s namesake) and dine at Ramires or a casual churrascaria (grilled meats and chicken shop).
Day-Trip: Step back in time and slow things down in Tavira. Located on Algarve’s eastern side, this relaxed town has plenty of beautiful sights to see and not many tourists to bump into while doing so. Admire the Tavira Castle ruins and observe the town’s unique mix of Portuguese, Moorish, and Roman architecture.