With so much uncertainty at the moment, many people are taking some time to start planning ahead for their next adventure, and we thought we'd give you some pointers if you're considering the long journey down to the Algarve.
This includes some of the most popular camping sites, some of the attractions and things that you can do there, as well as things like restaurants that you might want to explore.
If you choose to head to Salema EcoCamp, you will find a beautiful valley site, spread across two of the most attractive valleys in the Algarve. A lot of the site is new as it has been recently redeveloped to include some more environmental elements.
This includes solar heating, selling eco-friendly products in their stores, and using organic, local food in all the meals. It doesn't matter whether it’s winter or summer, because Salema Eco Camp has got everything you could possibly need for either and is open from 1st January to the end-September.
The site includes three sanitary blocks with showers and private washing cubicles, as well as washing machines, dryers, a bar and restaurant, and other entertainment options.
Orbitur Camping Valverde
Found near to the small resort of Praia da Luz and its lovely beach, this expansive, well-run site is worth considering for your stay in the Algarve. Open all year, the site attracts a number of long-stay visitors escaping the cold. A range of accommodation is available, along with the touring pitches which are often shaded and have 6/10 amp electricity.
During your stay, a visit to Lagos is highly recommended - this well-known city was the trade centre between Portugal and Africa. The port of Albufeira or the resort of Faro are both excellent options for day trips.
Parque De Campismo De Armacao de Pera
If you are searching for a campsite with plenty of space, then this could be the choice for you. Indeed, Parque De Campismo De Armacao de Pera boasts a park that can support more than 1,200 units. As such, there’s definitely a communal spirit, and you are guaranteed to make some great friends during your stay. It’s popular with tourists from all over Europe and indeed, the rest of the world.
You’ll find there are plenty of attractions within walking distance, including a beautiful beach and a delightful array of shops. Are you keen to keep your feet well-rested this vacation? No problem, there’s a local bus service that can take you anywhere you need to go. Families love this campsite which provides you with a location close to the beach for days where you want to relax on the sand. As well as this, it’s ideal for larger units because there are no marked pitches.
If you are looking for a campsite with a pool, then Camping Olhao could be the site for you. The simple pool, with 2 swimming options is perfect for the warm, sunny days that Portugal and the Algarve are known for.
Hop on board a ferry, and you can take a trip to several islands off the coast. These little castaway coves of paradise have numerous golden beaches where you will be able to enjoy the sun while your children play in the shallow waters.
Our favourite site in the region and winner of the Alan Rogers overall campsite of the year award in 2019. This excellent site is ideally located close to the fashionable resort of Praia de Luz with its beach, shops, bars and restaurants.
Full services are available throughout the year, making this a popular choice for 'snowbirds' escaping south to the sun. Facilities include a lovely pool complex and entertainments programme in the high season.
Attractions & Days Out
Lagos Grotto Trips
If you are interested in seeing some of the most beautiful and world-famous caves, then the Lagos Grotto boat trips are a must. You get an experienced guide who will show you around the area in a small group. Some of the famous caves that you will see are 'The Love Caves', and 'The Elephant,' but there are so many more than just these two! Getting to know the area, learning why they are named the way they are, and discovering the history of the place in a more personalized setting thanks to the group size, this is a fantastic trip for anyone.
Raven Surf School
Surfing is fun, and if you want to learn how to do this while you are in the Algarve, then Raven Surf School is the place to do it. Filled with incredible teachers, dedicated to being patient with you, while helping you learn the necessary skills to become an excellent surfer. There is a very hands-on approach, making sure that you spend the maximum amount of time in the water, and being attentive to your strong points, as well as your weaker ones. Being encouraging and yet helpful is a hard task when teaching a practical skill like surfing, but the instructors here do a fantastic job.
If you're considering a trip to a waterpark, then Aquashow Park is definitely somewhere that you need to go. There are so many rides to choose from here, including the largest water roller coaster in Europe. If you’re brave enough to take on these thrilling adventures, then you should get down there as early as possible in the day, to avoid the hottest part of the day. But, it’s not all about thrill-seeking, there are plenty of other rides that everyone can enjoy, seeing as it is a family-friendly park. There is a wave pool, a tropical pool, and even a jacuzzi that can fit 60 people in it!
For your little ones, there is an entirely separate area that has age-adjusted entertainment so that everyone is getting to experience something fun while staying safe!
Krazy World Zoo
Looking for a fun day out? You’ve found one at Krazy World Zoo. This is an interactive zoo with things to keep the whole family entertained. Check out the petting farm where you can feed the dwarf goats, llamas and deer, so trust us when we say that this appeals to the adults as well as the children. You can also interact with some of the other animals in other areas of the park, such as African Spur Turtles and lemurs.
Once you’ve had fun with the animals, there’s a swimming pool with a water slide that is sure to grab your attention. If that’s not enough, then there’s also shows involving the animals, crazy golf, pony rides, inflatables and pedal karts! You could spend the entire day here and not get bored for a second, so it is certainly worth considering.
Maria do Mar
Seafood is a speciality in Portugal and is usually served fresh, but if you are looking for a quirky place that exclusively uses Portuguese tinned fish, then Maria do Mar is the place for you. Don't be put off by the 'canned' element of the menu, this is a Mediterranean style restaurant, and you will be served canned fish, along with salad, bread and wine which makes it the perfect place to go if you want somewhere that serves light meals. You can try one of the tasting dishes to get the full experience, without having to order the entire menu. Serving lunch, dinner and brunch, and able to cater to specific dietary requirements such as providing gluten-free options if necessary.
This restaurant is a little more pricey than the one above, so it is something to think about if you want to go out for a night of fine dining. The reopening a few months ago brought a new ambience to this place, and the service is fantastic.
All the staff are attentive, ensuring that you have everything you need and that everything is okay while not pestering you throughout your meal. Instead, it is like a small family when you are inside. The food is incredible, it looks delicious, creative and tastes terrific. The food is exquisite and paired with the right wine just makes it that little bit more unbelievable.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now know more about camping in the Algarve. If there is anything else that you want to know about camping here, there is plenty of information elsewhere online, but these are some of the best places that you can go, and things that you can do.
If you are going to be taking little ones with you, make sure that you take this into consideration when you are in the planning stages, just to ensure that they are entertained throughout the trip. Have a wonderful trip, and we hope that you end up making memories that you will never forget!
Russell has worked in the camping industry for over 28 years and was a director at Alan Rogers for many of them.
He now works for various tourism organisations as a marketing consultant but continues to write top-quality content for us. His content often covers European and worldwide travel, arts and culture, and history.