When to Go
The Algarvian spring, with its rolling carpets of wildflowers and characteristic almond and orange blossoms, is delightful. Late in the season, you can just about take a dip in the ocean, and there's plenty of space to lay out your beach blanket. Summer (July and August) is high season, when lodging is at a premium, prices are at their highest, and crowds are at their thickest. But summer also brings warmer seas, piercing blue skies, and golden sands at the foot of glowing ocher-red cliffs. Autumn in the Algarve is stunning, with fresh clear days and little rain. The beaches are emptier and the pace of life more relaxed. Accommodation prices start to drop and parking can be found with ease. Winter is mild, so it's the perfect time to visit if you don't mind limiting your swimming to heated hotel pools. On land—or in the air—opportunities for mountain biking and skydiving are also plentiful.