We have spent two family holidays in the Western Algarve, one where we stayed near Praia da Luz, the other near Sagres. Here’s my pick of fun things to do with kids around Praia da Luz and the Western Algarve:
#1. The Beach at Praia Da Luz
We loved the promenade and beach at Praia Da Luz, there are plenty of cafes, ice cream shops, shops and stalls.
The beach is long and sandy, and if you have older kids or more adventurous adults, there are lots of water sports options available too.
We spent a pleasant afternoon at Salema, a small fishing village. After parking up, we found a lovely fish restaurant and had lunch before meandering down to the beach.
It was windy the day we were there so the waves were huge and the kids had a ball jumping in and out of the shallows there. The village isn’t large but it’s cute and has some shops to browse too.
The hillside town of Silves is worth a visit, it has a castle at the top of the hill. There’s also a small archaeological museum which houses Roman and other artifacts. Be warned, as it is inland it tends to be hotter (no sea breezes to cool down) so go early or later in the day to avoid the real heat there.
Silves Medieval Fair takes place annually during August and is great for a wander about to soak up the atmosphere. As well as a jousting tournament, you can hire a medieval costume and pretend you’re a medieval lady or knight, browse the fair stalls, and if you have dinner and stay until later (forget about bedtime your kids are on holiday!) you’ll enjoy the after dark atmosphere and entertainment even more.
Sagres at the very end of the Western Algarve is worth a visit. This is Mainland Europe’s most south-westerly tip and with its endless Atlantic vistas, still exerts a magnetic pull today. Prince Henry (The Navigator) set up his school of navigation in the 1450s, gathering the world’s finest astronomers, geographers and cartographers to study the seas and stars. Explorers Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan are believed to have studied here before they set off on their voyages to the New World.
We enjoyed visiting the Fortress on the headland which includes a huge circular pebble compass and an atmospheric 15th century chapel.
Sagres is a big surfing town too. There are a few cafes and restaurants dotted around the small town centre where you can grab a snack or lunch.
#5. Lagos Town & Beach
We visited Lagos several times during our stay because we liked it so much. There are cobbled streets, and lots of shops, restaurants and cafés to enjoy. We even found an English second hand bookshop to replenish reading supplies.
The beaches in Lagos are some of the best in the Algarve and include 4km stretch of golden sands along Meia Praia. There are plenty of car parks along its length and you access the beach on ramps and wooden walkways.
There’s also a zoo at Lagos, Parque Zoológico de Lagos, which we never made it to but from reading reviews online seems to be well-thought of.
#6. Slide & Splash Water Park
If you fancy a day out for some water fun then the Slide and Splash water park near Lagoa is open from start of April to the end of October, daily 10am – 5pm or 6pm depending on the time of year.
There are 2 further water parks but they are a bit further away from the Luz end of the Algarve:
- Aqualand Water Park near Alcantarilha is one of Portugal’s biggest water parks.
- Aqua Show near Albufeira boasts the biggest water coaster in Europe
#7. Dolphin Watching Tours
Something we didn’t do ourselves but is on the list for our next visit, is a Dolphin Watching tour.
As with all wildlife tours there are no guarantees of seeing the dolphins but it’s magical if you do.
Over to you now. What places have you enjoyed visiting with kids in or around Praia Da Luz? Tell us in the comments below.