Entertainment without limits
The Algarve is a land of many charms. Long recognised as a top destination for restful beach holidays, the Algarve has also been making its mark over the years as the best choice for its amazing choice of outdoor activities all year round!
You do not have to wait until summer to come to the Algarve to take part in sports or other outdoor activities. Throughout the region, and all year long, you can interact with the natural environment by playing sport in the healthy and intoxicating atmosphere of the Algarve.
Be it at the ocean shore, in the Barrocal, or in the picturesque mountains, the Algarve brings together the perfect conditions that enable a huge range of marine, land and aerial activities; some just for fun, some more adventurous, others more radical still.
Apart from the fine geography and climate with which it is blessed, the Algarve is also equipped with the most diverse and modern infrastructure to support outdoor activities. As a result, the whole region is now firmly on the map of Portuguese sporting destinations.
Golfing days on Portugal’s Algarve are sheer bliss and remain in the memory long after the holiday is over .Generations of golfers have headed for Portugal’s southern coast, lured by 300 days of sunshine, high quality accommodation, a friendly laid back atmosphere, superb scenery and 40 of the best golf courses to be found anywhere in the world.
Most of the golf is clustered less than 30 minutes from Faro airport around Quinta da Lago and Vilamoura Marina where you can find every facility needed to make your holiday perfect. However, there are undiscovered treasures to be found both westwards along the rugged coastline towards Sagres and on the tranquil eastern side where pristine golf courses nestle between timeless whitewashed villages and world acclaimed nature reserves teeming with wildlife. Not only is The Algarve a “must” for the amateur golfer, the quality of its courses have attracted some of the world’s top professionals and tournaments such as the World Cup in 2005 and Portugal Masters add kudos to its golf. There is plenty for the non golfer too – high class shopping, luxurious spas, sports of all descriptions, restaurants, casinos and night clubs, sightseeing and fabulous beaches to top up that tan. Whatever you are looking for in a golf holiday The Algarve has it all. What’s not to like?
Sporting Events in the Algarve
The sporting competitions in the Algarve get the year started at a cracking pace. The year’s first sporting competition in the Algarve to come under starter’s orders is the Grande Prémio dos Reis road race. Spectators line the streets of Faro to watch the athletes who want to get the year off to a good start by winning a medal.
In February, the international Almond Blossom Cross Country race takes place. Every year the events attracts some of the world’s top long-distance and middle-distance athletes. Wherever you are in the Algarve, you can expect to see some of the world’s best cyclists. In February, hundreds of cyclists will be pedalling along the roads of the Algarve, at Algarve Tour (Volta ao Algarve). Tour de France winners, such as Alberto Contador, have been among the cyclists competing in this classic event on the Portuguese and international cycling calendar.
In March, the most important Portuguese MTB stage race is held in Tavira – the Algarve Bike Challenge, with fantastic routes in the interior of the Algarve.
If you’re a football fan, then in addition to the national championships you must make sure not to miss the Algarve Cup. Every year this women’s championship brings together the world’s top national teams. You will be pleasantly surprised at the high quality of play and the fine goals in this fiercely-fought competition.
All year round, you can see the best riders on two wheels and the top drivers on four wheels competing in races at the Algarve International Motor Racing Circuit. The highlight is the month of September, when the top superbike riders speed round the track in the FIM Superbike World Championship, a race that counts towards the sport’s world championship.
But if calmer sports are more to your liking, you’ll be pleased to learn that many major golf tournaments are held in the Algarve. Among them is the Portugal Masters, a tournament that features on the sport’s European circuit, the “European Tour”, and which has been held at the Victoria Golf Course since 2007.
As you can see, there are world class sporting competitions in the Algarve all year round. Are you ready?
World Class Sports Facilities
There are sports facilities in the Algarve to meet the needs of the most demanding athletes. So it’s no wonder that some of world’s best athletes and teams choose the Algarve as the destination for their top level training camps.
The Estádio Algarve (Algarve Stadium) is one such example. This modern and functional stadium was inaugurated in 2004 and was the venue for several games in the European Football Championship that same year. It has all the conditions needed as a venue for official matches and training camps. Several teams from northern Europe take advantage of the winter break in their calendars to escape from snow-covered pitches and play on immaculate turf under year-round blue skies. The Portuguese national squad often plays here.
Another of the sports facilities in the Algarve worth highlighting is the Vila Real de Santo António Sports Complex, a top level training centre used by athletes and teams all year round. Considered a benchmark in Europe as a top level training centre, the complex obtained IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) accreditation as a training centre in 2002 and as an Olympic Preparation Centre in 2004.
Portimão Arena is one of the newest facilities in the Algarve for major sporting events. This modern and versatile pavilion offers over 6,000m2 of space so it can host major sporting events and has room for 3,000 seated spectators or up to 8,000 standing.
The Algarve International Motor Racing Circuit, in the municipality of Portimão, is another of the sports facilities in the Algarve that is worth mentioning. Inaugurated in 2008, it immediately obtained approval from the governing bodies of motor sports (FIM and FIA), as well as recognition from the top teams and marques that come here to take advantage not only of the excellent conditions of the circuit itself but also of the great weather that allows trials and presentations to be held all year round.
As you can see, there are sports facilities in the Algarve that offer the perfect training conditions for athletes from a variety of sports, as well as for the staging of top level competitions. Everything is in place for record-breaking performances.
Get ready to feel the adrenaline rush. There is a wide range of adventure sports in the Algarve that you can try, from more radical activities to moments of simply enjoying the scenery. If you are feeling bold, you may want to take advantage of the winds off the Costa Vicentina (Vicentine Coast) to go paragliding and look down on the cliffs, the heavenly beaches and the deep blue sea from the sky. Those who prefer gentler airborne activities can opt for a flight in a hot-air balloon and watch the unforgettable scenery drift past below.
But even if you want to keep your feet firmly on the ground, there is no end to the exciting activities on offer. Why not try your hand at climbing or abseiling? The S. Miguel Mountain in Moncarapacho, or the cliffs of Rocha da Pena, near Salir, offer perfect conditions for both of these sporting activities in the Algarve.
What about an exciting game of paintball in the ravines of the Serra do Caldeirão uplands or perhaps a mountain bike outing, pedalling up and down the hills around São Brás de Alportel? The excellent natural conditions also offer tempting opportunities for zip-lining at Rocha da Pena (Loulé) or in Paderne (Albufeira).
Caving aficionados visiting the Algarve are sure to enjoy the caves around Moncarapacho and Loulé. Discover the natural wonders that have been hidden beneath the Earth’s surface since the birth of the planet.
With the sea so close, radical sports in the Algarve take on a whole new meaning. There is a vast range of radical water sports to choose from. Activities such as surfing, bodyboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing and jet-skiing can be enjoyed almost anywhere along the Algarve coast.
Another option is to go big game or sports fishing on the high seas. There are fish to be caught off our coast that will have you telling fishy tales to your friends and family for years to come. Don’t forget to take a photo of your catch because otherwise nobody will believe you when you tell them how big it was! There are also opportunities to appreciate the sea seen from above. A flight along the coast in an ultralight will simultaneously thrill and delight you. Excitement is guaranteed; all you have to do is choose where to go.
As you can see, there is a whole host of options to choose from if you want to do adventure sports in the Algarve. Everything you need for the most exciting holiday of your life is here for you.