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Quiet towns in the Algarve

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Are you dreaming of a peaceful escape to the Algarve, away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy hotspots? While destinations like Albufeira and Vilamoura are undeniably gorgeous, they can be overrun with crowds during peak season. The good news is that there are still plenty of hidden gems to discover in the Algarve, with breathtaking natural scenery waiting to be explored. In fact, most of the Algarve remains unspoiled by tourism, offering plenty of opportunities to bask in the region's wild beauty. Let me be your guide in uncovering the perfect quiet town in the Algarve, where you can soak up the serenity and indulge in a slower pace of life.



Quiet places in the Algarve
Analog shot of Praia da Cordoama, Algarve

So if you're looking for less touristy nice and quiet towns with beautiful nature and beaches but also some facilities? This is where you'll want to be staying! 👇

What's in this blog

1. Salema - A tranquil beach town

2. Burgau - Cuteness on a beautiful bay

3. Cabanas de Tavira - A tiny town with large beaches

4. Monchique - Peace and serenity in the (undiscovered) mountains

5. Alte - A real traditional Algarvian town 6. Monte Clerigo - Tranquility on the wild western Algarve coastline


 

1. Salema

Western Algarve


quiet towns in the Algarve
Salema, Algarve


Salema is a picturesque, tiny fishing village nestled in a charming bay with crystal-clear blue waters and pristine whitewashed houses. If you are a fan of scenic hikes along breathtaking cliffs and love to soak up the sun on white sandy beaches, Salema is the perfect base for your Algarve adventure. Located in the southwestern Algarve, just a short 20-minute drive from the bustling town of Lagos, Salema offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the larger tourist destinations. For those seeking a wilder experience, the stunning west coast is just a short drive away (or a long hike for the more adventurous). With a handful of delightful restaurants in the area, Salema is ideal for those who crave peace and quiet but still want access to nearby amenities. Lagos and Sagres are both easily reachable within a 20-minute drive, making Salema an excellent choice for a serene yet convenient stay in the Algarve.


My personal recommendations to stay:


Things to do in Salema:




 



2. Burgau

Western Algarve


quiet towns in the Algarve
Burgau, Algarve


If you're looking for the perfect blend of wild natural beauty and convenient amenities, look no further than Burgau. This charming beach town is an ideal destination for those who appreciate the rugged splendor of the western Algarve but still crave the comforts of a more touristy locale. With several lovely beach cafes, restaurants, and a small supermarket, Burgau offers the perfect escape from the crowds without sacrificing convenience. Want to learn more about this enchanting destination? Check out our guide to Burgau below! 👇



My personal recommendations to stay:

Make sure to check out my beach flat in Burgau. I rent it out on Airbnb, VBRO, Booking or RentalValley when I'm not there!




Things to do in Burgau:


 

3. Cabanas de Tavira

Eastern Algarve


Discover the hidden gem of Cabanas da Tavira, a charming beach town located near the idyllic city of Tavira. Nestled on a serene lagoon at the entrance to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Cabanas is a true paradise for nature lovers. Stroll along the lively central strip of bars, cafes, and shops that hug the lagoon, or take a short boat ride to the stunning Ilha de Cabanas island beach. With over 7 kilometers of pristine sand and crystal-clear waters, this beach is never too crowded, even during peak season. But the real draw of Cabanas is its incredible biodiversity. The Ria Formosa Natural Park is home to an astonishing array of bird species, including elegant flamingos, which you can spot on a leisurely boat tour. This off-the-beaten-path town offers a refreshing alternative to the busy central Algarve, with uncrowded beaches and a relaxed, laid-back vibe.


My personal recommendations to stay:


Things to do in Cabanas de Tavira:


 


4. Monchique

Western Algarve


quiet towns in the Algarve away from tourist
Monchique, Algarve

Monchique is a hidden gem nestled in the breathtaking mountains of the Algarve, Portugal. Its charm and beauty are simply breathtaking! This quaint town offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of touristy areas. The locals are friendly and the natural springs and lush green forests make it the perfect spot for relaxation and stunning nature walks.


The town centre is absolutely beautiful, situated at an altitude of 902m, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountainous landscape and the Atlantic Ocean stretching all the way to Cabo de São Vicente in Sagres. Take advantage of the unique combination of stunning nature, local craftsmanship, and wellness facilities by enjoying beautiful hikes with amazing views, and then relax in one of the many wellness retreats.


Don't forget to visit the magnificent Parque Fonte dos Amores, where you'll be captivated by its natural thermal springs and jungle-like forest - it's an absolute must-see!


quiet towns in the Algarve away from tourists
Parque Fonte dos Amores, Monchique

My personal recommendations to stay:



Things to do in Monchique:


 


5. Alte

Central Algarve


quiet towns in the Algarve
Alte, Algarve

Alte, a charming hillside village nestled near the larger town of Loule, is a hidden gem in the Algarve. This quaint Portuguese village is renowned for its natural water springs and stunning waterfall. With less than 2,000 residents, Alte offers a glimpse into authentic Portuguese culture with its picturesque whitewashed houses and traditional architecture. Despite its small size, Alte boasts numerous cafes where you can indulge in fresh pastel de nata and a bica, the Portuguese version of espresso.


My personal recommendations to stay:


 


6. Monte Clérigo (Aljezur)

Western coast


quiet destinations in the Algarve
Monte Clérigo, western Algarve

On the western coast of the Algarve, you will find the picturesque Monte Clérigo beach town, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Costa Vicentina natural park. The wild nature of the region is characterized by huge rocky cliffs and large waves crashing onto the Atlantic coast. Monte Clérigo is a small town with a handful of houses, and it has a laid-back vibe. Colourful beach shacks dot the hill on the south side of the beach, giving it a charming and authentic feel. The town is a popular destination for surfers and local Portuguese families, and outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do, from water sports to hiking. This is the perfect destination for those who want to experience the quieter side of the Algarve, especially if you're an active outdoor person.


A word of advice: if you plan to visit Monte Clérigo, it's best to do so between May and late September, as it can be significantly colder than the south coast during other months.


Looking for more information on the best beach towns to visit for surfing? Check out our guide below.




My personal recommendations to stay:


 

There are so many beautiful towns in the Algarve to stay and many of them are quiet and less touristy compared to the bigger and more famous towns of the central Algarve. These are only a few of them! If you love staying on the ocean, I've also listed my favorite beach towns in the Algarve for you!



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