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No charge in the Algarve

by Almonds and Oranges   

“The best things in life are free.”

Living in the Algarve has made me realise just how true that adage actually is.

Here are 10 of the many great things that the Algarve has to offer for free.

TEN: Running and cycling

You can jog, run or cycle along the established routes or across the countryside and you can stop off in certain Algarve towns to do a spot of additional exercise on the apparatus provided – all for no charge.

Jogging Algarve Portugal

NINE: Places of interest

There are numerous places of interest and beauty across the region, which you can enjoy without any cost. You can take in the views from the highest point in the Algarve at Foia, visit a variety of natural spas ‘Fontes’ spectacular waterfalls ‘cachoeiras’ and awesome dams ‘Barragems’, explore the nature reserves and natural parks, and that’s just for starters.

Algarve Waterfalls Portugal

EIGHT: Fairs and festivals

Entrance is free to many of the fairs and festivals, and also the colourful gypsy markets and flea markets in the Algarve. You can stroll around, browse the stalls, watch performances, listen to music and enjoy the buzz without spending a cent. (That’s if you can resist the temptation to buy something.)

Fairs and festivals Algarve Portugal

SEVEN: Walking, rambling and bird watching

There over 30 hiking trails in the Algarve (as per official Turismo de Portugal guide books). You can walk or ramble your way around the region, along the beaches or cliff tops, through the countryside and over mountains, along man-made boardwalks or through the natural parks and nature reserves. You might need to fork out on a good pair of walking boots, but the scenery, fresh air and exercise are completely free.

Walking and Rambling Algarve Portugal

The Algarve is an increasingly popular destination for birdwatchers who come here especially to observe and photograph the 250 or so species that frequent the region throughout the year. There are 10 important bird areas that you can visit, where you can expect to see some fairly rare species. ‘Twitching’ is free, but investing in a good pair of binoculars and a camera will make your bird watching just that bit more rewarding.

SIX: Wildflowers

The splendour of over 1,000 species of wild flowers that create a carpet of colour across the region’s countryside, particularly in spring, is free for all to enjoy. And there’s nothing like a beautiful bouquet of the Algarve’s flora to enhance your home. 

Wild Flowers Algarve Portugal

FIVE: Surfing

You can surf absolutely free at some of the best surfing hotspots in Europe. You’ll have to pay to buy or hire a surfboard or body board of course, but the rides come courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean. (If you’re a real cheapskate, or if you’re really strapped for cash, you can always bodysurf.)

Body Boarding Algarve Portugal

FOUR: Food foraging

Free food. Yes, you have to know what you’re picking, but if you do your homework well, a walk in the countryside could reap its rewards. Various nuts and fruits, asparagus, chard, pennyroyal and countless herbs, are growing wild in the hills around your Algarve home – just open your eyes and take your pick from nature’s larder.

Wild Asparagas Algarve portugal

THREE: Stunning beaches

Over 200 kilometres of Algarve coastline, offering countless sandy beaches and secluded coves and it’s all free. Many of the region’s beaches have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for their quality, cleanliness and safety. A number also carry the Praia Acessivel - Praia para Todos (accessible beach - beaches for everyone) flag, meaning that they are accessible to visitors with reduced mobility and those in wheelchairs. The Algarve is also one of the top naturist destinations in Europe, with numerous naturist beaches to choose from.

Beaches Algarve Portugal

TWO: Great weather

In 2013, Meravista conducted a survey of expats living in the Algarve. Seventy-one percent of respondents cited the Algarve’s warm climate as a key factor for making their life-changing move.

The Algarve is said to have the best year-round climate in Europe. The temperate weather pattern means there are no extremes of hot and cold, and there are reportedly over 3,000 hours of sunshine each year.

Swimming Pool Algarve Portugal

And at number ONE: Lifestyle

Almost half of the expats who took part in Meravista’s 2013 Algarve expats survey said they chose the region for the favourable lifestyle that it offers and their comments suggest that they haven’t been disappointed.

A happy and healthy lifestyle for you and your family, among some of the friendliest people in the world – you can’t put a price tag on that!

Happy and Healthy Algarve Portugal

You’ll find more suggestions on what to do in the Algarve in our information section.

If you’re old enough to remember Tammy Wynette’s hit ‘No Charge’ then I’ll leave you with this thought: “When you add it all up, the cost of the ‘real’ Algarve is no charge”.


Brought to you by Meravista – the place where smart people search for Algarve property for sale.

Meravista Property Search Algarve Portugal

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