As part of our Portugal trip, we want to enjoy the beaches in Agarve and plan to stay over one night. Can anyone suggest which town/place to stay in? Thanks.
I have a friend who lives in Tavira. She calls it the "gem of the Algarve".
I wouldn’t head all the way to the Algarve just for one night. It takes half a day to get there from Sintra, so you will have little time for beaches. Tavira has more charm than most of the Algarve, which is full of purpose built resorts, but it’s beach is out on the barrier island, which takes time to get to. Lagos’s beaches have easier access.
If you want beach time, head to Foz do Arelho, Comporta or Sao Martinho do Porto, which are all nearer to Lisbon.
If you want to see the Algarve that you see in the pictures I think near Lagos is your best bet. Tavira is a pretty town, but the beach area is flatter without the rock and cliff formations. Lagos is an enjoyable town as well.
I agree with Jennifer, it is too far to go for just one night. We stayed in Tavira for 2 nights a few years ago and loved it. Not overly touristy, great restaurants, and friendly locals. We took the ferry over to the beach - it was April and a little chilly but it was beautiful. We also took a day trip to Salema. If you want small charming fishing village with rocky cliff views Salema is your place.
Sorry I have to disagree with jk - Salema was a great place 15 years ago, but it’s been ruined by over development. If you want cliffs and a great beach, far better to go to Carrapateira north of Vila do Bispo on the west coast, the coastline near Aljezur or the stunning Zambujeira do Mar, which haven’t been over-developed.
Comporta is a far shorter drive than the Algarve for a stunning coastline.