Retiro dos Bispos

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Introducing the Attractions of the Algarve

The Algarve has some of the best beaches in Europe - a key consideration for many meeting planners, not to mention delegates keen to dip a toe in the water in between conference sessions.

For incentive activities, off-duty downtime, outdoor social events or just a breath of fresh air, you and your delegates will be spoiled for choice.

From east to west there's a stretch of coastline - over 200 kilometres to be precise - that will suit everybody, from sheltered dunes to rocky coves, from tiny bays to vast stretches of open sands, and from shallow lagoons to the crashing surf of the wild Atlantic.

In short, from sunrise to sunset, in brilliant sunshine or welcoming shade and throughout the seasons, the Algarve has a beach to meet your requirements.

Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine a year, the Algarve enjoys the perfect climate to complement its spectacular coastline, making it an ideal destination in which to plan outdoor events and activities of all kinds.

Sports fanatics? Thrill seekers? Speed freaks? The beach offers all types of watersports for incentive activities, team-building and out-of-hours relaxation, from the exhilaration of scuba diving or water-skiing to the gentler pleasures of sailing or motor cruising, and the chance to explore the ever-changing coastline.

In search of a location for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, parties, cocktail receptions, gala events or just a drink to unwind after a day in the meeting room? The beaches of the Algarve offer endless possibilities.

Stage your own event on the beach itself, or take advantage of the beachfront locations of many of the Algarve's top hotels, trendy beach bars, Arabian-style tents or ocean-view restaurants, ideal for groups of all sizes.

Whether you and your delegates are looking for peace, quiet and splendid isolation, or the buzz of noise, people and activity, the Algarve - with over a hundred beaches to choose from - has one with your name on it.

The Algarve, Portugal, is a famous holiday destination popular with those seeking bucket loads of sunshine and award winning golden sandy beaches, families, sports enthusiasts, nature lovers, even celebrities!

If you have already been to the Algarve, then you know how much this small southern region of Portugal has to offer, but for those of you who haven't enjoyed an Algarve holiday yet, this is the Algarve.

What makes the Algarve such a great place?

For the hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers from around the world that fly into Faro Airport or drive or sail from other parts of Europe each year, it's the promise of sun-drenched days at the beach, sharing in a lovely relaxed and welcoming family-orientated culture and endless options for dining out and things to do, for all ages. Algarve Holidays have long been thought of as great family holidays and beach holidays and the region has deservedly earned a reputation for golf holidays too. However the Algarve should also be known for it's truly unique contrast between the golden coastline and the beautiful rural countryside, it's many historic attractions and thousands of species of flora and fauna, making it the perfect holiday destination for interests such as photography, painting, nature watching, walking and other outdoor pursuits.

The Algarve, Portugal, is only a 3 hour flight (or less) from the United Kingdom, Ireland and many other parts of Europe and flights arrive to the region's sole international airport, Faro Airport (in central Algarve). Faro flights arrive daily throughout the year, with several arrivals and departures each day from airlines during the busiest summer months of July to September.

Beliche beach in Sagres - the most south-westerly resort in the Algarve, Portugal The beautiful sandy beaches are, of course, one of the major attractions for the Algarve (and understandably too, because they are some of the best in the world, with Blue Flag awards to prove it!) but as our Algarve tourist information shows, this sunny southern region of Portugal offers so much more as well! The fantastic Algarve Weather that delivers dry sunny days for most of the year, makes enjoying outdoor life a way of life. The Algarve is perfect for walking, sightseeing and cycling and for all the sports you can imagine – surfing, golf, tennis, horse riding, kayaking and even extreme sports such as kitesurfing, rock climbing and wakeboarding. Families can enjoy water parks, theme parks and zoos, boat trips along the breath-taking coastline (with dinghy rides into the caves and 'grottos' and the opportunity to see dolphins too), crazy golf, karting and many other things to do in the Algarve!

Which resort will you choose for your Algarve holiday?

Traditional houses in the village of Alcoutim, eastern Algarve, Portugal Measuring only 160km x 50km, the Algarve, Portugal, is without a doubt the perfect holiday destination for families, couples, independent travellers and backpackers, mixed groups and retired people...in fact, anyone who wants to enjoy a lovely chilled break! For culture and history, try Silves, Tavira, Lagos or Sagres and for quiet walks in beautiful countryside, visit Alte, Monchique, São Brás de Alportel, Alcoutim, Aljezur or the western atlantic coast of the Algarve. For independent travellers and backpackers, travel down to the furthest points in western Algarve because it’s the end with the cool culture where everyone’s welcome! (Just head to a bar on your first day and you’ll fit right in!) For older generations, if you want accessible beaches and be able to walk around with ease try the flatter eastern Algarve resorts, such as Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo António. This area of the Algarve is also a little warmer throughout the year and the sea is too because it is closer to the Mediterranean Sea.

Carvoeiro town beach and cliff top accommodation (western Algarve, Portugal)Every resort in the Algarve has its own unique character, offering totally different scenery, experiences, activities and gastronomic delights. Since the start of Algarve tourism (only really taking off back in the 1970s) some resorts have changed immensely, like Albufeira and Carvoeiro, and some areas have barely changed at all, such as Alte, Monchique and the Western Atlantic Coast. With central Algarve being the first place to ‘be hit’ by tourism there has been a mass of development, with hotels, tourism activities, bars, restaurants and shops popping up all over the place. However, areas such as the Western Atlantic Coast still hold on to their natural ‘ruggedness’ and there are still beaches where you won't find a beach bar or even a toilet!

Visit Portugal's Algarve on any budget!

One of the great things about a holiday in the Algarve is that it can be as cheap or as lavish as your budget will stretch to. There is a variety of Algarve Accommodation from campsites, rooms, guesthouses and hostels, to 5* hotels, luxury resorts and villas to rent. Restaurants, bars and cafes that are popular with Algarvian locals offer amazing value for money and a literal 'taste of Portugal' and at the other end of the scale there are fine dining establishments, including Michelin Star restaurants. In terms of things to do, at the top end there are spas, champagne cruises and yacht charters, but of course, the best things to do in the Algarve are free…the beaches, landscape and culture, and admission-charging historical tourist attractions are always very reasonable. Similarly with Algarve travel the public transport system is an incredibly cheap way of travelling around (and the buses and trains are both very efficient and clean) but if you've got the budget, you can use taxis, hire a car, 4x4, jeep or mini-van or even book a limousine!

There's always something going on in the Algarve!

There's always a great range of Algarve Events throughout the year, so whenever you decide to book your holiday, you'll be sure to catch something going on! The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (Algarve Motor Park), near Portimão, held it's first event in October 2008 with the World Superbike Championships and has a calendar of motorsports events. There are powerboat championships, car rallies, motocross events, sailing and golf championships. The Algarve also knows how to party and celebrates with festivals throughout the year. Mardi Gras (normally in February) sees carnivals across the region with the most spectacular taking place in Loulé; Liberation Day (April 25th) celebrates the end of a dictatorship in Portugal; medieval festivals are held in Silves, Lagos and Castro Marim; special Easter festivals take place in São Brás de Alportel and Loulé. There is a famous Sardine Festival in Portimão and Seafood Festival in Olhão and of course - Christmas and New Year in the Algarve, with New Year's Eve parties and fireworks in all the main tourist resorts. During the summer months we can expect open-air concerts, beach parties, jazz festivals and a whole host of other events in the Allgarve Summer Programme


One of the finest golfing destinations in Europe, the Algarve is regarded today as an elite venue by top professionals.

The plans for the courses, mostly designed by internationally recognised golf-course architects, together with the superb landscapes in which they are located, satisfy the requirements of the most demanding enthusiasts, marking out the region as first-rate destination for golf.

The favourable climate with more than 300 days of sun per year, allows the golf season to be extended over several months, bringing players from all over the world to the Algarve.

The excellence on offer in the Algarve is only enriched by its great variety of trees, vegetation, its greens, tees and silence of its surrounds, only to be broken by the ‘crack’ of the perfect shot. Irresistible!

Our Ticket Agency will obtain a discount for you wherever possible on any of the activities illustrated here.

Please telephone or email any special activities that you want to book in advance.