The Algarve is a great destination in the Winter where temperatures in January can be 16 degrees. Flights can be had for around £20 each way. Rain is possible but only once has that happened to me during the day and the rain usually came overnight.
The main airport, Faro, is well served from many UK cities and there is a good railway network along the coast that allows you to travel to many of the resorts.
The towns to the West of Faro have many British holiday makers and restaurants and bars to suit. The towns to the East of Faro are Portuguese and you will find it hard to find a British pub. It was a disappointment to me to see a British pub open in Tavira, a traditional Portuguese town with the greatest number of churches per head of population in all of Portugal. I like to live with the locals.
Travel from Faro Airport
A taxi is the expensive option but when shared between many works out at the most convenient. For couples take the airport bus or Uber into town and then get the train to your destination. On one trip I had the bike hire company meet me at the airport then I cycled into town on the dedicated cycleway.
Trains are about €2 a trip, every 2 hours, and the Lagos to Villa Real de Santo Antonio timetable has the details. Information on train times can be found on the Comboios de Portugal website. If you are over 60 you get a discount on fares if you show your passport.
Albufeira welcomes hen and stag parties and has many British pubs on the strip.
Lagos has it’s pedestrian old town area and a few British pubs. Curry house here. Harbour with boats.
Portimao was alright on the river edge.
Vilamoura is a big tourist destination with golf resorts a harbur with Figo’s bar and british shops. Fairly upmarket and expensive. Station is a taxi ride away.
Quarteria next to Vilamoura is mainly Portuguese and cheaper. Station is a taxi ride away.
Faro is alright but it’s a town.
Olhao is a fisherman’s village and the flat roofs are like Morocco where the fisherman’s wives would stand and wait for the boats to return. I liked this town but it is not picturesque. Only one hotel.
Tavira is my favourite probably for the number of Indian restaurants and picturesque nature of the town with its castle, the many churches, the old Roman bridge etc. It has two stations so easy to reach accommodation. There is an indoor shopping centre here too.
Montegordo is a fishing town that is also a tourist destination for Dutch tourists. I like the Dutch as they are very friendly. Some nice bars and eating places here and I like the beach with the fishermens boats. Station is walkable but 10 minutes to town.
Cycling the Algarve
There is a fairly flat cycleway from Lagos to the Spanish border that allows you to travel along the coast. A train line runs the whiole way so you will never be stuck