1 Spending a day at the beach
With an extensive coastline, the Algarve has a huge variety of beaches. Beaches of white or golden virgin sand with crystal-clear waves of the Atlantic Ocean abound in what is considered one of the best regions in the world for tourism. The amount of beaches in the Algarve means there is a beach for every taste: small beaches full of stunning rock formations in Lagos, or beaches with an extensive sand line like the ones in Tavira. For children, the beach represents a world of limitless possibilities where they can play football, play rackets, practice volleyball, build sand castles, swim, play catch, and much more.
2 Boat ride
Algarve boat rides are one of the most popular tourist activities in the region. The beautiful coast of the Algarve, with its bizarre rocks and paradisiacal caves, deserves to be discovered. There are several types of boat trips: some take you to see dolphins, others include a barbecue on the beach, and most of them include diving stops or snorkelling stops. To find out which trip is best for you and your family check out Algarve Fun where a team of experienced professionals will be happy to assist you.
3 Water Parks
No article about the best activities to do with children in the Algarve would be complete without mentioning the fantastic water parks that exist in the region. These water parks offer thrilling slides and roller coasters that will leave you with a smile on your lips. Take your kids to Aquashow, Slide & Splash or Aqualand and enjoy an unforgettable day. If its possible, avoid the months of July and August, during which the parks are packed with tourists and queues abound. Alternatively go at the weekends as the big tour operator groups only go during the week.
Zoomarine is a theme park where children (and adults) can simultaneously learn about marine life and have fun riding some of the water roller coasters that exist in the park. With dolphin shows as well as sea lion and parrot and macaw shows, Zoomarine is one of the most well-known places in the Algarve because of the way it treats its marine animals and because of its ecological efforts to protect endangered species.
5 Lagos Zoo
Lagos Zoo is home to several species of animals, but without a doubt the most prominent animal is the elusive and rare Iberian lynx. The Iberian lynx is currently on the verge of extinction and Lagos Zoo has an excellent program for the preservation and reintroduction of this animal in the wilderness. With an intense pedagogical component and a space built taking into account the different needs of the various species of animals, Lagos Zoo is the ideal place to take children who have a fascination with nature.
6 FIESA – International Sand Sculpture Festival
The famous sand sculpture festival brings together 60 artists and more than 35,000 tons of sand each year to build impressive structures, some of which are more than 15 meters high. The beauty of the giant sand sculptures and their magnificence will leave your children in awe. The festival also includes music, dance and theatre shows. We recommend that you visit the largest exhibition of sand sculptures in the world at night because of its ghostly appearance conferred by artificial lights.
Is there any activity that a child enjoys more than sitting behind the wheel of a karting and driving at full speed on a competition track like a true Formula 1 driver? With 4 karting courses scattered around the Algarve in Portimão, Albufeira, Almancil and Olhão, the Algarve region is the perfect place for the little ones to fulfil their lifelong dream of driving. The dedicated junior karts will also ensure its safe!
With so many beaches it is not surprising that the Algarve is an excellent spot for surfing. Enroll your children for a taster session, or a week-long intensive course and watch them become experienced surfers. You can also choose to rent a board with them and head on in to the sea together. However good you are you can be sure you’ll fun, even if its just watching everyone trying to stand up and falling!
9 Crazy golf
Crazy golf is a popular activities for kids in the Algarve. The region has several amazing coures, such as the Pro Putting Garden or Adventure Golf in Alvor, with dinosaurs that will delight any child. Spend a fun family afternoon playing crazy golf in the Algarve.
10 Cycling or going for a walk with your family
Walking or biking through the beautiful region of the Algarve with your family is a fun activity, as well as being a healthy one. Strolling along the seafront, cycling along bicycle paths built along the beaches, or simply exploring the paths of the Ria Formosa Natural Park are excellent options for spending some quality family time. The Algarve is, in fact, a great place for cycling or hiking because of its low population density, which means there are lots of green spaces and plenty of quiet roads with few cars.
11 Jeep Safari
Participating in a jeep tour on dirt roads, dunes, cliffs and the wilderness of the Algarve is a truly unforgettable experience. There are several jeep tours that are organized with the purpose of showing an unfamiliar side of the Algarve especially around the Monchique Mountains. Some of the jeep tours have as a ‘finale’ the chance to view the sunset from one of the high cliffs of the region, while others take you to the beaches with the best surfing waves. Choose the tour that best suits you and your family and enjoy a different day spent exploring the Algarve region.
12 Fishing with your kids
Fishing is a common practice in the Algarve, and in Portugal, dating back to the very first people who settled in the region. With a huge maritime territory, it is not surprising that much of the region’s income comes from the fishing industry. But apart from the commercial purpose, there are those who enjoy the pleasure of spending a few hours at sea, surrounded by friends and family, in contact with nature, fishing. In fact, children often love the days at sea and get genuinely excited about everything involved with the craft of fishing such as fishing rods, hooks and baits. Most of the main marinas including Albufeira and Vilamoura offer trips on a daily basis. For children we’d recommend the 3 hour trips rather than the full day as these are better for those with a shorten attention span!
13 High ropes
The high ropes tree climbing centres can be found in Lagos in the western Algarve and Albufeira in central meaning there’s always one within easy reach. With several different levels available, it’s one for all the family and offers lots of fun and adrenaline as you climb through the tree tops.
14 Centro de Ciência Viva
Centro de Ciência Via or Life Science Centre is a great space where scientific knowledge is presented in a fun and interactive way, as a way to awaken children’s interest in our universe. With various educational and interesting exhibitions, there are 3 Centros de Ciência Viva in the Algarve: in Faro, Lagos and Tavira. At these science facilities children can finally discover the answers to some of the most pressing human nature questions.
15 Visiting a castle
The Algarve region has always been disputed by Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Spaniards and, of course, Portuguese. The beauty of its beaches and the abundance of fresh water and fishing led to the region being constantly disputed by several populations, which in turn led to the construction of several defensive structures capable of repelling armies. Silves Castle, Castro Marim Castle or Tavira Castle are examples of some of the castles that have remained to this day in an excellent state of preservation. Let your children’s imagination flow and watch them become knights in shining armours that, from the top of the walls, protect the kingdom against foreign invaders.