A traditional fishing village

Alvor is a traditional fishing village located in the district of Portimão.

The village still retains much of its charm with its whitewashed houses and narrow cobbled streets leading down to the river. The riverfront of Alvor has been growing a lot in the past few years and it’s now lined with a trail of palm trees, restaurants and beach bars where you can sit and watch the fishing boats come and go.

You can reach Alvor by car or you can take a short bus ride directly from the centre of Portimão or Lagos.

Alvor was severely damaged during the great earthquake of 1755, which destroyed some of its historic landmarks including the Castle of Alvor, a 13th-century Moorish castle. Today, you can only see a few remnants of the castle’s walls surrounding a children’s playground.

Up the hill, there is the Mother Church of Alvor, Igreja do Divino Salvador, with its Manueline style arches and pillars.

Despite being a small village, Alvor offers a variety of restaurants that cater to all tastes, from traditional Portuguese cuisine to Italian, Indian and Chinese. While the riverfront is filled with fish restaurants. The village is very calm, compared with the other resort towns in the Algarve, making it the ideal spot for families and mature visitors.

The best time to visit Alvor is during the spring or early autumn, as the weather is still warm and there aren’t many tourists around.

Alvor’s most unique attraction is the boardwalk set across the Ria de Alvor Nature Reserve. These walks provide incredible views over the dunes and the marshes of the Alvor estuary, which is home to several bird species, such as flamingos and terns. You can follow the boardwalk on foot or by bicycle from Praia de Alvor, the main beach in Alvor.

Backed up by low sand dunes, Praia de Alvor is one of the longest beaches in the Algarve, stretching for over 3.5 km. The beach offers great views of the neighbouring town Lagos and the mountains of Monchique. Further east, there is a smaller beach called Praia dos Três Irmãos which is famous for its three rock formations.

From Alvor, you can also take a boat trip to the caves in Lagos or join a dolphin watching tour.

As for the events, Alvor organizes a gipsy market on the 2nd Tuesday of each month which takes place near Dunas do Alvor from 9 am to 2 pm.

Explore this region by following our Portimão 2 day tour. Also read about Portimão and Portimão beaches.