Known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and being one of the sunniest places in Europe, the Algarve has many features that make it the ultimate family beach holiday.
There is an array of exciting things to do in Algarve with kids, the sea is calm (most of the beaches don’t have waves), and it has a vibrant atmosphere and immense natural beauty. To top it all, it’s a safe and relatively cheap destination.
Whether you want to just relax in the shade while the kids create grand sandcastles, or take a boat trip to explore sea caves and grottoes, you can do it all, and more, in the Algarve.
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1 – Enjoy the breathtaking Algarvian beaches
With over 100 beaches stretching across 200Km of the coast, there is no doubt that one of the best things to do in Algarve with kids is to enjoy the tranquil waters of its gorgeous beaches.
Bordered by cliffs in shades of yellow, red and orange and lapped by crystal clear water, the beaches in Algarve are constantly ranked as some of the best in the world.
And there are so many beaches with tranquil water that are perfect for the whole family that you don’t really need to worry about choosing the right one.
If you prefer beaches with better infrastructure, lifeguards and plenty of water sports to keep the little ones busy, my recommendations are:
- Praia da Oura, Pescadores, Falésia, Santa Eulália and São Rafael (Albufeira);
- Meia Praia and Praia da Batata (Lagos);
- Praia de Vilamoura (Vilamoura);
- Praia da Rocha and Três Irmãos (Portimão);
- Praia da Senhora da Rocha and Carvoeiro (Lagoa).
2 – Explore the Golden Coast by boat
The best way to explore the breathtaking Algarvian coastline is definitely by boat. And this is the reason that when you’re in the Algarve, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to take a boat trip.
You’ll sail along with beautiful scenery and discover sea caves, grottoes, hidden gem beaches and magnificent rock formations from the perspective of the boat.
There are several boat trips that you can take while in the Algarve, such as: Ponta da Piedade, Benagil Cave, Ria Formosa, BBQ cruises, Sealife observation, etc.
But if you’re looking for entertaining things to do in Algarve with kids, my recommendation is to take the Pirate Ship.
The wooden ship with billowing sails is unlike any other boat tour in the Algarve. The crew dresses up in pirate outfits and tells curious facts about the coast to keep everyone entertained. And there are costumes on board available for young kids too.
Taking a boat trip is an activity for the whole family and the prices start as low as 20 euros per person.
3 – Go dolphin watching
Dolphins are constantly seen in the Atlantic Ocean and one of the greatest activities to do in the Algarve with kids is dolphin watching.
These adorable and playful creatures are some of the most liked marine animals and nothing is better than seeing them in their natural habitat, swimming and jumping in front of you.
The most common species of dolphin that can be found around the Algarve coast are: Bottlenose, Common, Striped, Harbor Porpoise and Risso.
Dolphin tours are offered in Algarve from March to November, although the best months to spot dolphins are from June to September.
4 – Marvel at the Sand Sculptures of Sandy City
Looking for fun things to do with kids in Algarve with kids? Visiting FIESA Sandy City, the largest sand sculpture theme park in the world, is an excellent option.
The Sandy City Park is a mega exhibition of sand sculptures held since 2003 in Pêra, where talented artists use the unique sand found in this area to build gigantic sculptures that you can wander around, marvel at and take pictures of.
Each new edition is dedicated to a different theme and you can find sculptures of famous personalities, movie characters, cartoons, etc.
The park offers a range of activities to keep kids busy and live entertainment and music performances to delight everyone.
5 – Walk on the treetops
Parque Aventura is a 2500m2 park inside a forest that offers thrilling high rope courses, where you can walk on the treetops, find rope nests, cross bridges, and use giant zip lines.
You can also have a paintball match in a field that is filled with natural and artificial obstacles.
My niece loved walking in the treetops and whizzing through the forests of the Parque Natural of Albufeira.
There are also parks in Figueira da Foz, Lagos and Vila Real de Santo António. Check their websites for more info.
6 – Take your kid to the waterparks
Have you ever been to a waterpark?
With plenty of slides, tunnels, inflatable mattresses, giant buoys, wave pools and fountains, spending the day at one of the Golden Coast waterparks is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Algarve with kids.
Zoomarine, probably the best and most beautiful, also offers live performances, a dolphin show and interactions.
The first time I went to a waterpark was in July 2019. My family and I went to Slide & Splash and we had a blast.
Take your kid to a waterpark while in Algarve, because I’m sure he(she) is going to treasure this moment forever.
7 – Do water sports
The Algarve is blessed with fantastic conditions for water sports, with over 300 days of sunshine a year and regular thermal winds.
So, naturally, one of the best things to do in the Algarve is taking a dip in the sea and doing water sports.
And there are activities for the whole family.
Your kids can do water sports in many Algarvian beaches, such as: Praia da Luz and Porto de Mós (Lagos), Praia da Cova Redonda (Lagoa), and in basically every beaches in Albufeira, Vilamoura and Portimão.
8 – Visit Lagos Zoo
If you’re wondering what to do in Algarve with kids that are not beach-related, Lagos Zoo, with over 140 different animal species from the 5 continents set in natural habitats, is undoubtedly the best option.
There’s a great variety of birds, including pelicans, flamingos and parrots; mammals, including big cats; reptiles; fishes and amphibians.
There are also playgrounds, a swimming pool, pet farm, educational room, incubation room, where baby birds are hatched, and the “create room” in which animals are reared by hand, a lovely picnic area around lakes and lawns, a restaurant and etc.
Lagos Zoo participates in several conservation programs and is open all year round. Buy your ticket online in advance here.
09 – Play minigolf
The Algarve is one of the world’s most famous golfing destinations and has over 30 prime golf courses.
If your kids never played minigolf before, here’s an excellent opportunity.
The MiniGolf Adventure Park is located in the heart of Albufeira and promises fun and entertainment for the whole family.
This 20-hole mini-golf course, like no other in Portugal, features a unique setting with a stunning waterfall as a backdrop.
The park is open during the whole year and it’s reasonably priced.
10 – Conquer a castle
If visiting a castle isn’t the first thing that spring to mind when you think about the Algarve, you’ll be delighted to hear that you can visit not only one but three Algarvian castles during your stay.
Castelo de Paderne is an ancient fortification located on the outskirts of Albufeira constructed in the late 12th century by the Moors.
You can visit the Castle of Paderne by car, but my recommendation is to book this Quad-biking Tour that combines thrilling driving with historic sightseeing.
You can also visit Loulé Castle, a National Monument in the old Portuguese city of Loulé, and Castelo de Silves, an imposing red brick Moorish castle, from which the Moors ruled over the entire Algarve.
Castle of Silves is for me the best option! Check out the tour options and prices here.
11 – Feed & interact with animals at Krazy World Zoo
If you’re looking for a more intimate zoo that provides also other experiences, Krazy World is an interactive zoo with activities for the whole family.
Visitors have the opportunity to feed and interact with dwarf goats, llamas, deer, lemurs, turtles and birds.
They can explore the dinosaur exhibit at the Terra Exótika, see the biggest snake in Europe, take a refreshing swim in the swimming pool, jump down the water slide and enjoy other activities such as: tree climbing, pedal karts, pony rides, etc.
There is a large indoor area with a restaurant, an inflatable bouncy castle, and a stage for animal presentations. Book your ticket online in advance here.
12 – Go souvenir shopping
With a great variety of boutiques, souvenir and gift shops, jewellery stores, bookshops, shopping centres and gipsy markets, you’ll feel very tempted to go shopping.
You can buy some clothing for yourself or as a gift, beach accessories such as hats and sunglasses, handmade bags, watches, designer jewels, magnets, tiles, etc.
I usually buy magnets, tablecloths and tea towels for gifts when I’m in the Algarve and people always love it.
Pro tip: The best place to find some fun and cheap tea towels are the gipsy markets.
This is my list of the 12 best things to do in the Algarve for families, and if you find some more, please leave a comment below 😉
Safe travels and have fun in Portugal.
More posts about the Algarve that might interested in:
- Algarve Itinerary: 3/5/7 Days Must-see Beaches & Towns
- 12 Cool & Unusual Things to Do in Algarve
- 10 Best Adventurous Things to Do in Algarve
- Best Things to Do in Algarve, Portugal
- 20 Best Things to Do in Albufeira
- 7 Must-See Beaches in Lagos
- Full Guide to Marinha Beach
- Complete Guide to Benagil Cave
Planning a Trip to the Algarve for Families
Where is Algarve located?
Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal (check the map here).
Best time to visit Algarve
The best time to visit the Algarve is definitely during the summer.
Some of the things listed here can be done all year but are much better in the summer.
How to get there?
The best option is to fly to Faro, Algarve’s capital. Some of the airline companies that offer flights to Faro are Easyjet, British Airways, Ryanair and TAP.
You can book your flights with Skyscanner, which is the website that I use and trust.
To get around I highly recommend hiring a car because the public transportation in the Algarve isn’t good.
You can rent a car with Rental Cars here at no extra cost for you.
Where to stay in Algarve with kids?
Some of the best family-friend hotels in the Algarve that I suggest are: Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa, Vila Petra, Salgados Dunas Suites, Pine Cliffs Residence a Luxury Collection Resort, Four Seasons Vilamoura and Conrad Algarve.
If you prefer to rent a luxury house, check the ones available on PlumGuide.
Don’t forget to save these pins 😉
- Book Your Flight Find deals on airlines on my favorite search engine: Skyscanner. Be sure to read my How to find cheap flights article.
- Rent A Car Rental Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal.
- Book Accommodation Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. But Hotels.com and Hilton Hotels have very interesting reward programs.
- Protect Your Trip Don’t forget travel insurance! I always use World Nomads for short-term trips and SafetyWing for long-term ones. Find out why Travel Insurance: Much More Than a Precaution, a Necessity.
- Book Tours in Advance Book unforgettable experiences and skip-the-line tickets with GetYourGuide or Viator .
- Book Ground Transportation BookaWay offers a stress-free experience with secure payments and no hidden fees. You pay online and receive your itinerary by email.
- Luggage Solutions Rent your luggage with Cargo or if you need to drop off your own luggage and enjoy your time without dragging it all over a city, find a LuggageHero shop here.
- Get a Travel Card Revolut Card is a pre-paid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries. I’ve been using my Revolut Card for over a year and never paid foreign-transaction fees again. Get your Revolut Card with free shipping here.
- Packing Guide Check out my How to Pack a Carry-on Luggage For a Five-month Trip to help you start packing for your trip. Don’t forget your camera, chargers and other useful travel accessories.