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17 Best Things To Do in the Algarve with Kids

If you are planning a family vacation to Portugal, you will surely want to include a visit to the Algarve region. Located in southern Portugal and stretching from the Spanish border to the Atlantic Ocean, this area has some of the best beaches in the country. This guide unveils 17 incredible things to do with kids in the Algarve. These activities are perfect for families eager to explore the charm and beauty of Portugal’s southern gem. 

17 Best Things to Do in the Algarve with Kids - Kids Are A Trip

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17 Best Things to Do With Kids in the Algarve 

From soft sandy beaches to enchanting castles, and thrilling water parks to interactive science centers, we’ve curated a list to ensure your family vacation is packed with joy, learning, and unforgettable memories. Dive into this guide to discover the ultimate family getaway in the Algarve!

1. Spend the day at the beach

If you and your family are beachgoers, then you’ll love the Algarve coast. It has over 200 km (125 miles) of coastline and 133 beaches for you to discover.

Most of the Portuguese beaches are family-friendly. Some of the best ones for kids are Praia Do Anção, Praia Do Barril, Praia da Rocha, and Praia Do Burgau

These beaches are perfect for children, so expect many other families. Kids will love connecting with children from around the world. Also, the beaches have lifeguards on duty during the summer to keep everyone safe in the water.

Portugal beach Algarve

Praia da Marinha is a very popular spot because it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. We only recommend it if traveling with older children as there is a narrow cliffside walkway to reach the beach.

The family can enjoy water sports like renting a kayak or trying a stand-up paddleboard. This beach can be extremely crowded, (especially during the high season – summer) so it doesn’t provide the tranquility you will find at other beaches.

2. Take a boat ride

What kid wouldn’t love to take a ride in a boat? There are kid-friendly boat tours all over the Algarve. During the summer months, these are especially popular as they allow you to see the Algarve coastline from a different perspective. 

Some cruises focus on finding dolphins, while others head to the famous Benagil Cave (Algar de Benagil). They all offer views of limestone cliffs and unique rock formations. Some will even take you through sea caves.

Benagil Cave
Benagil Cave

With hundreds of tour operators to choose from, knowing which one would best fit your family can be difficult. Some of the best boat tours for families are:

These tours all start in different locations, so there’s a tour for everyone, no matter where you are staying in the Algarve. 

3. Have fun at a waterpark

The good thing about waterparks is that they’re designed with kids in mind. There aren’t a lot of water parks in the Algarve but every major city has one. Some of the best ones are Aquashow Water Park, Slide & Splash, and Zoomarine Algarve.

Zoomarine Algarve not only has amazing water slides, but it also has a seal and dolphin show. You can even swim with the dolphins and get your picture with them. This makes it not only a fun day trip but also an educational experience that they will never forget.

If you are looking for the perfect Algarve hotels with waterparks, we recommend Jupiter Albufeira Hotel and 3HB Clube Humbria.

4. Explore the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa 

This Nature Park stretches across 60km (40 miles) of the Algarve coast and is famous for its wetlands, barrier islands, and wildlife. The scenery is quite diverse with dunes, forests, and marshlands. This is an epic destination for nature lovers as they have many species of birds, otters, sea horses, and even chameleons. 

Ria Formosa park

There’s a great family beach here called Praia da Ilha de Tavira that has lounge chairs with umbrellas and a restaurant for when the kids get hungry.

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Families can enjoy one of the many hikes in this area ranging from 2 to 10 miles. You can choose the best one for your family and enjoy some of the area’s panoramic views.

5. Visit animals at Lagos Zoo 

The Lagos Zoo has animals from 5 continents as well as local birds and mammals. The zoo opened in November 2000 and has been a hit with the locals and tourists alike. Some animals your kids are sure to love are monkeys, crocodiles, and toucans.

They also have a swimming pool, restaurants, and a place where the kids can feed animals like pelicans, otters, and even lemurs. The zoo is a short drive (about 30 minutes) from the center of Lagos and there is also public transportation that goes directly to it.

6. Go on a Jeep safari 

If you want to do something out of the ordinary, take your family on a Jeep safari. These safaris will drive you and your family around in some incredible places. 

Look for animals as you drive on dirt roads through streams and over mountains. Some of the best Jeep safari tours are:

Both tours include hotel pickup, drop-off, and lunch, making your day easier. Albufeira is the best city to stay in if you plan to go on a Jeep safari, but you can find them in almost any city in the Algarve.

7. Catch some fish

The Algarve coast is one of the best places in the world for reef fishing. Reeling in a massive fish is something you and your child will never forget. Some of the best charters are the Algarve Reef Fishing Boat Trip and Algarve Reef Fishing. These tours include top-of-the-line gear, so you don’t need to worry about bringing your own. 

Fishing boats in Portugal

You can either charter a boat with a captain or join a tour. July to September are the best months for fishing and some of the fish you could catch are sea bream, sea bass, and mackerel.

8. Visit a castle

The Algarve has a lot of medieval castles spread throughout the region. No matter where you are staying in the Algarve, there will be a castle nearby. They range from the 8th to 18th century and come in many architectural styles.

Castle in Silves town - Algarve region - Portugal

Some of the most famous ones in this area are Castelo de Tavira, Silves Castle, and Castelo de Castro Marim. These castles are great learning opportunities for kids and will help them to understand Portuguese architecture and its rich history. 

There are also many Algarve tours you can book that will take you to multiple castles or private tours of the castles themselves.

9. Explore the Centro de Ciencia Viva in Faro 

This small building may not look special from the outside, but inside is a kid’s paradise. The Living Science Center is the perfect place to take your child who is obsessed with science or loves interacting with other kids while learning. 

Inside, there’s an aquarium, an interactive science exhibition, and an area that teaches about local animals. There are also temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year, so check on their website to see what the latest exhibits are.

It’s all indoors, which makes this a great place to go if you are getting too much sun and need a break from the beach.

10. Visit The Largest Park Of Sand Sculptures in Lagos

Sand City is a park with over 120 sand sculptures across 5 hectares (12 acres) of land. It features important landmarks from around the world, as well as Portuguese landmarks and animals. 

Portugal-Guide

If your kids like to build sand castles, you must take them here. The Park only takes a couple of hours to walk through, and once you are done, there’s a space for picnics and even a snack bar.

Also, if you have small children, you can rent a golf cart to drive around the park and see all the amazing sculptures from the comfort of your seat.

11. Go horseback riding 

When it comes to horseback riding in the Algarve, there are many places to go and several tours you can book. One of the best ones is Horse Riding in Portugal – Picadero Kids

This tour is made especially for kids and gives them all of the safety equipment and guidance that they will need. It’s located in Faro and the ride is about 30 minutes long.

Children can ride, feed, and groom the horses. There are other tours in the Algarve for horseback riding, but many of them are only for ages 12 and up.

12. Eat delicious Portuguese food 

If you and your family are foodies, then the Algarve will be your heaven on earth. One dessert that kids are sure to love is Dom Rodrigos. These sweet treats have been made for centuries and consist of egg yolks, sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon, and fios de ovos (thin egg threads).

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Leitão is another dish that everyone will love. It’s a suckling pig that has been marinated and cooked for 24 hours. The meat is very tender, and the skin is crispy and delicious. 

Portuguese seafood

If your kid loves octopus, shrimp, and fish, don’t miss a visit to a local fish market or fishing village to sample the freshest seafood available.

Even though the Algarve has just a few famous dishes, there are so many more Portuguese classics you can try here. Head to a local restaurant for traditional cuisine you will never forget.

13. Play some mini-golf

Bonding as a family with a game of mini-golf is one of my fondest childhood memories. Portugal is a very family-focused country, so you can find mini-golf courses almost anywhere.

Some of the best ones are Family Golf Park in Quarteira, Adventure Mini Golf Park in Albufeira, and ProPuttingGarden in Lagos.

This is the perfect activity to do before heading out for a family dinner or after a day of relaxing on the beach to get that last bit of energy out of the kids before bedtime. All the ones mentioned on this list have 18 or more exciting holes that will be sure to entertain the kids.

There are a lot of amazing things to do in Lagos, so if you plan on heading and staying in Lagos, there are many incredible hotels that you can stay at in Lagos. 

14. Head to Krazy World in Algoz

Krazy World is a park that has it all. They have a petting zoo, paintball field, mini-golf, pools, and more. If you and the kids can’t decide where to go or an activity that would benefit the whole family, then this is one of the top things to do in the Algarve.

You and your kids will be entertained for hours and at a great price. There are also lounge chairs for the adults, so you can relax and watch your kids as they enjoy the pool. Then, when you’re hungry, head to the onsite restaurant that serves pizza, burgers, and ice cream.

15. Head to the end of the earth

Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St Vincent) is often referred to as the end of the earth. It’s one of the main attractions in the Algarve. During the age of the Portuguese explorers (think Magellan, Vasco da Gama, and Christopher Columbus), this was the point they would depart from in search of new worlds.

Cape St Vincent things to do in Algarve

There are some spectacular views from the top of the cliffs, but there is also a lighthouse and epic sunsets. If you are looking for fun things to do in the Algarve, this needs to be on your list.

16. Climb the treetops at Parque Aventura in Albufeira

Looking for a thrilling adventure high up in the trees? Parque Aventura has bridges, nets, and even a giant slide for you and the kids to enjoy. Your kids can choose from one of three levels of difficulty, from curious to adventurous to fearless. 

If your kids are too old for a ropes course, there’s also paintballing available in the park. There’s no age limit for any of the activities here, so you can enjoy all the things right alongside your children. When you finish, grab some drinks and snacks at the snack bar.

17. Travel back in time at Parque da Mina 

Parque da Mina is a theme park that has so much to offer and teach your kids. You will learn what life was like back in the 17th century and experience it by visiting a 17th-century manor house, a grocery store, a gold mine, and much more.

If your kids like animals, there are also plenty of those here, and even a petting zoo. This will give your children a taste of what life was like back in the day and give them a new appreciation for the things that they have that make their lives so much easier.  

Final Thoughts: Things to Do in the Algarve with Kids 

In wrapping up our journey through the Algarve’s best family-friendly activities, it’s clear this region has something special for every member of the family. Whether it’s the thrill of a boat ride, the discovery of ancient Roman ruins, or the simple joy of building a sandcastle, the Algarve promises a treasure trove of experiences. 

So, pack your bags and set off on an adventure that will enrich your family’s story with memories of sunshine, laughter, and the unmatched beauty of Portugal.