Alvor is a former fishing village that’s now part of the city of Portimão. It’s located by the protected Alvor River estuary, and preserves its ancient cobbled streets. Many of them are lined with restaurants and bars, especially Rua Dr. Frederico Ramos Mendes, which leads to the harbor. Here you can smell fish being grilled and see a number of fishing boats and yachts. All this brings a significant number of tourists in the summer, especially at night after a day at the beach. These beaches are less crowded than those closer to the center of Portimão, but there’s a number of hotels along the coast.
Nothing except the ruined walls of the village’s medieval castle survives. It was destroyed in an earthquake in 1755, and is now used as a children’s playground. It was where King João II died in 1495, possibly assassinated by poisoning.
The Parish Church is the main monument. It suffered some damage in the earthquake, but its Manueline (Portuguese gothic) portal survived. The interior has baroque altarpieces and a rococo tile panel illustrating the Last Supper.
The top tourist attraction besides the beaches, however, is a boardwalk that goes through a nature reserve. It’s elevated over dunes and marshes, offering scenic views of the Alvor River estuary and a variety of fauna and flora. It’s 3 kilometers (close to 2 miles) long and is of particular interest to birdwatchers.
Alvor is a destination for those looking for a quieter but not necessarily remote Algarve. It’s slightly more affordable than Albufeira and Lagos, and doesn’t attract the party crowds. It’s for the maturer visitor, families and couples.
Beaches in Alvor
Alvor has some of the best and most beautiful beaches in Algarve. Most have golden rock formations and cliffs, and are quieter than those in neighboring towns. See the complete Alvor beaches guide.
How to Get to Alvor
Alvor is about one hour to the west of Faro, the capital of Algarve and home to the international airport. It can be easily reached by taking highway A22 and following the signs to Portimão and then Alvor. If you’re relying on public transportation, you can take a train or bus to Portimão from Faro, then connect to a local bus or take a taxi to Alvor. For complete details about transportation from the airport to Alvor, look here: Faro Airport to Alvor.
The bus stop in the center of Alvor is by a roundabout on Rua do Rossio de São Pedro. From here you can walk to just about anywhere in town, including the beaches. There is no train station -- the closest one is in Portimão, 7km (4 miles) away.
Hotels in Alvor
Pestana Alvor Praia
The location couldn’t be better -- it’s right on Três Irmãos Beach. It’s one of the oldest hotels in the area, but has managed to keep up to date. It features a large outdoor seawater pool, as well as a heated indoor pool, connected to the spa. Guests have access to five tennis courts and golf courses nearby. At the hotel are two restaurants, one focusing on regional cuisine and the other offering international dishes. Many of the rooms have stunning sea views, while others face the garden.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Pestana Alvor Praia
AlvorMar Apartamentos Turisticos
Perfectly located for the center of town and the beach, these tourist apartments have contemporary interiors and score major points for cleanliness and comfort. They all have balconies and some offer a view of the ocean in the distance. There’s an outdoor pool with a shallow area for the kids.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: AlvorMar Apartamentos Turisticos
Pestana Alvor Park
Just a 10-minute walk from the historic center of the village and about 15 minutes from the beach, this modern hotel has spacious studios and apartments with balconies. There’s an outdoor and an indoor pool, a fitness center, a sauna, and a restaurant. It can be quite a good value.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Pestana Alvor Park
Pestana Alvor South Beach
This Miami-inspired hotel faces Praia de Alvor. Its 89 rooms feature a colorful and bright décor, and outside is a large terrace with palm trees and swimming pools, where sunset parties are sometimes held. The fitness center is outdoors, while inside is a restaurant and a bar.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Pestana Alvor South Beach
Tivoli Alvor Algarve Resort
From this resort you can easily reach all of the beaches in Alvor, but you’ll probably end up spending much of the day in and around the five large outdoor swimming pools. Facilities include three restaurants, a spa with indoor pool, a fitness center, and a tennis court. It caters to families, so there’s also a kids’ club.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Tivoli Alvor Algarve Resort
Agua Hotels Alvor Jardim
Located on a main road and with bus stops just feet away, this hotel is easy to reach and not far from tourist attractions. It’s divided into twin rooms, studios and suites, many of them with balconies. It serves breakfast but doesn’t have a restaurant. Outside is a swimming pool surrounded by loungers for hours in the sun.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Agua Hotels Alvor Jardim
Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel
This adults-only hotel is found on a hillside overlooking Alvor. Its architecture and design are contemporary, and the rooms bright and with balconies. It’s meant to be a place to relax, with a chillout lounge, a rooftop infinity pool, a heated indoor pool, two restaurants, a spa with a wide range of treatments and massages, and daily group activities, such as yoga and pilates.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel
Alvor Baia Resort Hotel
The longest swimming pool in Algarve is found at this 4-star resort. Surrounded by a lawn and parasols, it includes a children’s section. The hotel is also one of the biggest in the region, with 402 suites with balconies. It includes two restaurants, a spa with heated pool and sauna, two padel courts, and a children’s playground. It’s not located by the beach, but offers a free shuttle which takes just 5 minutes.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Alvor Baia Resort Hotel
Penina Hotel & Golf Resort
It’s located to the north of Alvor but offers access to an exclusive area with loungers on Praia de Alvor. It has a restaurant on the dunes, linked to the hotel by a complimentary shuttle in the summer. It’s a hotel for golfers and their families, with its own 18-hole championship course and two 9-hole courses, plus five tennis courts, a health club, a huge outdoor swimming pool, a kids’ club, and four restaurants. Most of the rooms have balconies and overlook the pool.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Penina Hotel & Golf Resort