Cape St Vincent Lighthouse, Sagres

It’s time to sit down, relax and take a virtual tour of the Algarve!

A “virtual tour” of the Algarve showcasing some of its most stunning landscapes has been unveiled by the Algarve tourism association (ATA) – it even simulates a five-day trip starting in Aljezur in the west and ending in Vila Real de Santo António in the east.

Says ATA, it aims to replace the press trips that are usually held to present the Algarve to foreign journalists and tour operators. The virtual tour acts more as a written guide in English than an actual tour, and can be viewed by all who want to discover what the region has to offer.

‘Visitors’ will be able to ‘enjoy’ the Algarve’s beaches and natural landscapes, its hillside towns and countryside, ‘explore’ the Via Algarviana trail on a bicycle or on foot, learn how to play golf, discover the local cuisine and wines, theme parks, markets and other landmark sites.

The ‘tour’ is divided into five days, with each day including morning and afternoon activities, as well as lunch and dinner suggestions.

The first day takes ‘visitors’ on a journey to Sagres’ fortress and Saint Vincent cape and lighthouse, the south-westernmost point in the Algarve, before visiting the historic town of Lagos in the afternoon.

Day two features a trip to the stunning Monchique hills, followed by lunch in the fishing village of Alvor and afternoon visits to the famous beaches of Ferragudo and Carvoeiro.

Albufeira, often dubbed the tourism capital of the Algarve, is the first stop on day three, followed by a visit to Loulé. In the afternoon, it’s time to discover the famous “Golden Triangle” area, with its resorts Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura.

On the fourth day, the tour begins at Olhão’s fish and farmers market followed by a ferry trip to the Ria Formosa barrier islands Armona, Culatra and Farol. São Brás de Alportel is the next stop, followed by a trip to the Algarve capital, Faro.

The final day takes ‘visitors’ on a journey to Tavira, where they will discover its famous Roman bridge, as well as Cacela Velha with its views over the Ria Formosa and finally the border town of Vila Real de Santo António.

ATA president João Fernandes says the goal is to keep the level of interest in the Algarve high, and “hopefully higher than before”.

“We want to spike the desire of people to come here in the near future and experience, in person, all the things they have already discovered virtually,” he says.

(Click here) for the virtual tour.

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Cape St Vincent Lighthouse, Sagres
Ponta da Piedade, Lagos
West coast surfing
Praia do Pontal, Lagoa
Golden Triangle
Ria Formosa
Castro Marim golf