With a sun drenched September Saturday at our disposal we decided to hop on the bus to one of our all-time favourite places, Alvor. Our bus left Lagos terminal at 12pm and by 12.25pm we were there, for the bargain price of 8.20€ each return. Our lovely air conditioned bus dropped us just on the outskirts of the village, at the roundabout near the taxi rank and then it was just a 5 minute stroll to the beautiful riverfront promenade.
The first sight of the restaurant tables with their palm shades lining the water’s edge, where the boats are gently bobbing, well, it’s enough to leave you loving Alvor forever; and of course (when you’re getting the bus and don’t need to worry about the drink driving limit) it’s rude not to stop for a drink or two! So with feet up, chatting away in the sunshine and the obligatory “Aaaaaah” moments, before we knew it, it was time for lunch.
Despite being a mass of restaurants to choose from, a table at Zé Morgadinho’s had our name on it! This colourful Portuguese restaurant stole our heart (and stomach’s) a long time ago, with its traditional bread baskets, the smell of freshly barbequed fish, live accordion music and the laid back atmosphere. It’s a place for couples, families and groups alike, with a mix of seafood and meat, omelettes (and salads on request) for vegetarians and highly quaffable jars of wine to wash them down with.
The "couvert" starter of bread, butter and olives is a must (like in any Algarve restaurant) and the dessert menu is one of those where you say, “I shouldn’t….but I will”; especially if you want an excuse to sample the local (“firewater”) Medronho liquor, which goes perfectly with something sweet and “uma bica” expresso coffee. For a total of 36€ for two, including two half jars of wine…now that’s an Algarve style decadent lunch!
With the bus not until 7.05pm, there was still plenty of time to mossy around the shops, so we headed up the hill, passing more bars and restaurants on the way. Whether you want souvenirs, beach gear, jewellery, an ice cream, an off-licence or a place to book car hire and attractions (as well as supermarkets for holiday essentials), Alvor has it…all and it’s all within easy reach, with a natural circuit running around the village.
With more time we could have passed by the pretty little church on the hilltop, hit the beach or booked a boat trip or excursion from the promenade, but we just wanted to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures that, for us, make Alvor, Alvor!
Quick guide to Alvor!
So if you fancy a holiday or day trip to this western Algarve haven, here are a few tips and a quick guide for when to visit and what to do and for more information and booking visit Alvor Uncovered!
- Where is Alvor? Western Algarve, southern Portugal; 74km from Faro Airport.
- When to visit? In summer Alvor is packed with sizzling sun seeking couples and families and in winter the silver surfers book long indulgent holidays to enjoy the warmer climes and cheaper living.
- What to do? Alvor is famous for its lagoon kitesurfing, golden sands stretching from Praia de Alvor to Praia dos Três Irmãos, the nature-rich boardwalk for cycling, running and walking, the boat trips and bars, restaurants and gift shops aplenty.
- Where to eat? One of the three promenade bar-restaurants is a must, Portuguese Zé Morgadinho and L’Angolo Pizzeria are our family favourites and there’s Sports Café Alvor, tapas bars and more! Check out Alvor restaurants on TripAdvisor!
- Disabled access: Although the village is built around a low rising hill, the promenade and boardwalk are ideal for wheelchairs and motorised scooters and Praia de Alvor is an “Accessible beach” with full disabled facilities and support during beach season (April to October).