The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
Alvor is a traditional Algarve fishing town that is blessed with a Mediterranean climate. The small-town sizzles in the summer and stays mild in the Winter.
The resort’s small harbour, nature reserve and pristine beaches are beautiful in any season. In peak season Alvor has gloriously hot days; the skies are blue, and the sun is strong. This is when Alvor is at its busiest, with the town packed with day-trippers, the vast beaches filled with sun worshippers, and the bars lively as the sun sets.
In the shoulder seasons (Easter-mid to June and September-October), Alvor still experiences the same sunny, long days but without the intensity of the summer heat. The Spring or Autumn will provide relative tranquillity compared to summer hecticness, and this is an outstanding time to explore the surrounding region via day trips.
In Winter, the temperature cools, making sunbathing unsuitable, and there is always the chance of rain. Out of season, the small town can feel rather deserted, but there are enough restaurants and cafes open for a quiet holiday.
Quaint Alvor is most appealing in Spring (May-June) and Autumn (September-October). In these seasons, the harbour town feels alive with local activity rather than hordes of tourists, escaping the beach for a few hours.
With around 9-10 hours of sunshine and comfortable temperatures in the mid-20s (degree Celsius), the weather is just right for roaming the sandy shoreline and small harbour. Those wishing to explore further can also comfortably wander on well-designed wooden pathways across the arid nature reserve to the beautiful Atlantic coastline.
Spring and Autumn are consistently dry, which enable visitors to enjoy the best of the traditional town in the morning, dine on the fresh catch of the day and then head to the simply stunning beach for a relax.
Evenings back in Alvor are slightly quieter in these seasons, but there are still good food and drinking options.
As a uniquely traditional resort within the Algarve, Alvor is expecting a sell-out summer season for 2021. As many will be gearing up to fully enjoy the summer season, the Algarve will be a popular destination.
As Alvor is expecting both busy peak and mid seasons, we strongly advise you to book your flights and accommodation as soon as possible before prices increase and the most authentic accommodation gets booked up.
Use the map below to discover the best accommodation in Alvor, if you adjust the dates to your holiday, it will display current prices and availability.
Peak season weather at a glance
• Daytime temperatures: Typically range between 25 – 34 degrees Celsius
• Night-time temperature: Early 20 degrees Celsius
• Weather: Sun and clear skies, occasional cloudy day and very low chance of light showers
• Sunrise and Sunset: 6.30am/8.30pm
Due to the traditional town’s prime location within the Algarve region, it is very much on the tourist trail and this can mask more of the authentic experience that out of season visitors will get.
Despite the consistent gentle breeze, temperatures do soar (often hitting over 30 degrees Celsius) and visitors should be mindful of the high UV index the direct sunlight brings. The sizzling summers can make exploration of the town or day trips to Silves and Portimao rather tiring and it is wise to do as the locals do and get up early before peak sunshine.
Tourists venturing out in the midday sun can roam the narrow streets with its traditional whitewashed town and find plenty of shops to look in.
As one of the biggest draws to the Algarve region, Alvor’s surrounding beaches are up there as some of the most unique. However, visitors in summer should expect the rock formations and sheltered coves of Praia da Rocha to be flooded with tourists.
These can be accessed by public transport. The rugged beauty of these beaches also makes it unwise to sunbathe too close to the cliffs despite the obvious shade given.
For those looking for more space it is wise to head to the beach closest to Alvor, which has a long sandy open stretch. Backing onto the arid nature reserve, Praia Da Alvor has little shelter so purchasing or hiring a parasol is highly recommended.
In Peak season the sunsets late, at approximately 8.30pm, and this is a perfect time to revisit the cove beaches and Estuary front for a spectacular sundown over the Atlantic.
Restaurants in the town are alive at this time and there is a good range of bars for those staying locally.
Mid-season weather at a glance
• Daytime temperatures: Early 20 degrees Celsius
• Night-time temperature: Mid 10s degrees Celsius
• Weather: Blue skies, low rainfall but occasional light showers and an offshore breeze in afternoon and evening.
• Sunrise and Sunset: 7am/7.30pm
Alvor is charming in spring and Autumn when the crowds clear and the pretty whitewashed town and harbour are returned to the locals. The weather is equally pleasant and warm days still have a high of mid-20s degrees Celsius, but the intensity of the heat dissipates.
Looking westwards along the main beach of Alvor
As a small town, which is best discovered on foot, the change in climate is welcome and allows visitors to also roam more freely without exhaustion. Shops, Restaurants and cafes all remain open and the warm weather makes it pleasant for dining alfresco.
Highlights to take in at leisure are the seagull lined small harbour with beached boats and the elevated walkways along Ria De Alvor Nature Reserve, which lead to the Atlantic. Visitors in the afternoon will notice that there is often a gentle breeze so it is wise to take an extra layer if exploring at twilight.
Sunbathing is comfortable in the Algarve from May to September and those exploring on foot will find plenty of space on the town’s beach which lies east. Those seeking an idyllic beach escape can hike west, take public transport or drive to Praia da Rocha and see the stunning cliffs and formations without hordes of Instagram-seeking holidaymakers.
Low season weather at a glance
• Daytime temperature: Typically 10-15 degrees Celsius
• Night-time temperature: 0-10 degrees Celsius
• Weather: Equal number of sunny and cloudy days with occasional rain showers
• Sunrise and Sunset: 7.30am/5.30pm
Winter is the sleepiest time of year and Alvor can feel rather isolated once the peak season restaurants, cafes and shops shut. The few beach bars and amenities along the beach are also closed so it is wise to take food and a drink if hiking or biking further afield.
In Winter, days are an equal mix of sun and cloud with occasional showers, which make it less ideal for spending long periods of time on the beach. The offshore breeze can also pick up and, as with much of the Algarve, Alvor should not be considered a winter beach location.
Out of season Alvor’s town centre is quiet but still charming and the cooler temperatures mean that those exploring can cover most of the town and natural sights in a day.
It surprises many visitors to Alvor’s beach that the sea temperature is significantly colder than other spots in the Mediterranean: This is due to the Atlantic currents. Temperatures only reach 18C at the height of the summer and drop to 14C in the Winter.
If you are planning a family vacation, Alvor is a great family-friendly destination and base for staying. The restaurants and amenities welcome children and the town does not have the party atmosphere of other resorts.
As with most of the Algarve, early summer is a good time to visit with children before the heat soars and the sunshine limits the amount that can be done in their awake hours. Local attractions are all open and the beaches are safe.
For tourists wanting to see Alvor without the crowds or families, it is best to choose Autumn. Temperatures in September and October are still warm (mid-20s) and daylight hours are still relatively long (9-10) but the latent heat and humidity reduces.
Autumn is a perfect time for walking along the elevated nature reserve walkways, strolling the beach and relaxing at the estuary edged harbour. Visitors in Autumn can still visit the fish market and enjoy a wide selection of food options with the locals.