Self-catering apartments, All Inclusive resorts and luxury five-star hotels, I’ve hand-picked the top properties for family holidays to the Algarve.
The Algarve is one of my favourite holiday destinations. I have visited many times, both with and without children. I particularly love the beaches there – there are over 100 of them stretching 150 km of coastline. There are not many destinations where you’ll instantly know the location from looking at a photograph of the beach, but owing to the unique rock formations hugging the Algarve’s golden sands, it is easy to identify where you are. However, the beaches are only one of a range of factors that contribute to the popularity of family holidays to the Algarve.
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The combination of family friendly resorts, extensive accommodation options to suit every size and budget, as well as its short flying time and transfer times, ensure many families return to the Algarve annually. The advantage of being located along the Atlantic Coast means that that temperatures, even during the peak summer months, remain bearable – something that parents often look for when choosing a family holiday in the Algarve during July or August.
There are also many family friendly activities available. The marine theme park Zoomarine, is one of the Algarve’s top attractions. There are numerous waterparks to visit, while car lovers will enjoy karting at the Algarve Motorsports Park. Of course with 150km of coastline, the possibilities for water sports are endless. A boat trip to Benagil Caves is one of the most popular excursions with families.
So with all that in mind, I’ve put together a list of my top picks for family holidays to the Algarve to suit all tastes and budgets. Note some of the links below contain affiliate links where I receive a commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
Family holidays to the Algarve in Self Catering Apartments
3-star Prainha Village, Alvor
The old fishing village of Alvor is one of my favourite resorts on the Algarve, I have stayed here many times and plan to return this year. It is one of the few resorts on the Algarve which has developed over the years, but has managed to retain its charm and village feel. The beaches are superb here too, and contain the typical Algarve rock formations.
The Prainha Village is the perfect option to explore the nearby resorts of Alvor and Portimao. There is no shortage of amenities to keep families occupied, with three outdoor pools, two kids pools, two playgrounds, three bars, four restaurants and three tennis courts. These are all surrounded by fabulous, landscaped gardens ensuring it never feels busy or crowded.
If you can tear yourself way from all this, take the elevator from the cliff top location of the Prainha Village to the sandy beach below – you can also take the steps! Make sure you pre-book lunch or dinner in Caniço, This restaurant is built into the cliff and boasts one of most dramatic settings on the Algarve.
The apartments, townhouses and villas are all traditionally designed and vary in size from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom villas and townhouses with private pools. Many of the houses and villas are managed by private hosts, so descriptions and facilities may vary.
4-star Aparthotel Alfagar, Albufeira
Located on the outskirts of Albufeira, the Aparthotel Alfagar is one of the most popular choices for family holidays to the Algarve. The wide range of facilities on offer contribute to the high number of repeat guests. Among these are the impressive outdoor swimming pools, heated indoor pool, waterslide park, playground, and babysitting service. For beach days, you can access Santa Eulalia beach directly from the apartments.
The Alfagar are a great option for families who want a stress-free holiday with plenty of amenities on hand, without feeling the need to venture too far. That combined with a great standard of apartment with a reasonable price tag, make them highly sought after with families.
If you can stretch the budget, check out the beautifully furnished one- and two-bedroom Prestige Apartments with Sea View. Albufeira’s Old Town is just a short taxi drive away for those evenings when you want a change of scenery.
4-star Rocha Brava Village Resort, Carvoeiro
You won’t ever feel the need to leave the Rocha Brava Village Resort. Let start with the spectacular cliff top location with views out over the Atlantic Ocean. The old fishing village of Carvoeiro is 3 km away and the closest beach 1 km, but the resort is where all the family holiday memories will be made.
The incredible array of amenities includes three pool complexes, a kids club, crazy golf, playground, tennis courts, pickleball (a new one to me!), gym and a beauty centre. You only have to scroll through the consistently outstanding reviews on TripAdvisor to see how popular this property is. Another huge advantage to the Rocha Brava is the variety of room types available.
There are one- two-and three-bedroom apartments as well as houses and luxury villas with a private pool, making it the perfect option for groups of families who wish to travel together, or for large family holidays to the Algarve.
4-star Vila Petra, Albufeira
If you want to be close to all the action of lively Albufeira, the Vila Petra Apartments are definitely one to look at. Although located less than a 10-minute walk from the main strip, surprisingly noise is not an issue, as they are situated on a quiet street and set in extensive gardens. Considering the Villa Petra is a four-star property in a prime central location, it offers great value for family holidays to the Algarve.
Facilities include two outdoor swimming pools (one for adults and one for children), a heated indoor pool, playground, playroom for children, jacuzzi and tennis court. Apartments range from self-catering studios to two-bedroom apartments. The beach is a 15-minute walk from the Vila Petra, and the Old Town of Albufeira can be reached by taxi, or the resorts tourist train.
4-star Tivoli Marina Portimão Algarve Resort, Portimao
Praia da Rocha was traditionally one of the better-known resorts along the Algarve, and many people will lay claim to the fact that it was the first resort they ever visited in Portugal. The Tivoli Marina Portimao sits in a privileged location overlooking the fabulous marina and is within a five-minute walk of the bustling resort of Praia da Rocha. Everything you need to ensure a great family holiday to the Algarve is on your doorstep.
Families both small and large are catered for, with a choice of Studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments spread over three buildings – some have outdoor terraces overlooking the marina.
There are three outdoor pools, one of which is for kids, and during high season the resort organises entertainment throughout the day for children. A highly recommended day trip to consider from Portimao is a boat trip to the famous Benagil Caves, you might even be lucky enough to spot a dolphin!
4-star Cerro Mar Garden Albufeira
Located in lively Albufeira this is an excellent choice if you are looking for family holidays to Portugal with flights and transfers included. This apartment is featured with TUI, who organise package holidays from Ireland and the UK, and very often offer free child places. You can enjoy the advantage of paying just a small deposit to secure both flights and accommodation. This property is also available via Booking.com if you wish to book flights separately.
Highly rated on TripAdvisor, there are some great onsite facilities including a spa, gym and whirlpool. Kids will love the bowling alley, games room and large swimming pool, and there is a separate splash zone for little ones too. The beach is a 10-minute walk away, and there is a shuttle bus to take you to the main square.
All Inclusive Family holidays to the Algarve
4-star All Inclusive Resort – Club Humbria, Olhos De Água
The Algarve is not a destination that offers an abundance of All Inclusive resorts, however if All Inclusive is your preference, I recommend you have a look at Club Humbria. Taking the stress out of where you are going to eat each day, the All Inclusive offering includes a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main restaurant. Choose to unwind at the pool bar with ice-cream and drinks during the day, and if the little ones are still hungry, the snack bar serves burgers, pizzas etc through the afternoon.
But this is not the only reason to consider Club Humbria for family holidays to the Algarve. The kids will love the mini aqua park, and there is also a kids club, playground, a multi sports court, as well as outdoor pools for both adults and children.
If you can pull the family away from all the activities, the beach is 800m away, or take the bus into Albufeira in 10 minutes. One-bedroom apartments in Club Humbria will sleep up to a family of four.
4-star All Inclusive Resort – Alvor Baia, Alvor
The Alvor Bahia is a highly rated property that is available to book as a package holiday from both Ireland and the UK. This is an excellent choice if you are looking for All Inclusive family holidays to Portugal, with flights and transfers included in the cost. You will also have the benefit of being able to secure a booking by paying a small deposit. This property is featured with TUI who very often offer free child places, but it is also available through Booking.com should you wish to book your own flights separately.
There is plenty of on-site amenities to keep the kids happy, including a kids club, entertainment programme, sports facilities and pirate themed play area. If you fancy some quiet time, why not chill out in their spa, or take a stroll along Alvor’s stunning beach.
Family holidays to the Algarve in hotels
4-star Aquashow Park Hotel, Quarteira
If waterparks are high on your holiday priority list, consider a stay at the Aquashow Park Hotel located next to the Aquashow Water Park. The hotel is situated in a quiet area, 4km from Quarteira and five km from the popular resort of Vilamoura, with a free shuttle bus operating to both.
It offers the usual facilities you would expect from top family hotels in the Algarve– outdoor pool with two mini-slides, games rooms, playground and restaurant, however, without question, it is the free entrance to the water park that is the main feature for your stay here.
Aquashow is not only one of the Algarve’s largest water parks, but it also boasts the largest Water Rollercoaster in Europe and Portugal’s largest wave pool. Little ones are not left out either – the Aquakids section is specifically tailored to smaller children. There is a huge selection of slides, attractions and shows to choose from that will suit everyone in the family.
Family hotel rooms are interconnecting rooms with four beds. Another option to consider would be a few nights at Aquashow Park Hotel combined with a stay further along the Algarve coast.
Luxury family holidays to the Algarve
5-Star Pine Cliffs Resort, Albufeira
A luxury Algarve holiday experience awaits you at the stunning Pine Cliffs Resort. This is a particularly popular option for larger or extended families looking for a high standard of accommodation, as the resort offers hotel rooms, villas and townhouses to suit all family sizes.
The standout feature of the Pine Cliffs are the spectacular views from the cliff top location, something that is mentioned on almost every review they receive on TripAdvisor. Since incredible views may not necessarily appeal to children, there is plenty on offer for them too.
Pine Cliffs has previously held the accolade of Europe’s Best Family Resort, earned from the array of both water and land activities available. Porta Pirata’s Kid’s Club is where children from 6 months to 8 years have their own village complete with pirate ship. There is also a junior club for 8- to 13-year-olds.
Adults are not overlooked either. Activities available include jet skiing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, pedal boats, banana boats, tennis courts and golf – the list is endless. And if you’re tired from all the action, why not enjoy a treatment at the resorts award winning Serenity Spa, or watch the sun set with a cocktail at the Mirador Bar while listening to live music. Pine Cliffs really does have it all.
5-star The Residence at Victoria by Tivoli, Vilamoura
Vilamoura, one of the closer resorts to Faro Airport, is well known for its glitzy marina, wide sandy beach, and superb golf courses. The Residence at Victoria is the perfect choice for families looking for luxury accommodation close to this upmarket resort. These highly rated spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are located five minutes from the centre and offer a wealth of onsite amenities.
As well as three outdoor pools – one of which is dedicated to children, a playground, and extremely spacious accommodation, guests of the Residence can also access certain facilities at the adjacent sister property, Anantara Vilamoura, including the kids and teen clubs. Be sure to check out Aquashow Waterpark for memorable day out with the kids, just 10km from the resort.
5-star Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel, Sagres
The Martinal Sagres Beach Resort is widely regarded as one of the best resorts for family holidays in the Algarve. The choice of hotel rooms, apartments and houses means all families are well catered for. Sagres is located at the westernmost point of the Algarve in a protected natural park, the setting will leave you feeling relaxed and free of stress from the minute you arrive.
There is an abundance of facilities for all age groups including kids’ clubs, football academy, tennis academy and swimming lessons. The Blast Room is designed for teenagers from 14 – 16 years, and in addition to the PlayStation, juke box and table games available in the room, there is also a comprehensive activity programme for teens with kayak tours, sunset parties, and beach workouts to name a few.
Martinhal also take the hassle out of your holiday if you are travelling with babies as they offer complimentary equipment that can be pre-booked such as sterilisers, thermometers and baby baths. There is a lot to love about this resort, you only need to check out the reviews to see why guests keep returning. I have booked to go in October, so watch out for my review coming soon.
5-star Monte Santo Resort, Carvoeiro
Monte Santo is a top-class resort and has been a hugely popular choice for Irish families travelling to the Algarve for many years. It impressively offers six outdoor pools, one indoor pool, a kids club, plus lots of sporting facilities such as a multi sports court, outdoor fitness trail and bicycle hire. With an abundance of options to keep the whole family active, a visit to the Alma Spa to recharge your batteries is the perfect excuse you need.
A 20-minute walk (downhill) will bring you to the picturesque town of Carvoeiro and the beach. Monte Santo’s one- and two-bedroom suites are beautifully furnished, there are also two- and three-bedroom townhouses with direct access to a garden area and pool. It is worth having a look at dates outside of the peak months of July and August as rates are significantly lower.
5-Star Grand Real Santa Eulalia Hotel and Apartments, Albufeira
The Grand Real Santa Eulalia’s close proximity to Albufeira, as well as its stunning cliff top location, has made it a firm favourite with Irish holiday makers for many years. It is ideal for families with a host of facilities and room types to suit everyone. Although a luxurious resort hotel, it tends to be more reasonably priced than other 5-star family hotels in the Algarve, and the self catering apartments are particularly good value.
The hotel offers to the Santa Eulália , and boasts four outdoor swimming pools, plus three for children, three restaurants, the Realito Kids Club, as well as a Thalassotherapy Spa. There are a choice of room types including hotel rooms, suites, and one- and two-bedroom apartments.
Porto de Mos Luxury Villa, Lagos – 3 Bedroom Villa
The historical marina town of Lagos is becoming increasingly popular with families looking for a less commercialised resort along the Algarve. And while some families are looking for entertainment and kids clubs, there are many who want the privacy and serenity that a villa holiday brings. Porto de Mós is located a quiet area just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of the town and a short walk from the famous Dona Ana Beach.
The spacious open plan villa has three bedrooms sleeping up to a family of six, and comes with private pool, a garden and barbecue. The location and standard of this villa has earned itself 10 out of 10 reviews on Booking.com.
Unlike a lot of private villas, car rental is not essential, but I would recommend it to explore the area, which has some of the most stunning beaches and coves the Algarve has to offer. I have many more options for villa holidays in the Algarve here: