Algarve is great family destination but you might wonder what are the things to do with the kids. The Algarve is famous for having 300 days of sunshine a year, which is of course why it’s so popular with families!
Our list below details what to do in Algarve – whether you fancy a dose of culture, an interactive science museum or a fun filled afternoon of bowling, we’ve got you covered. You are looking to spend some holidays in Algarve with your family? Great choice through all seasons.
So are you ready to discover the best things to do in Algarve for families. Let’s go!
1. Castelo de Silves & Archeology Museum
Overall, the pretty town of Silves is a must visit for history buffs. It was the capital of the ancient Arab kingdom of Algarve, and today showcases some of the best preserved architecture from that time including its imposing russet-hued castle. Visitors can walk along the walls of this ancient fortress , admiring incredible views, and see remains from the Arab citadel inside.
Following your visit to the castle, head to Silves Municipal Archaeology Museum, where you can unearth the intriguing past of this historic town. For example, the kids will love looking down into the huge, wide well that the museum is built around.
BabyBreaks Tip: At the museum you can buy a combined ticket for the two attractions to save money.
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 9am – 10pm. Sun 9am-5pm
Museum Address: Rua das Portas de Loulé, 14, 8300-139 Silves, Portugal
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm
2. Centro Ciencia Viva do Algarve
This science museum is designed specifically for children. It has some great interactive exhibits to spark their imagination and encourage their natural curiosity in the world around them.
In addition, there are regular talks, workshops and activities during the school holidays too, covering everything from volcanoes to space travel.
Opening Hours: Tues to Fri 10am – 5pm. Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm
3. Museu de Portimão
A unique museum covering everything from natural history to the industrial revolution. This is a great choice if you’re wondering what to do in Algarve on a rainy day. The museum’s main, permanent exhibition focuses on the Portimão area. And how it developed to become one of the most vital parts of the Algarve’s economy thanks to its prosperous fishing industry.
The museum is located along the river in one of the old sardine canning factories, where generations of families earned a living. Kids will love seeing some of the original machinery and life size figures replicating the production process such as in the gorily named “beheading room”.
Opening Hours: Tues to Sun 10am – 6pm.
4. Hot Shot Bowling & Leisure Centre, Albufeira
If you’re staying in Albuferia then you’ll be pleased to know there are loads of family friendly activities here, including this bowling centre at the marina. As well as the seven lanes of bowling there are arcade games, a pool table, table football, electronic darts and more.
With plenty of refreshments on offer too, this place is sure to keep all ages occupied for an afternoon or evening. Definitely an indoor activity among best things to do in Algarve with families.
Opening Hours: Open daily 11am – 11pm
5. MAR Shopping
This brand new shopping centre aims to be more than just a mall, providing state-of-the art cinema screens with a free supervised play area for children. Children’s activities are happening every Sunday with regular events like live music concerts.
Of course there are also 85 shops and 25 restaurants to explore, so you could definitely while away a few hours here!
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 11pm
The Algarve’s beaches are really its star attraction. Most of the popular tourist resorts have several within walking distance. You’ll be spoiled for choice. However we recommend hiring a car so you can explore the sandy spots along the coast. However the beaches can be windy- great conditions for watersports. So make sure you take extra care if swimming and sunbathing.
Portimão’s Praia da Rocha offers a huge expanse of golden sand and little caves for the kids. It’s relatively sheltered, that is to say ideal for paddling and swimming.
Praia da Falesia is voted one of the best beaches in the world. (Trip Advisor 2018). Above all, its 6km of soft sand is backed by iconic orange cliffs. The sea is amazingly clear, so perfect for snorkelling.
Praia da Luz is a popular spot with families. Thanks to its large sweep of sand backed by cafés and restaurants. It is 6km from Lagos where you’ll find pretty cobbled streets behind sixteenth-century walls.
7. Parque Natural da Ria Formosa
Just east of Faro is this beautiful protected area. Home to a string of deserted islands, an abundance of wildlife and a truly peaceful atmosphere. Visitors must therefore pay a small entrance fee to enter the protected park. You will be given a map and some background info then off you go! Easy walking trails suitable for the whole family, through pine forest, dunes and Roman ruins.
If you want to visit some of the islands, book a boat trip which usually depart from the seaside town of Olhão .
8. Beach Hut Watersports Centre
It wouldn’t be a holiday without some splashing about in the sea, right? This watersport centre on Praia de Luz beach, offers a great range of activities. Including dolphin watching, boat trips to the stunning Benagil caves, renting jet skis and also kayaks.
Got kids aged between 8 and 16 years? Then you can drop them off for a full day of sailing, water skiing and beach games.
Opening Hours: Open Monday to Saturday 9am -6pm
9. Zoomarine Algarve
One of Albufeira’s top attractions. Zoomarine is certainly a fantastic day out for your family. A theme park, water park, zoo and aquarium rolled into one. The kids will love swinging in the Pirate boat or meeting exotic animals. Suitable for all ages.
Opening Hours: Open from March – November. Opening hours vary depending on season, check the website for more details.
10. Parque Aventura
Treetop adventures for 4 years and upwards. This is one of the best things to do in Algarve during your family holidays. With four locations including Albufeira and Lagos. Choose from three different levels depending on your age. On this occasion, you will tackle challenges such as bridges, rope nets and also giant zip lines. Above all, surrounded by the beautiful forest.
Address: Various locations , check website for full details and opening hours of each location.
Ready to check 5 more things to do with kids in Algarve
11. Algarve Aquashow Park
Aquashow Park is a complete aquatic and waterpark attraction for the whole family. Featuring a wave pool, a water coaster, free-fall slides and a topical pool, to name a few features, this wet and wild park has everything you need and more from a family-friendly water park.
12. Slide & Splash Waterpark
With multiple pools, including specific child-friendly pools for younger guests, the Lagoa Splash and Slide Waterpark lets you well, splash and slide. With the Black Hole slide for daredevils and foam slides for all ages, you can spend hours at this all-inclusive family waterpark in the Algarve. Whether relaxing on the lazy river or taking in one of the frequent animal shows, this is the perfect way to cool off in the sun.
13. Minigolf Adventure Park in Albufeira
An 18 hole mini golf course for both children and adults. Set in a stunning location with a centralised water feature and bridge and a waterfall as a backdrop, you can head to the course before relaxing in the bar and restaurant for food and drinks. A perfect way to spend the day for families who like to be active at length.
14. Caves & Dolphin Watching Tour Boat
Cruise along the coast of south Portugal while taking in the signs and looking for dolphins and caves on this 2.5-hour tour. Learn more about the local aquatic wildlife from the onboard marine biologist during your trip. Moreover, you can even take your swimsuit and a towel as there will be an opportunity to stop off for a swim.
A perfect water adventure that starts from Albufeira and one of the best things to do with kids in Algarve.
15. Krazy World Zoo
Here is a fully interactive zoo with a petting farm, a mini-golf course, and animal presentations and has 62 different species for you to visit and learn more about. If your little ones are keen to learn more about different animals of the world and even get up close and personal, The Krazy World Zoo is not to be missed when visiting the Algarve.
16. Vilamoura Tennis & Padel Academy
If tennis isn’t your thing, there are two padel courts and a football field. With 9 full-size tennis courts and 4 mini courts, why not get the whole family practising the game at this full amenity tennis complex. Once you’ve finished playing, you can head to the children’s park and order some food from the onsite pizza restaurant.
17. Aqualand Algarve
Aqualand Algarve is a must-visit when in the area. Water Parks are indeed one of the most popular things to do with kids in Algarve, and this waterpark doesn’t disappoint. With impressive slides and rapids for the thrill-seekers in your party to chill out and laze on the Congo River, you can spend your time in one of the many different zones to experience everything this site offers. Furthermore, head to Surf Beach or take some time away for laps in the Olympic-sized pool. You have plenty of time to do it all.
18. Camera Obscura – Tavira EYE
The Camera Obscura is located in the Tower of Tavira and is Taviras most paid-for attraction. It’s not hard to see why offering 360-degree views of the city; you get to experience this beautiful place from a completely different perspective. Accommodating up to 15 people at a time, this 30-minute tour is guide led and is the perfect chance to stop and catch your breath while taking in some simply breathtaking views at 100 feet above sea level.
19. Santa Bernarda Pirate Ship Cruise
Yo! Ho! Ho! Live out your pirate fantasies with your own day on the seas onboard a real-life pirate ship while you head on some exciting adventures. Set off in the morning’s calm sea on an expedition to find the deep cave of Alfanzina, Smugglers Cave and Cape of Carvoeiro. Enjoy a three-course BBQ feast with drinks on board before starting your journey back to port. Overall, an incredible adventure for everyone to enjoy. Parrot and eye patches are not essential.
20. Zoo de Lagos
Last but not least, Zoo de Lagos has a rich history and has 150 species in naturalistic settings to replicate natural habitats. There are mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians at Zoo de Lagos. For instance, you can see regular animal feedings throughout the day and learn more about the different species in the zoo and how the zoo started its ongoing conservation efforts too. There is an onsite restaurant, and it even has its own beach and “sea” for you to enjoy during your visit.
In conclusion, I hope you have found this guide of the great things to do in Algarve with your kids as useful as possible. As you can imagine, this beautiful Portuguese coastline is blessed with gorgeous beaches. You can enjoy all year round sunshine and certainly plenty of family accommodation and activities too.
Some of the most popular places for families to stay, include Portimão for stunning Praia da Rocha beach. Also Lagos for its pretty cobbled streets behind sixteenth-century walls. Carvoeiro – an idyllic cliff-top town with amazing views. If you have time, consider spending a day in Faro, the region’s capital. You can indeed explore its fantastic restaurants, architecture and famous fish market designed by Gustav Eiffel.
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