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Discovering the Allure of Algarve with Tivoli Hotels & Resorts: A Journey into Southern Portugal’s Vibrant Beauty

Tivoli hotel at Algarve

Courtesy of Tivoli Hotels & Resorts

Culture, cuisine, and captivating scenery. Portugal’s Algarve region charms.

Lsbon is lovely. Sintra is seductive. And the Algarve is…alive. This southernmost Portugal region is one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations thanks to miles of sandy beaches, dramatic coastline cliffs and an abundance of golf courses. Adding to the area’s vibrancy are innumerable small towns, charming fishing villages, authentic cuisine and an energetic, cosmopolitan atmosphere that inspires. A visit to the Iberian Peninsula isn’t complete without the exploration of this historic province.

Tivoli Hotels & Resorts provides the ultimate guide through Portugal. With its Timeless Tour, Tivoli offers travelers a guided, deep dive into the best of Portuguese culture, history and cuisine. Tailored to individual interests, the tour weaves its way through cosmopolitan Lisbon to The Algarve, where a mild year-round climate provides 300 days of sunshine annually, and where clear, turquoise water is framed by sugary white sand beaches. Here, Tivoli’s two spectacular resorts provide ideal home bases for exploration. 

My bespoke Algarve journey led to the resort town of Vilamoura, where a yacht-filled marina plays host to Europe’s beau monde. Lined with lively restaurants, bars and boutiques, Vilamoura is Spain’s equivalent to the Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo marina, where bon vivants gather to toast the good life. The modern Tivoli Marina Vilamoura rises over both the harbor and the ocean and is the region’s chicest hospitality option. My 9th floor, ocean view room had me gazing upon the massive pool and the popular Purobeach club, where during warmer months, an al fresco DJ spins popular tunes for sunbathers. Many choose the alternative marina view, preferring the energetic buzz to the calming influence of the Atlantic.

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Vilamoura Marina

Fran Miller

While the marina offers innumerable dining and imbibing options, Tivoli Marina Vilamoura guests don’t need to venture out to enjoy the best in local libations. The hotel’s Argo Cocktail Bar offers a refined setting to enjoy its “Argologists” intriguing mixology; these creatives reimagine classic cocktails, concocting new libations with exotic ingredients inspired by journeys along the ancient spice routes. 

Dinner at the resort’s Pepper’s Steakhouse features prime cuts sourced from around the world, seafood from across the waters and an extensive wine list presented by a knowledgeable sommelier. On my second night at the resort, my Timeless Tour included a candlelit dinner in the Presidential Suite complete with a live, bossa nova music serenade.

Excursions included a visit to the small, historic town of Loulé where a guide toured me through the Loulé Market and the Loulé Criativo local craftsmanship exhibition, featuring a number of hand-crafted items ideal for souvenirs and gifts. I explored the town’s 12th century Islamic bath ruins, was awed by the stunning tile work within the Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Conceição chapel and enjoyed lunch at Taberna Poço d’Almancil where famed Portuguese owner and chef Lúcia Ribeiro creates traditional, soul-warming, regional dishes paired with local wines.

Chef Lúcia Ribeiro

Chef Lúcia Ribeiro. Photo by Jessica Van Dop DeJesus

My next stop was the Algarve’s rocky Vale Covo coastline, where Tivoli Carvoeiro perches high above the water. Oriented for spectacular ocean views, Tivoli Carvoeiro is an adventurer’s dream, featuring access to the miles long, ICONIC Seven Hanging Valleys walking trail. My personal Timeless Tour guide led me to the most outstanding vantage points where the karst landscape revealed coves, carved arches and islets all formed by the sea’s endless undulations.

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This resort is also a gourmand’s dream. During high season, locals and hotel guests gather at the rooftop Sky Bar for music, craft cocktails and fresh sushi. And the hotel’s The One Restaurant, well-known as one of the region’s best, provides an outstanding dining experience where each course conveys the Algarve’s unique story through exceptional flavors, textures, and aromas. Superlative wine pairings place an emphasis on regional varietals.

Tivoli Carvoeiro Pool

Courtesy of Tivoli Hotels & Resorts

Rooms at Tivoli Carvoeiro overlook the large swimming pool, which overlooks the craggy golden cliffs and echoes the blues and aquas of the calm ocean. As sailboats and kayaks drifted past, in search of the hollows and caves that line the famed 125 mile shore, I made a mental plan to someday return, knowing I’d only scratched The Algarve’s surface. But what a lovely surface indeed.

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