While the idea of a winter picnic may conjure images of icy fingers clutching at a warm thermos as you huddle like penguins to keep the heat in, it’s safe to say that when that winter picnic’s in the Algarve, that’s certainly not what you can expect.
Picture the brightest blue sky framing vibrant palm trees that stretch up to meet the sun’s warming rays. Sometimes the air can be crisp, but you won’t need more than a light coat or thick jumper to keep you comfortable as you explore the hills, valleys, villages, and watery wonders of the inland Algarve, straying away from better-known tourist beaches into the best of the region’s vibrant nature.
Ready to find out the best spots in the Algarve for a picnic sure to tick every box, whether for family fun, a romantic getaway, or an exciting adventure?
Algarve Waterfalls you won’t want to miss
Though it’s known for its beaches and resorts, the Algarve is home to some fantastic natural wonders, among them gorgeous waterfalls. However, the scorching summer sun often means smaller streams and waterfalls dry up come springtime, which means they’re best enjoyed in autumn and winter!
Queda do Vigário
Nestled in the hills of the central Algarve, in the quaint village of Alte, this stream of water comes pouring down from a considerable height of 24 metres, forming a glistening pool at its base. A nice lawn provides a perfect picnic location only steps away, though the Queda do Vigário waterfall is a short walk from the road, down a dirt track, so make sure you don’t pack too heavy!
While in Alte, check out the stream that flows through the village itself and follow it up to Fonte Grande, where another lovely picnic location awaits next to a wide canal perfect for paddling in on sunnier days.
Pego do Inferno
Over towards the Algarve’s eastern edge lies Pego do Inferno, a slightly shorter waterfall but no less beautiful. Only 10 minutes from Tavira, up the Gilão River, water cascades into a perfectly round pool surrounded almost entirely by rocks and rich foliage. An excellent location to explore the rich landscape down hidden paths, you’ll find more than one waterfall in the surrounding area, so why not spend the day exploring until you find the perfect picnic spot to refuel?
Picnic by an Algarve Reservoir
Dubbed a hidden Paradise in the Silves hills, inland from Armação de Pêra, are the Arade and Funcho dams and reservoirs. Home to several picnic areas with breathtaking views, picnic tables, lawns, and lots of parking space, the entire area is littered with picture-perfect picnic spots. Between the reservoirs, which, though man-made, could easily be mistaken for unspoiled nature, you’ll find the Iberian Lynx Observation and Reproduction Centre, as well as walking trails with views over rolling hills and the twists and turns of the bodies of water.
The Estômbar Springs
A little-known fact about the Algarve is that it is home to a host of natural springs, one of the most famous of which are in Estômbar, near Portimão. With the water from the natural spring now channelled into a large pool, the municipal park makes for a very pleasant day out, with a picnic area near the pool boasting communal barbecues, plenty of wooden tables and benches, and a spacious lawn perfect for a relaxing day out enjoying the water and exploring the natural surroundings.
Whether you pick up some fresh bread to fill with chorizo, are ready to throw some sardines on the barbecue, or get a takeaway from a restaurant on the way, any of these spots are idyllic for a sunny winter picnic, promising a memorable, relaxing day out as you explore the real Algarve.