The best nightlife in the Algarve
The Algarve's nightlife is fantastic, with bars and clubs staying open well into the early hours – and the promise of a pink sunrise on the beach at the end of the night. With incredible views, great music, and fiery cocktails galore, there are lively spots along the coast where DJs fly in throughout the summer to host events, and a friendly young crowd come to party. The Algarve's bars and clubs are very informal, so there's no need to worry about dress codes or tickets unless mentioned below.
For further Algarve inspiration, see our guides to the city's best hotels, restaurants, drives, things to do and beaches.
The cool Purobeach concept, which originated in Majorca, has now found its way to the Algarve. At the Tivoli Marina Vilamoura, a dazzling white Purobeach restaurant has opened on the sand – serving light bites such as chicken quesadillas and fish tacos. The dancing begins as the sun sinks. Just behind the restaurant you'll find Purobeach Vilamoura Poolside, where you can soak in the swimming pool and sip champagne while DJs play blissed-out beats.
Boneca Bar, Carvoeiro
This little restaurant and bar, located right at the sea’s edge, is an idyllic spot from which to watch the sunset. The cocktail list features classics such as Sex on the Beach – as well as margaritas, caipirinhas and daiquiris. For dinner, stand-out dishes include fresh sole and grilled sardines, T-bone steaks and chicken piri-piri.
Contact: 00 351 282 358 391; Facebook page
Opening times: Daily, 10am-10pm, closed Nov to Mar
This Cuban-inspired cocktail bar in pretty white-washed Carvoeiro is a great place to meet friends in the evening. It offers well-priced cocktails, a wide choice of local wines by the glass, and tasty bar snacks such as chilli beef burritos and tortillas with mozzarella and dips. Rather than the typical television blaring football matches in the corner, here you have cosy window seats to relax in – and a backdrop of house music. From June to September, there is a Happy Hour from 6pm-8pm.
Contact: 00 351 914 448 106; Facebook page
Opening times: Daily, 7pm-late, Apr to Oct
Lounge Bar, Rei das Praias
Tiny and exclusive, this sophisticated rooftop bar is located atop the lovely Rei das Praias restaurant on Caneiros beach – one of the prettiest in this part of the Algarve. Champagne is a popular tipple, but in-the-know visitors order the zesty gin-based mojito with orange, lime and tomato. The list of Portuguese wines is excellent too. Snacks come in the form of plates of local presunto (ham), shrimps with mayonnaise, and slices of sheep’s cheese. The crimson sunsets are worth the journey alone.
For a drink with an incredible view, look no further than Skybar – which must have one of the most beautiful panoramas in the entire Algarve. Overlooking the sea and the limestone cliffs which form a perfect arch in the waters, the rooftop watering hole – atop Tivoli Carvoeiro Hotel – serves a heady cocktail list. Many drinks draw on the ingredients of the Algarve, such as the Je Suis Marlene: a mix of gin, green chartreuse, grapefruit, lime, bitters and local eucalyptus. It's a popular spot for sunset parties, with live music and finger food too.
If you want to dance on the beach with the sand between your toes, this is the place for you. Caniço is a bar with a difference, sandwiched between the cliffs next to a pretty cove, and reached by an elevator from the clifftop. During the regular live music and party nights, a DJ sets up on the sand – tide permitting – and you can dance 'til the small hours. Take your pick from sangria, a wide range of Portuguese wines, and the list of classic cocktails.
No Solo Agua
This popular beach bar runs right along the water's edge in Portimão marina. It's open all day, with a pool, sun loungers and food. In high season there is an entrance fee (from €8 [£7] in May up to €15 [£13] in August), and a string of high profile musical events in the evenings. International DJs pull in the crowds at monthly events, and there's live music every Wednesday.
Bar at Bela Vista
In summer, head for Bela Vista's terrace: it overlooks the beach, and is a glorious setting for sundowners. In winter, enjoy the historic interiors: this one of the oldest bars in the Algarve, with an ornately painted ceiling. Whatever the season, you'll want to order the house cocktail, Mare Nostrum ('the sea is ours') – a concoction of gin, curaҁao, lime juice, honey syrup, rosemary and bitter lemon created by the Michelin-starred chef. Or, choose from the wine list of 460 bottles, paired with tasty local tapas.