Head west on cheap holidays to the Algarve

It's still possible to find cheap holidays to the Algarve but it needs a little planning. You can make considerable savings by applying a little logic and avoiding the peak season. Bargains can also be found if you arrange your own itinerary and avoid the major resorts. There are beautiful undeveloped beaches to be found in the western Algarve.

Plan ahead for the best savings

Your starting point when researching cheap holidays to the Algarve is getting the best deal on your flights. With several budget and charter airlines serving Faro airport from many UK cities, it is often possible to find return flights for under £100 if you book well ahead.

If you are looking for a basic family holiday, investigate the costs of all-inclusive packages with tour companies, or even with airlines like EasyJet and Jet2. If you are happy to eat your meals in the hotel every day, this can be a very economical option.

For those planning their own itineraries, it makes sense to head away from the developments that stretch along the coast around Faro.

Head west to the unspoiled towns of Lagos and Sagres. These medieval ports were the base for exploration of the New World 500 years ago, and still have plenty of atmosphere. Cheap hotels and apartments are readily available. The local surfer scene also means there are plenty of bars, cafes and inexpensive diners.

Alternatively, push eastwards almost to the Spanish border, where you will find the charming and unassuming town of Tavira, clustered around its river harbour. A ferry takes you out to the pristine Atlantic beach, stretching along the spit of Ilha da Tavira. There's a family campsite here (campingtavira.com) or cheap and comfortable hotels in town.

Forget the hire car

Save even more on your cheap holidays to the Algarve by not bothering with a hire car. Use the inexpensive coastal railway service that connects Faro to Tavira in the east and Lagos in the west. Buses take you further west to Sagres or over the Spanish border as far as Seville, ensuring no shortage of potential excursions.

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