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Monte Gordo Algarve Review – Everything You Need to Visit

Are you looking for a holiday in the Algarve?

Monte Gordo Algarve is a wonderful beach resort.

It’s close to the Spanish border making it ideal for trips there as well as exploring the Algarve coastline.

Check out this Monte Gordo review including everything you need to plan your visit.

Monte Gordo Algarve – Summary of Visit

1 = Poor, 5 = ExcellentComments
Personal Safety 5Felt safe walking everywhere
Scenery5Beautiful beach
Friendly People5Very friendly welcome & departure
Weather420 degrees
Getting There5Flights to Faro from Glasgow Prestwick
Facilities4Spa, pool, parking, gym
Value for Money4
Hotel Cost£400Junior suite, half board, flights, 4 nights (2 people), hire car
Date of StayNovember 2022
Why Visit?Great beaches, popular resort with locals
Monte Gordo Review, Summary of Visit

Is Monte Gordo lively?

Yes, it is very lively at the height of the season when it is full of visitors in July and August. Out of season, it is much quieter, with many of the cafes and restaurants closed in the winter months.

getting there

Monte Gordo Algarve

Flying from Glasgow Prestwick to Faro Airport with Ryanair

Glasgow Prestwick is a budget airport that is 33 miles away from Glasgow itself. It is on the coast near Ayr. There are two main car parks, one next to the terminal and one just another short walk away. If you need to drop off or pick someone up from the airport entrance there is still a charge to use the car park. Tickets are dispensed on entry and the payment terminal is opposite the main airport building.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is pretty basic. There is one bar before security, one security lane, and then one bar/cafe through security. This can get quite busy as it is really the only place to wait for flights. There is also a WHSmith bookshop.

Ryanair has a strict one bag policy for those just booking standard seats. The bag size must be 40cm x 25cm x 20cm and it must fit under the seat in front of you.

Ryanair doesn’t have seat pockets making it difficult to have things like books, magazines, or tablets with you. There is an onboard flight service with hot food, drinks, and snacks. This is payable only by card – Ryanair is a cashless airline.

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Monte Gordo Reviews

Landing at Faro Airport

Faro Airport is a very easy airport to use. Passport control is generally quite quick, although it was a quieter time of year to travel. After passport control is a large baggage hall and then out into the main airport building.

The airport building is a semi-circular shape with a selection of cafes and shops both before and after security, including a very popular cafe outside.

Check out all the facilities at Faro Airport

getting around

Car Hire Monte Gordo

Getting from Faro Airport to Monte Gordo

The cheapest transfer price was 160 Euros (both ways) so a hire car was a much cheaper option.

The cost of hiring a car that was offsite (ie. not in the main airport terminal) was 80 Euros less than hiring a car onsite. We hired a car from OK Mobility as it was the cheapest. We found it very difficult to understand the directions to the shuttle bus so we ended up getting a taxi. The shuttle bus goes from just near the Travellers Restaurant which is outside the main airport building. If you are facing Travellers with the airport behind you the shuttle bus goes from the left-hand side where there are a couple of benches.

Collecting the car was straightforward. We hired a Fiat 500 hybrid. It had a sunroof and USB charging points.

(Check out my guide to Excess Car Hire Insurance policy to save money when hiring a car)

Monte Gordo Algarve

Getting from Faro Airport to Monte Gordo

If you are hiring a car in the Algarve and planning to travel on the motorway (the A22) you need to pay around 7 Euros extra for the tag in the car which automatically pays the motorway tolls. These are then charged back to your credit card at the end of the car hire period.

It is 62km from Faro Airport to Monte Gordo via the A22. This is easy to reach from Faro Airport – just follow the signs for Spain!

Holidays to Monte Gordo

Monte Gordo Location

Monte Gordo is located in the Algarve region of Portugal. It is 62km East of Faro and is very close to the Spanish border.

weather info

Monte Gordo Weather

Current Weather in Monte Gordo

Average Weather Temperatures for Monte Gordo

Monte Gordo Algarve

What’s It Like?

Monte Gordo is a tourist resort, mainly aimed at Portuguese holidaymakers. There are lots of holiday flats, apartments, and hotels too.

Monte Gordo has a very large and very long sandy beach which is one of the reasons it is so popular. The beach has sun loungers available for hire.

Monte Gordo has a beach boardwalk area with lots of cafes and restaurants along it. Set back from the beach boardwalk is a promenade with more cafes and a few small gardens and play parks. Set further back again is the main road running the length of Monte Gordo which has sea-view cafes, restaurants, shops, and accommodation along it.

Monte Gordo also has several streets in the town centre which have shops, cafes, and restaurants – it feels like a small ‘old town’ area.

In terms of attractions the beach is the main focus in Monte Gordo. There are some walking trails through some nearby woodlands.

monte gordo algarve beach the professional traveller
Monte Gordo Beach
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Monte Gordo Hotels

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Prime Energise Hotel because we got a great deal on a suite with half board.

Monte Gordo Holidays

Monte Gordo Old Town & Shops

Close to the Prime Energise Hotel was a Spar convenience store. It was easy to reach by taking a right out of the hotel, bearing left, and going straight ahead through a car park.

Next to the Spar is a bakery that does lovely coffee and amazing cakes

There are also gift shops, a Chinese restaurant, and a tobacconist shop.

Beside the Spar is a small street that has a selection of cafes, shops, and restaurants along it as well as a small market area.

The old town makes for a pleasant walk with some nice cafes and shops to stop at along the way.

Monte Gordo Beach

The beach is wide and sandy. There is a consistent wind coming off the Atlantic.

Beach area – cafes, most of the cafes closed. Little bar near fishing boats 1.70 Euros for a coffee, boardwalk

monte gordo beach cafe
Watching the fishing boats bring in their catch with a lovely coffee
things to do

Monte Gordo Things to Do

Visit Vila Real De Santa Antonio

Vila Real De Santa Antonio is the next time East of Monte Gordo. It is quite a pretty town, especially the older central part which runs West from the Guardina River which forms the border between Spain and Portugal.

There are some pleasant cafes and shops along the riverside and also in the town centre.

There is a pier that looks like it would give a great view over the Algarve and Spanish coastlines. However, the potholes were too much for our hire car so we had to turn back.

Take the A22 and International Bridge to Spain

From Vila Real, you can cross the International Bridge, which is on the A22 motorway, and go to Spain. You can see the old border checkpoint.

Huelva is the first town you will come to. This is a small fishing-type town with some narrow streets.

Visit Beautiful Tavira

Tavira is 20km West of Monte Gordo. It is a pretty town with a central square alongside the river. There are pleasant cafes, shops, and restaurants to enjoy as well.

One of the great features of Tavira is the market building. There are a variety of local food stalls inside. The market is open until 1 pm each weekday. There is free parking right beside the market and cafes and snack bars nearby.

Check out things to do in Tavira.

Go to Barril Beach Santa Luz

Barril Beach is a wide sandy beach. There is free parking on the road which is to the West of Tavira near Santa Luzia. There is also a paid car parking area.

To reach Barril Beach there is a footpath, that runs alongside the railway track. There is also a train service to save the walk. The fare is 3.60 Euros return and there is a ticket machine that takes cash or card. There are some great views from the train.

On arrival at Barril Beach, there are several cafes and a couple of small shops. There are also public toilets.

There is a small museum, loungers to hire, and a lifeguard point.

Read more about Barril Beach on Tripadvisor

monte gordo route to barril
Taking the train across to Barril Beach

Visit Homem Nu (Nudist Beach)

To reach the nudist beach turn right out of the cafe area and walk around 1200 metres. There is no sign marking the start of the nudist beach, just naked people.

Some people stay out on the main beach area and some tuck themselves in between the dunes.

barril beach the professional traveller
No sign marking the start of the nudist beach just look for naked people!
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Eating Out in Monte Gordo

O Patinho

This was a small restaurant with great reviews. It looks more like a takeaway. The right-hand side of the building is a takeaway area and the left-hand side is a restaurant. There is a small menu with only 5 or so options for meat and the same for fish. Everything was freshly cooked. It was delicious and quite reasonable. It was the best meal of our stay.

o pathinho the professional traveller monte gordo
Oh my goodness – the most amazing sardines!

Monte Gordo Conclusion

  • Monte Gordo is a holiday resort focussed around the beach. It’s more popular with Portuegese folk than visitors from overseas.
  • The beach is beautiful, wide and sandy with a lovely promenade and plenty beach side cafes
  • Monte Gordo is a great base if you want to explore Spain and Portugal
  • If you are looking for a lovely beach based resort which gives easy access to Spain as well as Portugal then Monte Gordo is a great option.
monte gordo holiday enquiry

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Is Monte Gordo Worth Visiting? – Yes and Here’s Why

Prime Energise Hotel Review – 4 star hotel in Monte Gordo

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Further Reading

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