Originally posted by Ragnorak
Hmmm, hard to say what I'm looking for. I'll have an 11 month old baby with me, and will mostly be looking to relax. Mostly, I guess, I'm just looking for that "You can't miss such and such" tip.
It's hard to say. For me, it's not the type of place for going for a few days... Praia da Luz is a good base for relaxing beach holidays (say, 1 or 2 weeks) as there are some nice beaches around and you can drive to several different ones if you feel like changing the scenario.
Ponta da Piedade (near Lagoa) is quite nice:
The Algarve was a superb place, but nowadays it is in great part ruined by tourism. Avoid places like Quarteira, Albufeira, Vilamoura or Armação de Pera like the plague.
In terms of historical sites there's really not that much interesting stuff. Sagres/Cabo S. Vicente is ok if the sea is particularly rough (if huge waves on cliffs are your thing), but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it.
Perhaps if you don't feel like going to the beach and like castles, try going inland up to Silves. Silves is still (or at least was some 6 years ago) pretty much untouched by tourism, so you'll have a taste of the 'real' Algarve.
For eating, your best bet is to ask around. I know a great 'Marisqueira' (a place to eat seafood & drink beer) in Portimão, but I forgot the name... If you feel like eating outside near the sea, the food won't be as good as in some Restaurants in the villages. It will most likely still be good, but it's a bit of a gamble with the tourist traps. Kind of a trade-off there. If you see ''Ameijoas à Bolhão Pato' in a menu, don't hesitate, ORDER IT.
Like I said, I'm from the other side of the country so I might not the best person to recommend you stuff.