A typical old-fashioned market town setting
A representation of the distinct feel to expect in this mediterranean setting
A typical cobbled street you would expect to see in an Algarve town
The cleanly kept docks
Clean beaches with their warm water complimented by the Mediterranean climate
The perfect setting for a picturesque evening view of the sunrise
Staying in the Algarve
The Algarve is the name of the southern coast of Portugal, incorporating, amongst others, the towns of Faro, Lagos, and Sagres. The region's administrative centre is the town of Faro, which has its own international airport.
The Algarve is composed of 5,411 square kilometres with approximately 350,000 permanent inhabitants. The Algarve is a popular destination for tourism, primarily because of its clean beaches with their warm water, Mediterranean climate, safe and low costs. The length of the south-facing coastline is approximately 155 kilometres and stretches about 52 kilometres to the north on the west.
The coastline is also notable for picturesque limestone caves and grottoes, particularly around Lagos, which are accessible by powerboat. Praia da Marinha, Lagoa was classified as one of the 100 most beautiful and well preserved beaches of the world.
The Algarve is bordered by the Bay of Cádiz to the south, the Atlantic to the West, the region of the Alentejo to the north and the Spanish province of Huelva to the east.It is a hilly area, with fertile valleys, being in particular split by the Ria Formosa which empties into the sea at Faro.
Food & Leisure in the Algarve
Albufeira fish markets open every morning, displaying a great variety of fish from the local waters and buyers will be treated to the very meaning of fresh seafood. Alternatively on Saturday mornings experience the fruit and veg markets where country villagers come to sell their wares including figs, peaches, nectarines, almonds and walnuts - plus an array of local produce that will delight the senses.
If that all sounds a bit like hard work then the area boasts an array of cosmopolitan eating. From 5 star restaurants to quaint boutique cafés and a good fresh coffee is never far off.
Golf: The Algarve boasts over 100 golf courses. The Algarve is Europe's favourite golfing destination for it's many worldclass golf courses, excellent amenities and warm and dry playing conditions. Each golf course offers a unique design taking advantage of the local landscape allowing the golfer a challenging yet pleasurable game.
Zoomarine : Located a 10 minute drive East of Albufeira, Zoomarine in a unique aquatic theme park with a firm emphasis on environmental preservation and education.
There were Phoenician trading ports in the Algarve three thousand years ago, and the Carthaginians founded Portus Hanibalis, modern Portimão, in the sixth century BC.
The Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula in the second century BC took in the Algarve, and there are important Roman remains in Lagos. The Visigoths took the area in the fifth century, being expelled by the Moors in 716.
It was the latter who named the region Al-Gharb, the country of the west, and they occupied it for longer than any other part of Portugal. Alfonso III finally took the Algarve from the Moors in 1250 (so completing the reconquest of Portugal).
In the fifteenth century, Henry the Navigator used the Algarve as the jumping-off point for the voyages of discovery which laid the foundations of the Portuguese Empire. He established an important school of navigation at Sagres, and made Lagos a ship-building centre.
But the Portuguese capital was in Lisbon, to which most of the colonial wealth went, and the Algarve entered a period of economic decline. The great earthquake of 1755 which destroyed much of Lisbon hit the Algarve hard as well, and the subsequent reconstruction left many of its towns with a distinctive, rationalist architectural style. Nothing would have such a sweeping effect on the region until the tourist boom of the nineteen sixties and seventies.