The Algarve is continental Portugal’s southernmost region, bathed by the Atlantic sea at its western and southern limits. It was from the Algarve, at Sagres Point, that Prince Henry “The Navigator” launched the Portuguese Age of Maritime Discoveries in the mid 1400’s. Best known for its amazing soft climate, with plenty of sun throughout the year, this region’s very pleasant weather allows you to discover its gorgeous coastline against which the ocean presents itself with all colours available in the blue spectre. Almost always calm and warm, it invites for a long swim or to try some nautical sports. Most of the 4 million tourists that travel to the Algarve each year enter through Faro’s Airport.
A Natural Park since 1987, the Ria Formosa is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal not to be missed during your holidays or relocation in the Algarve.
Encompassing 18 000 hectares, this sizeable system of lagoons and islands stretches for 60km along the Algarve coastline from west of Garrão Beach (Faro) to Manta Rota (Cacela Velha), and it's composed of a labyrinth of islands (Deserta, Culatra, Armona, Tavira and Cabanas). It encloses a vast area of sapal (marsh), Salinas (salt pans), creeks and dune islands. The marshes are an important area for migrating and nesting birds. You can see a huge variety of wading birds, along with ducks, shorebirds, gulls and terns. It's the favoured nesting place of the little tern and the rare purple gallinule. See some Boat Tours to Ria Formosa HERE >
One of the Algarve's – and Portugal's – most emblematic sights, this huge natural seaside cave has a hole in its ceiling through which streaming sunlit illuminates the sandstone and beach below. The only way to access the interior is via the water. You can do a boat tour trip there and along the Carvoeiro coast, or hire a Kayak and SUPs (stand-up paddleboards) to paddle here yourself. Swimming to the caves is discouraged due to strong tides and currents, and high watercraft traffic. If you take a boat trip from Portimão, make sure you pass by Ferraguro (a fisherman's village), one of the most charming places in the Algarve.
Often considered the best golf destination in the world by sports magazines and international associations of specialized tour operators, the Algarve lives up to this distinction while maintaining quality to the fullest.
With a privileged climate that allows playing throughout the whole year and a great diversity of fields, almost four dozen, the region is the paradise of the golfers. Most of the fields are set in preserved areas with stunning views. They are internationally recognized for the quality of their facilities, in which the architecture is signed by prestigious players and legendary champions such as Sir Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore, Arnold Palmer and Ronald Frea. In addition to all this, a diverse network of hotels and good accessibility, ranging from direct flights to destinations around the world to the ease of transfers between Faro International Airport and various resorts. If you need a transfer, please accept our recommendation for Portugal Airport Transfer company, which allows you to book your transfer directly on their website in the most simple and convenient way.
A century before Christ, the waters of Monchique were already used to cure the tiredness of the body and the mind by the Romans, who called it "sacred waters", as evidenced by numerous and important archaeological finds found in the adjacent areas of the Monchique springs.
From the southwest coast near Aljezur to the east end near Vila Real de Santo António are about 200 kilometres of very diverse beaches. Most of them have good safety and quality conditions recognized by the blue flag of Europe, with equipment that guarantees sport and fun. Many are beautiful sandy beaches that offer idyllic settings for romantic moments, and others are close to nightlife venues, sought after by those who do not give up music and dancing on vacation. But there are also almost deserted beaches, where nature is preserved in a practically wild state.
There are a large number of beaches accessible to people with mobility difficulties and many have even equipment that allow everyone to enjoy the sea baths. And there are also beaches reserved for naturists, and others that are rarely frequented have areas in which this practice is tolerated.
The main public transportation system available in the Algarve is the BUS network, however, be prepared to find a Bus system quite different from what you have back home. The main company for inter-city buses is EVA. They connect most of the Algarve’s cities and travel to Lisbon and Spain as well. For more information, visit their timetables for all routes.
As for the Faro urban routes, there is a new bus company named Próximo that covers the whole city as their map shows. When you arrive at the Faro airport, you can catch one of Proximo’s buses to the centre of Faro and then catch an EVA bus or the CP train to another city. The train line connects Lagos to Vila Real de Santo António, as you can see on this line’s timetable on the CP website.
The Algarve offers 3000 hours of sun per year and a weak average precipitation rate. Winter exists but is normally short, rainy and soft, with temperatures going from 10ºC (min) to 18ºC (max) on average. Spring is always uncertain in terms of rain, but temperatures normally go from 12ºC (min) to 22ºC (max). Summer in the Algarve is long, hot and dry, extends from the middle of May to the end of September, with temperatures oscillating between 19ºC (min) and 30ºC (max), on average. In the interior is much hotter than at the coastline. The highest ever recorded temperature in the Algarve was 44ºC at the Faro Airport region in July 2004. Autumn normally begins with the first rains of October and an average temperature drop to about 16ºC (min) and 25ºC (max).
Portugal may not have had the same media attention like Spain or Italy or France in Europe, but it’s gastronomy is world renown and all portuguese locals know the true value of a proper meal paired with the right wine and wih the best table with friends and family. The Algarve is no exception to them and neither to you. Dive into the local dishes and let yourself be blown away in the Algarve. Here follow a few of our recommendations for a few fantastic dinning and bar experiences in the Algarve:
- 2 Passos Restaurant
- Casa do Lago
- Morgadinho Restaurant
- Pezinhos na Areia
- Faz Gostos
- Blanco Beach
- Sky Bar Carvoeiro
Faro International Airport (FAO) opened on July 11, 1965, and is located just 4 km from the city of Faro in the parish of Montenegro in the Algarve. It is currently the third largest airport in terms of traffic in Portugal just after Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon) and Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (Porto). Currently, most of the movements registered at the Faro International Airport are due to the large increase in the low-cost connections, increasing its influence in the southwestern corner of the country. To cope with increased traffic, the airport has been expanded and substantially modernised in recent years featuring now a track with 2,490 meters of length and 45 of width by which can receive all types of aeroplanes.
From the southwest coast near Aljezur to the east end near Vila Real de Santo António are about 200 kilometres of very diverse beaches. If you’re looking for less known and less explored beaches, between golden cliffs, we suggest you visit the Amoreira, Monte Clérigo, Arrifana or Carrapateira beaches, on the Algarve’s west coast. Further south you can also find this type of beach in Porto de Mós, Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo, Alvor, Vau or Carvoeiro. If you’re looking for more cosmopolitan beaches, near the cities with plenty of nightlife entertainment options for after the beach, you can choose from Praia da Rocha, in Portimão, or Praia da Galé and Praia da Oura, in Albufeira. You also have resort beaches like Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, with a more glamorous environment. If you like to walk on the beach, you can find extensive beaches perfect for families with children in Cabanas, Manta Rota, Altura, Praia Verde and Monte Gordo.
One of the most fun things to do on your holiday is shopping in the Algarve. The best thing about shopping in the Algarve are the opening hours. From early morning till late in the evening the shops are open. So whether you are looking for new bathers before hitting the beach, an easy shop break after lunch or dinner, the international, Portuguese and designer stores are there to please you. In most of the centers of the main cities and towns such as Faro, Albufeira and Lagos, you will find an array of shops. However, there are three important shopping areas that are most worth the visit. They are MAR Shopping Algarve, Forum Algarve and Aqua Portimão. In these shopping malls you will find a wide selection of shops, restaurants and a cinema. Also in these shopping malls entertainment is key, with many (musical) events that are hosted. Find out all the secrets about shopping in the Algarve.
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