Algarve Regional Info (App Version)
The Algarve, Portugal with its endless beaches, beautiful coastline and wonderful climate is the perfect holiday destination. Rich in history, the quaint and the luxurious side by side, the Algarve's natural beauty, great food and warm welcome charms all visitors and keeps them coming back for more.
The Algarve enjoys over 3000 hours of sunshine per year, with hot, sunny summers and mild, sunny winters. There are on average just 50 rainy days per year, usually between November and February.
The Algarve has around 200kms of coastline - ochre cliffs, sea caves, dunes, lagoons and miles of fine sandy beaches, with over 80 beaches flying the Blue Flag, awarded for excellence in water quality, safety, and environmental management.
Cape St. Vincent, next to Sagres in the western Algarve, is the most South Westerly point in Europe and in times past was considered the end of the world. The powerful beams from the Cape St. Vincent lighthouse can be seen from a distance of 60kms.
Portugal accounts for about 50% of the world's cork production. And the best cork is from the Algarve. Portuguese cork is used by leading brands such as Moet Chandon and Rolls Royce, by Airbus and NASA.
The Algarve is a great sports destination with over 30 golf courses, several tennis academies, a 300km hiking trail, a 214km biking trail, the largest underwater artificial reef in the world and superb conditions for all types of watersports including surfing.
The Algarve is Portugal’s most Southern province and has been blessed with more than its fair share of natural beauty. The South and West coasts are washed by the Atlantic, while towards the North the gentle rolling hills are dotted with pine trees, olive groves and cork trees. One of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, the Algarve has a unique charm that is due in part to the wonderfully relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, that brightens the heart of even the most weary of travellers. The locals say “Tás bem no Algarve” which loosely translates as “Life is good in the Algarve”. And it is.
The West Algarve exerts an elemental attraction on all who visit. The majestic Atlantic is a constant presence – the waves providing the backing soundtrack, the long, pristine beaches of the Costa Vicentina and endless horizon drawing the eye. Surfers flock to Sagres and the West Coast beaches, foodies swoon with the simple yet utterly delicious food, and beach bums linger on the pretty cove beaches near Lagos. The hills of Monchique are lushly green even in the heat of summer and visiting the Moorish town of Silves is living a day in history. In the West Algarve small villages turned resorts abound, the seafood is fresh and delicious, life is simple and uncluttered. And the surf is almost always up.
From Armação de Pêra to Faro, the Central Algarve is busier and brasher than its neighbours to the East and West. The luxurious Golden Triangle is here, with sleek and luxurious real estate, chic resorts and impeccable golf courses. Yachts glisten in the sun at Vilamoura and Albufeira marinas. There is a huge range of things to do in Central Algarve, as well as a great choice of eateries and bars to suit just about every taste. Faro, the Algarve's main city is in Central Algarve. There is much more to Faro than just the airport - the old town centre is well worth exploring. And don't forget the amazing Ria Formosa Natural Park - a huge expanse of lagoons, sandbanks and islands, home to a wide variety of marine life, sea birds and humans.
From Faro to the Spanish border, the East Algarve is quite different to Central and West Algarve. The landscape, less overtly dramatic than the West, is somehow reassuring in its understated beauty of gently undulating hills, sturdy cork trees, red earth and white washed houses against a blue sky. There are many charming and tiny villages scatterd across this area, as well as the delicious surprise that is Tavira - a church bejewelled town with a Roman bridge and ancient castle. The Ria Formosa is all around you here, creating a unique and enchanting landscape and water taxis are required to get to the beach. Still the Atlantic, but moving towards the Mediterranean, the water temperature in the East Algarve is usually a few degrees warmer than in the West.