algarve.jpgPortugal’s southernmost coastline, where the sea is warm and calm.

The Algarve has so much to offer. The sea is warm, the climate is wonderful and the holiday villages, hotels and luxury resorts are superb places to stay. And the small fishing villages – such as Santa Luzia, in Tavira – and the small port of Sagres are idyllic and peaceful.

The Algarve’s beaches meanwhile are among the best in the world. And there is so much variety to chose from – hidden beaches, family beaches, beaches where the sea is calm and beaches that are ideal for water sports. Whichever one you go for, there is always fun in abundance.

And don’t forget the golf! The Algarve has 30 golf courses and some are among the best in Europe. They will tempt amateurs and professionals alike.

In the Algarve people live their lives outdoors. So come and join them. Enjoy the atmosphere, the climate and the food on the terraces of one of our numerous cafés and restaurants.

Discovering the Algarve
There’s more to the Algarve than just its popular coastlines.

To discover a different side of the Algarve, lose yourself in the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. Walk through pathways of colourful flowers and visit ancient castles, once home to the Moors. In Cabo de S. Vicente, discover a land that was once thought of as the “end of the world”.

Climb up to Fóia, the highest point in the Algarve, in the verdant Serra de Monchique hills. Take a rest by one of the region’s many waterways in a truly beautiful landscape

Head inland to the Serra do Caldeirão and enjoy the various regional crafts on show, ranging from palm leaf basketwork and worked copper through to hand-painted earthenware.

Experience the warmth of the local people and share a glass of wine or medronho grape spirit, or a filhó fritter with some smoked meat.

And by the border, take a cruise up the River Guadiana as it flows through a Natural Park that extends to its mouth at Vila Real de Santo António.

Art and traditions of the Algarve
Moorish legends, traditional houses, castles and Roman roads; discover the cultural history of the Algarve.

Portugal’s southernmost region is rich in history and culture. Discover the traces left by the people who have passed through the Algarve. Starting with Neolithic times, visit the Pedra do Alagar dolmen, and then follow a Roman road to Sagres, the departure point for the 15th century saga of the Portuguese Discoveries.

On the way, uncover local legends and stories of the popular imagination. Some such stories have inspired place names, while others manifest themselves in the region’s traditional songs. Take part in local festivals and enjoy the regional music.

Discover local handicrafts at traditional markets and fairs. Watch skilful women twist dwarf palm leaves to make beautiful hats, or men weaving wicker baskets. Perhaps you can buy one to carry your picnic?

As you explore the region, you’ll become familiar with the characteristic white houses with their ornate chimneys, a symbol of traditional Algarve culture.

A shot in the ocean
With about 30 high-class courses, the Algarve is visited by golfers from all over the world.

The many hours of sunshine, which allow you to play until late, and the fabulous climate, make the region a golfing destination throughout the year.

In the Algarve, the quality of the fairways is a constant concern. The courses were designed by respected names, such as Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore or Arnold Palmer, and provide a good challenge. Accept and give wing to your swing on flat or rough courses, nearly always with the ocean as a backdrop.

With degrees of difficulty for all, many of the courses are on the international circuit, regularly hosting important competitions. Get acquainted with courses, such as San Lorenzo and the Old Course in Vilamoura, ranking amongst the best in Europe.

If you’re still not satisfied with your swing, improve it at an Academy. They are waiting for you at the David Leadbetter in Carvoeiro and at the Grotter, at the Alto Golfe (Portimão) and at the Vila Sol (Vilamoura). After the game, socialise in friendly clubhouses.

Supplement your golfing experience in the Algarve, by getting to know the region. Swim in warm, calm water and indulge in water sports. At night, place a bet in the casino or visit the beach bar. Take the opportunity to get to know our excellent cuisine and wines.

Algarve: fun by both day and night
The Algarve is synonymous with fun. So join a beach party drenched in sun all year round.

The excellent climate and beautiful beaches of the Algarve make it a region not to be missed.

Take advantage of the warm, calm waters to practise diving, fishing, windsurfing or jet-skiing. Take a boat trip along the Algarve’s coast and get another perspective of the red cliffs that connect Albufeira to Vilamoura. Take your children to a theme park, like Zoomarine or Krazy World.

Meanwhile in the evenings, the Algarve really comes alive. Sip a cocktail on an esplanade by the sea or dance until dawn at ‘Capítulo V’ as the sound of the waves merges with the sounds of the night.

The casinos in Lagos, Vilamoura and Monte Gordo await you. Have a bet on the roulette wheel or take in a show. And during Carnival, Easter or at New Year, there are even more reasons to enjoy the Algarve as the parties go on long into the night.

Under the Algarve sun
If you like your beaches, the Algarve is a great choice. There is everything possible to ensure the best of holidays in the sun.

If you like your beaches, the Algarve is a great choice. There is everything possible to ensure the best of holidays in the sun. With an amenable year round climate, the Algarve season extends beyond high summer and enables you to choose less crowded periods of the year. That is, from mid-April through to October, the sun is – almost – always out thus extending the pleasures of the Algarve’s beaches far beyond August.

Long beaches are broken only by irregular rock forms including odd and mysterious cave formations that may be visited by boat. Some luxury hotels, given their exclusive sea-frontage are in the very best position for enjoyment of this fine environment.

Visit the stores of the Vilamoura marina and admire the splendid yachts at anchor over an ice cream on a café terrace

Of the diverse range of cuisine available across the Algarve, musts include the shellfish and potato ‘cataplana’ copper-cooked stew accompanied by lavish glasses of chilled white. Such dinner is perfect before setting out to tour the lively and long lasting Algarve nightlife. There are as many places to drink as there are to dance – and that is through to day break at Praia da Rocha, in Galé, Praia da Oura, or alternatively in Vilamoura.

Seaside holidays in the Algarve
With over 150 kilometres of golden beaches, the Algarve in Southern Portugal is perfect for a relaxing holiday in the sun.

Every beach along the Algarve coastline is different, from small coves between rocky outcrops, to long sandy stretches or secluded desert islands. Whether with friends or family, or on a romantic break, there’s something for everyone on the Algarve coast.

Enjoy the cool sea breeze along the Costa Vicentina, experience the cosmopolitan beaches between Lagos and Faro, or swim out in the warm seas from the Ria Formosa islands. On most beaches there are restaurants where you’ll find refreshment and shade. At midday, when the sun is at its zenith, you may want to take a break from the beach and visit a nearby theme park or zoo with the children.

All the Algarve beaches have lifeguards, and green, yellow and red flags to inform bathers of the swimming conditions. You’ll also see the blue flag, which indicates excellent water quality. If you want to hire a boat, jet skis, or any other water sports equipment, you’ll find hire centres all along the coast.

You can get tuition in any water sport if you want to try something new. There are even some naturist beaches along the Algarve coastline, proving the region really does cater for all types of holiday.

Sailing on the Algarve Coast
The warm waters of the Algarve provide the perfect conditions for sailing.

On the refreshing Atlantic Ocean, the Algarve Coast is Portugal’s most popular seaside resort, the setting for a unique holiday experience. Proud of its year-round mild climate, it offers 150 km of superb coastline, with the finest of beaches nestling between dunes and cliffs.

At one of the Algarve’s marinas, discover the history of the Portuguese caravels, ships that sailed for the Indies to bring back cloves and cinnamon. Visit the Vilamoura marina, famous for its glamour and elegance, or the sophisticated marinas of Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos.

All have excellent leisure, entertainment and shopping facilities. Discovering the many fishing villages and towns is also a wonderful experience, with their narrow streets, whitewashed houses and Moorish-influenced chimneys, all inhabited by friendly local people. These towns are steeped in history, their ancient churches, as well as their old forts and walls under steep cliffs overlooking the sea. Or why not take a trip along the River Guadiana, where you’ll find important local nature reserves and protected areas? And for a place to stay, try one of the comfortable and stylish Algarve resorts of Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago or Vila Lara, and sample the excellent spas with their personal service and excellent facilities.

The Algarve is paradise for golfers, and you’ll find some renowned golf courses at your disposal. All are situated in fantastic coastal locations, with designs by acclaimed course architects.

The delicious regional gastronomy is not to be missed. Seek out the local restaurants and taste the succulent Algarve fish and shellfish dishes. Flavours you won’t forget!

If you’re looking for exciting nightlife, then the Algarve won’t disappoint, with a multitude of clubs to choose from. Albufeira is especially famous for its fabulous venues. So whatever you like to do, a visit to the Algarve will be the adventure of a lifetime!

Algarve Nature
With its deserted beaches, blue seas and green forests, the Algarve is a magnificent natural environment.

Enjoy the diversity of landscapes that the Algarve has to offer, discovering the rich natural heritage of this amazing region.

In the southwest of the country, travel through the Costa Vicentina Nature Park, where long tree lined stretches of coastline lead to deserted beaches and gently sloping dunes covered in flowers. From the cliff tops, your view will reveal the 200 kilometres of coastline waiting to be explored.

In the Formosa Estuary, visit the most extensive lagoon ecosystem in Portugal. It is composed of 60 kilometres of Nature Reserve, which you can explore by boat, from island to islet. If you’re a nature lover, then take the chance to travel along the Park’s Interpretative Trail. This trail provides almost two hours’ guidance on regional flora and fauna.

Discover the salt-works, meadows and marshes of the River Guadiana, between Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, a wetland zone that is of recognised international importance.

Go inland and you’ll find the mountain ranges of Monchique, Espinhaço de Cão and Caldeirão. Discover a different Algarve, where locals live traditional lives off the land as they have done for centuries.

Informations provided by ITP – Instituto de Turismo de Portugal – www.visitportugal.com