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ALGARVE REGION

The Beautiful Southern Coastline of Portugal

Welcome to Algarve Region

THE AREA

The Algarve is the beautiful southern coastline of Portugal. It is a region blessed with stunning beaches, picturesque fishing towns and a glorious climate, all of which combine to create the perfect holiday destination. The Algarve is wonderfully varied, able to appeal to a wide cross-section of tourists; there are pristine beaches for families, water parks for teenagers, buzzing nightlife for young couples and historic towns for cultural tour.

RESTAURANTS & CUISINE

The Algarve in Portugal's scenic south coast caters to families and foodies. The Algarve has it all, if you know where to look: sandy beaches, secluded coves and postcard-perfect whitewash villages where traditional tabernas make gourmet treats out of simple grilled sardines drizzled in olive oil and lemon juice. From abundant fish and seafood, to sun-ripened vegetables and flame-cooked meats, don’t leave without trying these dishes.

Algarve Region Activities

TAVIRA – The Algarve’s Hidden gem

Tavira is a delightful town that is situated on the banks of the slow flowing Gilão River. The town of Tavira has reminded unchanged despite the advent of mass tourism, and provides visitors with a charming town centre of cobbled streets, lined with traditional houses, which leads all the way up to the ancient castle. The glorious beaches on the Ilha de Tavira are reached by ferry and the route passes through the protected series of mudflats and salt water lagoons of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Tavira is laid-back, traditional and our personal favourite town in the Algarve. For a guide to Tavira please visit Tavira-Algarve-Portugal.com.

ALBUFEIRA – The Algarve’s Most popular resort

Albufeira is the most popular resort town of the Algarve, and this is because it excels at everything wanted for a holiday destination. The beach is massive, there are great holiday activities and the pretty old town is crammed full of restaurants, shops and bars. For groups and party goers there is “the Strip”, a road full of themed bars and outrageous clubs, which is just far enough (2km away) from the Old Town not to annoy other tourists. As Albufeira is the largest resort, the summer season is much longer, and there are still things going on during the low or off season. There are many enjoyable day trips from Albufeira for those visitors who wish more than just a beach, while the massive all-inclusive hotels are great for tourists who simply wish to relax.

LAGOS – History and Stunning Scenery

Lagos is on the very western edge of the Algarve and is one of the region’s most fascinating and interesting towns. Lagos is set on a stunning coastline of massive sandstone cliffs, wide beaches and crystal clear waters. Within the vicinity of Lagos is the Dona Ana beach, which is considered to be the finest in the Algarve, while further along the coast are the stunning cliff formations of the Ponta da Piedade. Lagos has an important history as a major trading town, a rich history that is reflected in the varied sights throughout the town, which include the fort, a selection of pretty churches and even an ex-slave market. From Lagos there are enjoyable day trips to the small fishing village of Sagres, or north into the Algarve hills.

VILAMOURA – The Algarve’s Exclusive Town

Vilamoura is the super-rich’s playground in the Algarve. The whole town was purpose-built as an exclusive destination that is focused around the larger marina and is filled with million dollar yachts. The town boasts six championship-grade golf courses and is the location to be based for a golfing holiday, just expect expensive green fees. Vilamoura is smart, stylish and trendy, and completely without the signs of neglect found on the edges of many other Portuguese towns.

FARO

Faro is often over looked as a tourist destination, being primary used as a transport hub for the airport, train or bus services, but this beautiful city has a lot to offer. Faro boasts a charming historic centre, which is circled by ancient Moorish walls, and a pleasant pedestrianised shopping zone. Departing from the marina there are boat tours which explore the Ria Formosa National Park and visit some of the quietest beach in the Algarve. Faro’s main beach, the Praia de Faro, is surprisingly low-key considering it is just a 5 minute bus journey from the airport.

PRAIA DA ROCHA – Good alternative to Albufeira

Praia da Rocha is a large and hectic summer resort, that crams in visitors during the summer season. There is a massive beach (larger than Albufeira’s beach), which on following the coastline changes into little coves hidden behind giant sandstone cliffs. The resort has countless bars, restaurants and shops but has a much more modern appearance than Albufeira. 2km north of Praia da Rocha is the large but sleepy town of Portimão; for beaches and nightlife it's better to be based in Praia da Rocha, and not Portimão. Praia da Rocha is suitable for families as well.

QUATEIRA – Budget Vilamoura

Quarteira is where the non-millionaires of Vilamoura live and work, but it is just a 10-minute walk from Quarteira along the coast to it’s exclusive neighbour Vilamoura. Quarteira has a much better beach than Vilamoura and a pleasant promenade extends for the length of the beach. Quarteira offers great value accommodation, food and drink but the town has very bland appearance with large apartments, hotels and none of the Portuguese charm found in other locations. Quarteira is much quieter and smaller than Albufeira or Praia da Rocha.

Travel to Algarve Region

AIRPORTS

Air travel is certainly the most comfortable and fastest way to get to the sun drenched Algarve. Faro airport is only 3 hours from most European destinations. Passengers using the airport as a gateway to the Algarve, will find a modern terminal building located only 4 kilometres from downtown Faro.

SELF-DRIVING

The Algarve can be easily reached from anywhere in continental Europe. A superb network of new motorways and dual carriageways allow for trouble free motoring through attractive areas of southern Portugal. Apart from major holiday periods there is not a problem with traffic congestion. The A22, also known as the Via Infante Sagres Spain is close to Lagos. Roads branch off to beaches, coastal towns and inland villages.

RAIL

Travelling by train is also an option, since Portugal is part of the European rail network and can easily be reached from most of the European capitals.

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