Welcome to Algarve! Wherever you look, the colours of the mountains and sea are always with you, creating the impression of a water-colour dotted with highlights of gold, green and blue.
A unique way to do, feel and celebrate
More than just magnificent beaches and a blessed climate, the Algarve offers a rich folk heritage which is worth appreciating along with the pleasures of the sun and the sea.
Devote some time to discovering it because there are old customs, living traditions and heritage buildings which can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Algarvians across the centuries have left such a rich heritage which deserves to be explored: from the unique celebrations of festive occasions (such as Easter, Christmas or spring); to the historical buildings of ancient and recent times; to the irresistible delicacies making up the regional cuisine.
In the Algarve, your holidays will take on a historical flavour.
All around the region, you will find the chance to discover some of the charms and secrets of Portugal’s history, which time has not yet managed to erase.
Spending your holidays in the Algarve also provides an opportunity for travelling in time, finding numerous testimonies to the different peoples and cultures that have come together throughout the history of this region.
From traces of the Roman presence to evidence of the long legacy of Muslim times, from the Christian reconquest to the epic period of the Portuguese discoveries, you will find all kinds of reasons for rediscovering the signs of a quite distinctive historical past.
Located on the western extreme of the Iberian Peninsula, in the south of Portugal, the Algarve is easily distinguished from the rest of the country. Not only because of its peripheral location, but also for its morphological and geological features.
The Algarve region covers 6% of Portugal’s total area and it has 5,000 km2 wide. On the north side it is limited by the Alentejo, on the east the Guadiana River separates it from Spain and on west and south it is bathed by the Atlantic.
Due to its diversity, conditioned by the geology, the Algarve can be divided in three main regions: the Mountains (Serra), the Barrocal (place full of ruts, crags or caves) and the Littoral.
On the Littoral you will find beaches that work as a magnet for tourists from all over the world. On the Vicentina Coast (that begins a little before Sagres and spreads to the north) one can feel the presence of nature in the dark steep cliffs cut by small beaches. The south coast is attractive and invites to the pleasures of sun and sea. It offers small beaches wrapped by coloured cliffs and huge beaches framed by pine trees.
Inland you will find Barrocal that is the orchard of the Algarve, with its many green shaded almond trees, fig trees, orange trees and a rainbow made of flowers.
This is the place to find whitewashed houses, with laced chimneys and views that spread to the ocean.
Further north you’ll find the range of mountains. Not a range of high peaks and ravines, but a chain of round shapes that spread to the horizon like a petrified smooth sea.
The Littoral is a narrow strip near the coast and it is also the best place to find the best agricultural lands, most of the regional economic activity and the major urban centres.