The Algarve area of Portugal, which covers the southern-most section of the country, can be an incredibly diverse region. Any holidaymaker will get an enjoyable method of filling their holiday hours. Add a warm, sunny climate almost all year round, and it’s really hardly surprising that the Algarve region may be the major tourist area in Portugal.
With all that sunshine, naturally many holidaymakers can be found in search of beaches, and they are not disappointed. With around 270km of coastline, including from wide sandy beaches to secluded inlets, there’s something for everybody. Add to that a multitude of accommodation with luxury resorts near bustling towns to quiet villages, and there is no doubt many people are catered for.
The easiest way to go to the Algarve from overseas is via airplane to Faro. This is actually the region’s main town and commercial hub, but continues to be a pleasant spot to visit. The majority of the town was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, but however, there are interesting buildings dotted around the city that are worth visiting. Gleam small remnant of the old town, Cidade Velha, and a walking tour through this area is fascinating.
The towns of Tavira and Silves are also highlights of the Algarve region for all those with an historic interest. Tavira encompasses from castle ruins, churches from a variety of architectural periods and elegant houses from various centuries. Silves was after the Mooorish capital of the Algarve, and its own main claim to fame may be the magnificent red stone castle which overlooks the city today.
For those who like newer entertainment and a slightly faster pace, there is enough of nightlife found in either Lagos or Albuferira. Better still, there are many sandy beaches where one can lie back and recover! Lagos also suffered terribly in the 1755 earthquake, with hardly any surviving in addition to the old town wall.
If you’d rather spend time being entertained by our mother earth, then your Algarve can deliver. Near Faro may be the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. That is basically a thorough lagoon system which houses a massive number of wetland birds, and forming an essential link in the migration chain. The park’s visitor centre is great.
You can even head further west, watching the coastline are more rugged. Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St Vincent) is Europe’s most southwesterly point. Barren and majestic, it’s certainly an awe inspiring spot to visit – but anticipate to face the strong winds that often batter the Cape.
The western coast of the Algarve houses the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. This narrow strip of park was made in 1995 to amalgamate several smaller parks, in the hope of protecting the ecosystem from rampant development. The region is also home to numerous birds.
There are several places to remain along the west coast of the Algarve, and beaches, nevertheless the Atlantic is just a little rougher upon this side and in places could be very dangerous. Keen surfers tend to be to be found in this area.
It’s worth visiting the inland portion of the Algarve as well. There are numerous of mountain ranges, with the Serra de Monchique being the most popular.