Situated in the extreme southerly part of this beautiful country, The Algarve in Portugal was the last area to be conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese king in 1292. Traces of the Moorish presence are still seen in its unique architecture - terraces, chimneys and whitewashed houses.
From the 1960s tourism has been the main economic activity in this area. The most important outcome has been the high level of job creation over the last few decades. With the hot summer sun and mild winters, the Algarve is the perfect destination for a summer holiday or for a winter break to escape the dull days of winter in the UK. The beaches here are as varied as its regions and it is always possible to discover a secluded paradise, away from the crowds in the larger resorts.
Walking, cycling, golf, or sea fishing are popular activities as well as buggy safari tours and dolphin watching cruises. Nightlife is bustling in the larger resorts - bars and restaurants abound. However, if a quieter life is for you, it is easy to find seclusion in the hills or small towns and villages dotted around the area.
How to get there
The historic town of Faro is the location of the main airport in the Algarve. Aer Lingus and Ryanair service Faro airport along with many charter airlines. Also, many local and regional UK airports offer flights to direct to Faro. Car hire is a popular way to see the area and you can hire a car in advance before leaving home or you may choose to hire one at the airport.
Where to stay
A great choice of places to stay awaits you. Faro is a charming town that exudes a genuine Portuguese atmosphere. It is worth taking some time to explore Faro`s cobbled streets before heading off to the beach.
Albufeira is one of the most popular resorts in the Algarve. The city offers a selection of bars and large clubs, a fantastic choice of restaurants, and naturally, brilliant beaches.
Vilamoura is one of the largest beach resorts in Europe. The town is centered around its marina where you will find the majority of hotels and villas, as well as bars and restaurants. Beyond the marina, there are resorts and beaches to suit everyone.
Lagos is a tasteful and charming small beach resort which retains a historic flair and has an affiliation with the traditional culture of Portugal.
Alvor is a historic village that is located less than 20km away from Lagos. Alvor is a quieter alternative to the larger resorts and is an excellent choice for couples and families. Torralta beach is a long stretch of sand and is generally less crowded than other beaches in the area. You will find idyllic sheltered coves and inlets nearby
Self-catering accommodation in The Algarve ranges from budget villas to high-end apartments. Hundreds of hotels have also been built over the last 40 years or so and there is somewhere for every price range and taste. Small villas are scattered throughout the hills should you require seclusion. The Algarve really does offer something for everyone and it is no wonder it is one of the most popular tourist areas in Europe.
IloveAlgarve.net is a comprehensive guide to the Algarve, created by people who have a real passion for the area. Hundreds of hotels, apartments and villas have been hand-reviewed by our team, who provide visitors to the area with in-depth tourist information such as places to go, where to eat, and even what the weather will be like! Returning holidaymakers also contribute their experiences and advice to the site, which our readers find extremely useful when booking their Algarve holidays.