The Algarve: Introduction
The Garden of Portugal
The magnificent natural beauty of the Algarve sets the region apart from the rest of Europe. Beautiful clean beaches, charming villages, pristine wilderness and an average of over 3000 hours of sunshine per year await holiday makers in this unspoiled jewel of the Iberian Peninsula.
The largest city in the Algarve is Faro, with a population of around 42,000 inhabitants. Faro is where Faro/Algarve Airport (FAO), the Algarve’s main airport, is located. The region also has several small cities and towns such as Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa, Loule, Sagres and Tavira. Many northern Europeans, particularly from the United Kingdom and Germany, have relocated or have holiday homes in the Algarve. This gives the area a bit of an international feel, but not so overwhelming as one might find in the expat colonies in the Costa del Sol region of Spain, for example. The Algarve still retains a strong local character and a distinctive flavor all its own. It is the preferred destination for Portuguese tourists as well as foreigners, and is full of popular sun and surf spots. Because of the unique scenery, numerous hidden as well as popular beaches, and safe, family holiday atmosphere, the Algarve has successfully developed and transformed itself into a favorite international holiday location.