In Europe's best beach destination you can do much more than laying a towel out in the sun. Thanks to the sea, unique landscapes, unspoiled nature, culture, tradition and friendly people, you can be sure of enjoying unique and varied experiences. Here we share secrets.
We are sure you have already heard about it. Perhaps a friend told you about its magnificent beaches. Maybe you saw a report about its typically Mediterranean cuisine. Or it could be that you simply came across a text like this one, which highlights the history, culture and friendliness of those who are used to giving visitors the warmest of welcomes.
Listen to our biggest secrets. And then whisper them, time and time again, in the ears of your family and friends. Because life is so much better when you share it.
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.
Idyllic sceneries to enjoy!
The Algarve’s natural diversity is undoubtedly one of its greatest riches. Visitors can easily pass through different environments within the same landscape. From coastal regions to the Algarvian Mountains, there is a whole world of diversity to be explored and just as many different ways to do so.
On the coastline, an ecological system of awe-inspiring biodiversity – from native birds with proudly built nests, to molluscs and crustaceans which are the main source of revenue for seafood producers in the South – invites visitors to observe fauna and flora closely on pleasant trail walks.
Far from the wide beaches and steep cliffs, bright green mixes with shades of brown in the vast plains of the Barrocal region that invites the visitor to experience a different Algarve, one that is covered with orange trees and orchards of fig, carob and almond trees.
SUN AND SEA
Some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the entire world are to be found in the Algarve. Hardly surprising then that the region is a favourite for sun-seekers from all over.
They come in search of the natural heritage that is now managed in a sustainable fashion, in order to provide quality recreational facilities able to meet all kinds of requirements. There are beaches to suit every taste with the majority having gained due recognition in the form of the EU "Blue Flag" for quality standards.
Along its 200 kilometre coastline, the Algarve features all types of coves, cliffs and caves, its rocky beaches contrasting with broad expanses of sand.
The Algarve has one of the best climates in Europe, all year round. With little rainfall, generally occurring between the months of November and March, and plenty of sunshine, the Algarve offers outstanding weather conditions for year-round tourism.
Temperatures are high in summer, which is one reason why the Algarve is a top “sun and sea” destination and an authentic paradise for beachgoers. The region’s beaches, stretching for many kilometres along the coast, consist of fine, golden sand, and the sea is calm, with temperatures of around 22ºC in the summer.
SPORTS AND GOLFING
You do not have to wait until summer to come to the Algarve to take part in sports or other outdoor activities. Throughout the region, and all year long, you can interact with the natural environment by playing sport in the healthy and intoxicating atmosphere of the Algarve.
Be it at the ocean shore, in the Barrocal, or in the picturesque mountains, the Algarve brings together the perfect conditions that enable a huge range of marine, land and aerial activities; some just for fun, some more adventurous, others more radical still.
Golfing days on Portugal's Algarve are sheer bliss and remain in the memory long after the holiday is over .Generations of golfers have headed for Portugal's southern coast, lured by 300 days of sunshine, high quality accommodation, a friendly laid back atmosphere, superb scenery and 40 of the best golf courses to be found anywhere in the world.
Not only is The Algarve a "must" for the amateur golfer, the quality of its courses have attracted some of the world's top professionals and tournaments such as the World Cup in 2005 and Portugal Masters add kudos to its golf.
GASTRONOMY AND WINES
The Algarve has many surprises in store for you. Among its greatest treasures are its culinary specialities, the wines, desserts and the famous medronho brandy. Set off on a culinary journey that will delight your taste buds with flavours and sensations you have never experienced before. Try both traditional and contemporary dishes. Your palate will always remember your visit to the Algarve.
Arbutus-berry brandy, or medronho as it is traditionally known, is thought to have been produced for the first time in the 10th century by Arabs in the Monchique area. It is still produced in the traditional way, using low heat and copper stills with fine, coiled pipes. Genuine Algarve medronho, with Protected Geographical Indication, is a quality product, with certified distilleries and specific market brands and there are other derivatives too such as melosa, a delicious blend of medronho and honey.
The word “cataplana” refers not only to the shell-shaped copper kitchen utensil but also to the delicious dishes that are made in it. The utensil consists of two concave halves joined by a hinge and two side clasps that seal the ingredients inside, ensuring that all the flavours and aromas are retained and blend together in a way that no other kitchen utensil can match.
The food is cooked by slowly steaming in the airtight cataplana over a low heat. This method of cooking gives the food a unique and characteristic flavour that you will want to enjoy again and again.
Hand-in-glove with the region’s noteworthy typical cuisine, the red, white and rosé wines pair perfectly with the Algarve’s culinary specialities. From the traditional clams Bulhão Pato to seafood rice bursting with flavours, delicious grilled fish, and meat and game dishes, there is always a more or less fruity wine, with more or less alcohol and more or less body that pairs perfectly with any number of dishes.