With gorgeous beaches, warm water and glorious sunshine all year-round, Algarve is a dream destination. Situated in the extreme south of Portugal, this part of the territory was the last to be conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese king Dom Afonso III, in 1292. Traces of the Moorish presence are still seen in its unique terraces, chimneys and whitewashed houses. The Algarve has idyllic temperatures (average temperature in winter of 14°C and 24°C – 57°F and 75°F – in summer, rarely going below 12°C – 53°F – during winter and reaching as high as 28°C or 30°C – 82°F or 86° F – in July and August), which are ideal for playing golf and other sports.
In the northern part of Algarve, the ranges of Espinhaço de Cão, Monchique and Caldeirão shelter the coast from strong winds. This brightly colored region, with its fig trees, orange groves and almond trees in blossom, is also the most verdant and fertile. The southern coastline consists of a long stretch of fabulous sandy beaches, broken up by extraordinary rugged red cliffs and fantastic grottoes.
Apart from the wealth of available water sports facilities (the marinas of Vilamoura and Lagos deserve special mention, amongst the various ports and harbours), there are other alternatives, such as tennis courts, famous golf courses, luxury hotels or quaint holiday resorts and an exciting nightlife.
Places of interest:
- Faro – the capital of the region, with a medieval wall and a large number of monuments
- Lagos – a 15th century walled town, with a Manueline window, old slave market, and a charming marine
- The famous thermal spa of Monchique and Fóia (2959 ft high), overlooking the hills and the ocean.
- The fishing towns of Olhão and Portimão