MWelcome to... The Algarve

 

About The Algarve

- The regional capital is Faro
- The Algarve is known for its 300 days of sunshine, turquoise seas and golden sands
- The Algarve coastline stretches for 200km and has approximately 180 beaches!

Currency: Euro
Language: Portuguese
Best time to visit: The summer months are warm, sunny and dry, though can be too hot for exploring (even in September temperatures average 25°C). The winter weather (November to February) is mild, with temperatures between 9°C and 16°C, while spring (March to May) temperatures are between 18°C and 30°C

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Did you know...?- The Algarve has over 40 spas!
- One of the food speciality of the Algarve is chicken piri-piri. The most traditional dish is Catalplana.
- The highest point in the Algarve region is the mountain Monchique, surrounded by sweeping countryside and farms
- The spa town of Caldas de Monchique has a thermal spring, whose waters have been visited since the Roman times

- The Marina of Vilamora is a favourite of Portuguese footballing legend Cristiano Ronaldo
- There is a stunning Moorish castle in the town of Silves, a Portuguese National Monument

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Things to see and do in the Algarve
Wondering what there is to see and do in The Algarve? From golf to shopping for pottery to lazing on golden beaches, read on for a few things to add to your to-do list!

Golf
Despite its oldest course being established as late as 1966, the Algarve has 40 of Portugal’s 70 golf clubs, which include world-class courses and some exclusive golf resorts, including one of Portugal’s first, the exceptional Vale do Lobo near Loulé. The Oceanico golf complex at Vilamoura is one of the best, with four fabulous courses: Old, Victoria, Laguna and Pinhal.
Beaches
The Algarve’s beaches range from long sandy shorelines bordered by promenades and cafes to secluded sea-sculpted coves dotted with caves and interesting rock formations and framed by golden sandstone cliffs. Explore the sculpted shapes and caves of the Algarve’s stunning coastline from the sea: take a boat trip from Albufeira’s harbour and you may even see pods of dolphins swimming alongside the boat.

Pottery
Head to the town of Porches to buy the pretty hand-painted pottery Portugal is famous for.
Fishing
The Algarve beaches are washed by the Atlantic Ocean – making them ideal places to try your hand at a spot of deep sea fishing. Boat tours run from Vilamora marina – and elsewhere along the coast, including Lagos and Tavira – offering shark fishing, reef fishing and 'big game' fishing.
Bird Watching and Wildlife
The Ria Formosa Nature Reserve wetlands stretch for 60kms along the Algarve Coast and you’ll spot many species of birds, as well as the Portuguese water dog (the dogs helped fisherman catch their fish) and the galinha-sultan (sultan hen), which is only found here in Portugal. The popular Zoo Marine park has dolphins and sea lions, and an emphasis on science and conservation. Anyone over age six can swim with the dolphins, too.


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Food and drink Foodies will be delighted with the treats that the Algarve offers, from chicken piri-piri to arroz de lingueirão (similar to paella).

- It is said that the Portuguese have more than 365 recipes which feature bacalhau (salted cod) – more than one for each day of the year. Look out for this cornerstone of Portuguese cooking on restaurant menus.- Try Michelin-starred dining at Vila Vita’s restaurant, Ocean, or Henrique Leis or Willies Restaurant. Head to Vila Joya hotel (near Praia do Gale) to sample more stunnning cuisine.
- Chicken piri-piri, a spicy chicken dish, is traditionally cooked in the Algarve and, in particular, the hillside town of Guia near Albufeira.
- Pasteis de Nata, wonderful flaky custard tarts, are found in every Portuguese bakery!

- Sardinhas assados (grilled sardines) are often barbequed over charcoal in a steel drum by vendors on the quayside or on the street and served on fresh, crusty bread. A simple, cheap but tasty culinary treat not to be missed! It’s best sampled during Portimão’s 10-day sardine festival in August or the slightly smaller sardine fest at Olhas d'Agua (between Vilamora and Albufeira) also in August. And perfect with a chilled glass of the local vinho verde (white wine)
- If you like fish, head to the fish market in the pretty town of Lagos to see hundreds of types of fish and seafood
- Make sure to sample the local favourite, cataplana, made up of mussels, clams, chorizo, bacon, garlic, onions and olive oil, as well as some of the regions famous fish stew, caldeirada.
- Try wine at Quinta dos Vales, near Lagoa, with an impressive sculptures exhibition on the middle of the vineyards.--------------------------------------------------

For more information on what The Algarve has to offer visit www.visitalgarve.pt


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