The Remarkable Tower of Dornes
Old Man of the Restelo

Explore the Algarve

Sea, sun and sand mark Portugal’s Algarve Region and have made it a favorite vacation destination for millions of Europeans. The climate and topography also make the Algarve Region the perfect setting for some of the finest golf courses in the world (30, at last count), while its beaches and picturesque villages provide a diversion from the greens when necessary.  The region’s capital, Faro, remains nearly the same as it was in the 18th century, its charming neighborhoods intact. The region has 16 cities and its Atlantic coastline measures about 93 miles. The region’s climate is temperate, with little rainfall and an average 3,000 hours of sunlight each year.

  Beach in Algarve by José Manuel - T09ATH1F


  • Visit Sao Lorenço Church, a Baroque masterpiece
  • Barter at the fish market in Olhão
  • Golf one of  30 courses
  • Climb to Foia, the highest point in the Algarve Serra de Monchique hills
  • Seek some palm leaf basketwork, worked copper, or hand-painted earthenware
  • Visit Sagres Fortress, the site of Henry the Navigator’s School of Seamanship
  • Explore wetlands of the River Guadiana in search of abundant wildlife
  • Try your luck at casinos in Lagos, Vilamoura or Monte Gordo
  • Take a 4 x 4 through panoramic routes of the Albufeira
  • Follow a trail on a mountain bike or on foot
  • Relax on the beach at Barril, an island opposite the town of Tavira



More than five centuries of Moorish influence left an impression on the Algarve Region, the southernmost region in Portugal. Moors conquered the cities of Silves, Tavira and Faro. The city of Lagos was the operational base for Portugal’s expeditions to the African coast in the 15th century. It was also home to Henry the Navigator, the man behind the Portuguese Discoveries that changed both Portugal and the world. Museums, churches, forts and castles throughout the Algarve tell this fascinating history. In the area known as Barrocal, the coast transitions into mountains, and is an important agricultural area, where cork forests grow. Small fishing villages dot the coastline including Santa Luzia, in Tavira and the small port of Sagres. In the fishing town of Olhão, houses are square and flat-roofed in the Moorish style.  The Algarve’s beaches offer family fun, water sports, and hidden coves. The beach resorts at Vilamoura or Quarteira are known worldwide.



  • oregano snails
  • "cataplana"clams
  • roasted dried octopus on the grill (Lagos style)
  • grilled squid and cuttlefish
  • fig pastries
  • marzipan pastries, shaped like little animals or fruits
  • wines form the area near the city of Lagoa
  • chouriço sausage
  • medronho, a brandy made from arbutus-berries





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