Welcome to the Algarve
Gorgeous beaches, warm water and glorious sunshine year-round: the dream holiday destination.
Situated on 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.
However, the distance that was difficult to cover back in the 13th Century is no longer an obstacle thanks to Faro International Airport or the extension of the IP1 motorway that runs the entire length of the Algarve from the Spanish border to Lagos in the west.
The last stretch of Lisbon-Algarve motorway that will link with the IP1 motorway near Albufeira was opened on schedule in August 2002, making 290 km journey to the capital possible in well under three hours.
The Algarve is a favourite destination for Europeans seeking to exchange the stress and fast pace of modern urban living in their own countries for a more relaxed and healthy lifestyle abroad.
So why not visit this charming region, which offers over 3000 hours of sunshine a year and idyllic temperatures (average temperature in winter of 14ºC and 24ºC in Summer, rarely going below 12ºC during Winter and reaching as high as 28ºC or 30ºC in July and August), which are ideal for playing golf and other sports.
The standard of living is high and costs are relatively low compared to northern Europe.
The Algarve boasts some of the best-unspoiled beaches in Portugal, a perfect setting for water sports, sailing, big game fishing and other maritime activities. Blue Flag awards are in abundance across the Algarve.
The majority of the finest championship golf courses are concentrated in this region, which attracts a steady influx of golfers all year round. Now that in 2014 Portugal has won the worlds leading golf destination an increase in Golfers has been recorded and a positive outlook for the following years is expected especially in the Algarve.
There is no shortage of sporting and leisure activities for the non-golfer such as tennis, horse-riding, bird watching, walking, swimming, fishing, sailing, jet skiing and micro light flying. There are also a growing number of well-equipped gyms and health and beauty salons.
In today’s world safety is perhaps one of the most important considerations: the crime rate is comparatively low in the Algarve, as in most regions of Portugal.
Portuguese is the seventh most widely spoken language in the world but it is not easy to learn. Much to the relief of European visitors, most of the younger Portuguese and those in business or the tourist industry, have an excellent command of English, which is now the second language in schools.
For many, the Algarve is Europe’s answer to paradise.