Meet Algarve – Unique Portuguese Beauty

 Portugal is the most western country in Europe placed on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a place where people from all around the world feel like at home. So, it is not a surprise that tourism is the source of income for many people in Portugal. There are many great places in Portugal and some regions are completely dedicated to tourism. One of them is the most southern region of the country – Algarve. It is the top tourist centre in entire Portugal and one of the most charming destinations in all Europe, too.

the heart of the Algarve Portugal

Europe’s Western Frontier

Algarve is located in the south of Portugal and it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean from two sides. It is a unique region globally famous for tourism and amazing nature. The Ria Formosa region located here is the natural resort and an essential stopping place for hundreds of bird species. Most of the people live from tourism or food production.

The capital city of the region is called Faro and other large cities include Loule, Portimao, and Albufeira. There is a modern airport in Faro which is also the best way to reach Algarve. Once you are there, you can use local bus lines for transportation. But the best solution would definitively be to rent a car. It will be the cheapest and easiest way for roaming around the area.

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The History of Algarve

People have been living in the region since Paleolithic and their presence has never stopped. Celtic tribes have founded their settlements all over Algarve and Phoenicians have established numerous trading posts all along the Atlantic coast. They were all conquered by the Romans who were simply in love with the nature of Algarve. Vizigot tribes succeeded the Romans but they were also defeated by the Islamic Moors from North Africa.

From the 13th century, Algarve is a part of Portugal and an important maritime and trade center. Algarve was a starting point for many expeditions which took place in the 15th and 16th century. Various Portuguese and other European explorers and adventurers have started their trips from one of Algarve ports.

history of the algarve portugal

Top Attractions in the Algarve

Algarve is a touristic region with numerous attractions, besides amazing beaches and various water activities. Many people come here for religious reasons and most of them go straight to famous Marian shrine –  The Sovereign Mother. Another important religious location is placed in the city of Faro. There, you can see a bit creepy chapel which is decorated with bones of former monks (estimated 1200). It is not something you can see in other corners of the world, but if you don’t have a stomach for it, then you should rather pass this trip.

While in Faro you should definitively check out its Jewish Heritage Centre. It has a fabulous story about Jews who were forced to flee Portugal but were later invited back by the Portuguese Marquis who governed Algarve. You should also take a boat trip to Ria Formosa and witness a unique beauty only nature can provide. Millions of birds use this place as a checkpoint for further trips.

The historic center of Lagos will blow your mind once you see it. Its narrow streets are filled with amazing restaurants and small shops. The city of Silves is also filled with historic buildings and another cool spot for spending some time. Its Cathedral and Red Castle are a perfect spot for nice photos.

There are many other attractions all around Algarve that should be seen. But you will have to decide which of them to see once you are there. One thing is sure – you will never be bored in Algarve.

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Accommodation in the Algarve Region – Tourists’ Demands Are Completely Met

Being a well-developed touristic place, Algarve fulfils even the highest tourist demands when it comes to accommodation. Indeed, any tourist can visit Algarve and enjoy its beauties, whether he has saved a huge amount of money for his journey, or he travels on a budget. Hence, you can choose from a variety of options because there are all the types of lodging here. Luxury hotels, resorts, spas, villas, cheap hotels and hostels, B&Bs as well as private apartments are your possibilities in Algarve.

The most popular type of accommodation, hotel, is chosen by a great number of visitors. An interesting thing in Algarve is that many of the hotels are unique in their own way, whether it is for their building and architecture, for their interiors or for their service. For that reason, it is advisable for any tourist to conduct a research and find out what it is exactly what the hotel is providing him with. In this way, you will instantly see if the hotel meets your requirements and demands.

One thing is for sure, you will not leave Algarve without finding an excellent hotel with a great location, and even greater service and price. Those who have already been to Algarve strongly recommend dozens of hotels, but should you want to have all-inclusive service and a royal-like treatment, perhaps you should consider staying at Bella Vista Hotel & Spa. It is a stylish hotel, located on Portimao’s premier beach. The hotel has a long tradition of hosting visitors, who are enthralled by its interior, original stained-glass windows from 1934 and its furniture. However, Bella Vista Hotel & Spa is a bit pricey for some tourists. That is why a wide range of other hotels in Algarve stand at your disposal. In case you search for a somewhat cheaper variant, consider Praia Verde Boutique Hotel. You will surely spend less money here since one can book a room for £66. Moreover, you will be provided with everything you need in Praia Verde Hotel, especially if you enjoy rural locations such as offered by this hotel.

When it comes to resorts and villas, you will have a hard assignment while choosing the right one. Each and every one of them simply calls you to stay there and have a perfect vacation in a heaven like surrounding. Vila Vita Parc is a paradise for every tourist, and no matter what kind of a vacation you need, the place will surely make your wishes come true. It has everything, from direct sea views, private beaches, outdoor activities, to calm and peaceful areas in a garden full of shade. What is more, it is placed in the centre of Algarve, which allows you to research the Portugal beauty whenever you like. And if you are travelling with your children, a great solution is Martinhal Beach Resort. It has a magnificent choice of swimming pools and allows the greatest variety of outdoor activities, including paddle boarding and windsurfing.

Of course, not everyone is endowed with having the opportunity to organise a luxurious journey to Algarve. And in addition, some tourists simply enjoy modest lodgings while the rest of their funds are spent in interesting activities, visits, and picnics. Therefore, Algarve is opened to hosting budget travellers while at the same time providing them with excellent service and hospitality. Budget traveller accommodation can be found almost on every corner, and should you opt for hostels or B&Bs, try booking a room in Guest House Sao Filipe, or Guest House Residencial Condado.

Traditional Algravean Cuisine – Untouched By Foreign Influence

Cuisine in Algrave considers a lot of fish and shellfish, as well as using numerous spices such as pepper, ginger, coriander, and curry. However, Algravean cuisine also uses other types of meat, so all those who enjoy eating pork, game, and chicken will have the chance to try traditional cuisine from this area.

Hence, should you be visiting Algarve, try not to omit eating Chicken Piri Piri, a hot and spicy sauce which is coated onto the meat as it cooks. This meal is really a must while in Algarve, and if you decide to taste it, go to Marrufo.

Apart from chicken, you should also try Sardines while in Algarve because this meal is ideal for all those who love the food grilled to perfection and served with boiled potatoes and mountain salad.

Algravean stew is something every tourist yearns to try, and you should not be an exception. The most famous one is called Jardiniere. It involves beef, vegetables and lot of spices. Stews are favourite among locals, so don’t leave Algarve until you have it at least once.

food in algarve
algarve food

Things To Do While In Algarve

Just as in other developed tourist places around the world, tourists in Algarve cannot be bored no matter how long they plan to stay. There are all kinds of activities, excursions, and picnics organised every day, and it is indeed impossible to try all of them. For that reason, we suggest you plan your vacation in detail and think well about your favourite things to do while in this part of Portugal.

The possibilities are many, and among them, we recommend surfing on Costa Vicentina – a place that offers highest waves in the entire world. It is ideal for adventurers and adrenaline-rush lovers, and moreover, it offers unspoilt beauty, untouched nature and amazing landscapes.

Another quite interesting activity is horseback riding. The best way to have an excellent day is to visit Holistic Riding Centre in Monte Velho, the place that will offer you a whole new experience of horse riding combined with various methods of relaxation and meditation.

However, Algarve offers much more than horseback riding and watersport activities. So, you can also visit vineyards, have most amazing quad-biking tours, or imagine you are a pirate and enjoy in Leaonzihno pirate tours.