The Algarve is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, and certainly in Portugal. It is visited by around 10 million visitors each year, 7 million of whom come from outside the country. A lot of them come from the UK, but the region is also very popular with other northern European nations.
It is situated on the southernmost tip of Portugal, and was originally the centre of trade when the country was occupied by the Moors; in fact its name originates from the Arabic word for West. As a result the Algarve has a very rich history and culture.
However it’s attractions that extend far beyond this, as it has around 155 km of coastline along its southern edge, and some truly beautiful beaches. The western edge of the region has around 88 km of coastline that are home to picturesque rocky coves.
The climate makes it easy to take advantage of all these beaches year-round, as even in the winter the temperatures can reach as high as 25°C, while in the summer they can peak at around 48°C. These factors mean it is a very popular winter holiday destination.
The tourism boom originally began in the 60s, and since then this region has seen substantial investment into facilities. There is a huge range of facilities and amenities including excellent golf courses and water parks. Some resorts are more family oriented while others are aimed at couples looking for a quieter holiday. Although many of the results are busy, Portugal does have a laid back atmosphere, and its huge ex-pat population means English is widely spoken and understood.