Illuminated by the generous southern weather, the visitor to the Algarve finds here the tranquillity ofslow days - and a world of novelties to experience the best holidays ever!
It is said that we should not return to the places where we were happy. Nothing could be less true! The Algarve, for so many of us associated with the memory of the endless summers of our childhood,is always a place of happy returns.
Whether it's to return to familiar places where we feel comfortable and at ease, or to dive into new discoveries, there is always a world to experience in this unique region.
From Barlavento to Sotavento, from the mountains to the coast through the barrocal, the Algarve concentrates a huge variety of landscapes, attractions and experiences.
In an area of around 5,000 km2 spread over 16 municipalities, with almost 200 kilometres of coastline that can be traced through dramatic cliffs or laid out in long sandy beaches dotted with dunes, there is room for a little bit of everything.
Holiday destination par excellence for millions of Portuguese and foreigners, the Algarve is much more than just sun and beach: the rich culture of these lands and these people invites us to get to know the cities and towns, with the marks of history kept in their walls and monuments.
A very complete destination, from the wonderful hotels to the versatile golf courses.
In the cities, towns or villages, such as Albufeira, Vilamoura, Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago and Faro, there is a special animation in the Algarve. From the busiest discos to the most traditional popular festivals, there is no shortage of options!
Small and large at the same time, familiar and cosmopolitan, the Algarve lives in the style and at the speed of each one.
Whether on a beach full of bars, restaurants and discotheques or in the religious festivals of a rustic and picturesque village, the diversity of the Algarve's communities is reflected in the entertainment on offer.
In common, the taste and tradition of welcoming people and making each visitor feel at home.
From fishing communities like Lagos, Carvoeiro, Portimão and Tavira to the old memories of the canning industry, not forgetting the thousand-year-old historical heritage - and the cosmopolitanism of the marinas, a meeting point for travellers and adventurers from all over the world - the Algarve continues, as at the time of the Discoveries, to have its arms open to the world.
Discovering the pedestrian streets of the historic centres of the large cities or venturing into the quiet alleys of the inland villages. A walk through these communities is an encounter with the very identity of the Algarve people.
Museums, cultural centres and entertainment venues guarantee a unique experience, with a rich and varied programme for all tastes.
It is a journey which is made almost instinctively. Just follow your senses. If you like to feel the pulse of the nightlife, just choose from dozens of bars, discos and entertainment venues - many of them world-famous - and let yourself be carried away by the action.
If you prefer, you can join the popular festivals and traditions and follow the pilgrimages that are part of the populations' ancestral devotion.
Or simply sit at a terrace, watch the people go by and let the will of the moment decide your course. That is one of the good things about the Algarve: here, life's pleasures do not require much planning!
Long sandy beaches, small coves, secluded or accessible - and lively - beaches are the hallmark of the Algarve. With good reason!
Whatever your favourite scenery, you will find it in the Algarve.
Whether you have a predilection for kilometres of coastline where you can stroll peacefully along the shore or you prefer the more hidden and quiet beaches nestled between cliffs, the region has more than enough on offer to fill you up!
Along its 200 kilometres of coastline, there are dozens of beaches for all tastes. Many of them have been awarded the Blue Flag, which attests to the quality of the Algarve's waters and support facilities.
If you like the most unspoilt nature, just head for the Costa Vicentina. A unique natural sanctuary with rugged beaches (access sometimes reserved for the more sporty and adventurous). Here you can experience the feeling of complete peace and quiet and isolation, even in the height of summer.
On the south coast, the Barlavento is made of nooks and crannies, among luminous cliffs which hide small, welcoming beaches and charming caves.
In Sotavento, there are long sandy beaches where you feel like strolling aimlessly, enjoying the mild temperatures and the pleasant sea.
In the Ria Formosa area, the islands once again change the scenery, with tongues of sand and absolutely magical beaches, where you feel like just lying there, disarmed by the scenery and surrendered to the wonders of nature.
And if you have a restless spirit, the best thing is to take advantage of the best of all worlds and tour the various Algarves, enjoying these spectacular beaches, of all types, all sizes, for all tastes.
Text and images: Special Dossier - Algarve (Expresso)(read moreclose)