250px LocalDistritoFaro.svgThe Algarve

The former province of Algarve coincides with the current district of Faro. This covers the entire width of the south coast and its capital is the city of Faro [1].
In the north Algarve is bordered by the province of Alentejo, on the east side by the Rio Guadiana, a border river with Spain and on the south and west sides by the Atlantic Ocean.
The name Algarve comes from the time of the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, the region was then called “Gharb al-Ândalus” or also “the west of Andalusia”. The Arabic “Al-Gharb” means “the west”.
The Algarve landscape is very varied. The coast has the well-known rock formations to the west of Faro with small beaches and east of Faro lagoons and kilometers of sandy beaches.
In the more than 80 km long coastal strip to the west of Faro with places such as Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos, tourism is particularly important, but nowhere has the crowded Spanish costa originated. Cities like Lagos and Faro have a real old town and also the famous Albufeira has kept its cozy feeling because no extreme high-rise has taken place. The hilly interior of the Algarve is just behind the coast and is still virtually untouched. The highest point in the Algarve is the Fóia with 902 meters. At certain points on the Algarve coast there is a real wadden region, which floods at high tide. At high tide the water is deep enough to enter.

Sightseeings and places

  • Silves: an old fort town with a beautiful castle. The castle / fort is at the highest point of the village. Silves is slightly more inland.
  • Lagos: a small maritime town with a rich history and many attractions that remind us of the time when it was still a settlement town. There are various fortresses and castles to admire.
  • Portimão: this place is best known for its many water sports and international competitions including sailing. In Portimão you can go for a boat trip to spot dolphins or a trip to Silves.
  • Vila Real de Santo Antonio: The lighthouse of Vila Real de Santo António is a good landmark. The area between this city and the coast is the resort of Monte Gordo.
  • Sagres Point: The most outward south-western tip of Europe is Sagres Point. Here is also a 16th century fort with compass rose and cannons. There are many quiet beaches with high cliffs nearby. In the beautiful natural park ‘Costa Vicentina Natural Park’ you can admire many flora and fauna on about 76,000 hectares.
  • Cape Saint Vincent is located at a distance of about 6 kilometers. The only development on this promontory is the 24 meter high lighthouse built on the ruins of an old monastery.
  • Praia Marinha: Praia Marinha is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It lies between Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra. To get to the beach you have to descend quite a few more

Thanks to L.Borsboom, B. Ravensteijn and S. Falkena for using their photo’s

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