The sea in every shade of blue, almost always calm, and warm, and the beaches of fine white sand are the hallmark of the region, stretching as far as the eye can see, bound by golden cliffs in small bays nestling between rocks, provide many stunning backdrops for unforgettable memories.
The Algarve is known by its long sunny days, a gastronomy to “die for”, endless golden sandy beaches, golf courses, the kindness of their people and more, much more for you to discover. Try to mention Portugal or the Algarve in a conversation and you will be surprised with how many people instantly will bring up warming memories of beautiful sunny days, well spent in this corner of Europe.
Portugal is a country with nine centuries of history and well-defined geographical borders. Since 1974 a democratic regime prevails in Portugal, in 1986 Portugal become a member of the European Union, and on 1 January 1999 joined the European Monetary System, using the Euro as his single currency.
Each year “Live and Invest Overseas”, “Conde Naste Traveller”, “World Travel Awards” among others, produce their guides and award places around the world as “World’s Best Places to Retire”, “World’s Leading Destination”, “World City Destination”; “World `s Beach Destination” among many other awards and yet again, Portugal and it`s regions, cities, resorts or gastronomy are awarded year after year, sometimes ranked as number one, like in 2021 as the “Best Place in the World to Retire”.
This year in the World Travel Awards 2022 and for the 5th time in the last six years, Portugal was once again awarded with the title of «Best Tourist Destination in Europe», The election results from the vote of thousands of professionals in the sector, from all over the world, and this year Portugal won over 30 awards, In terms of regional destinations, the Azores (Europe's Leading Adventure Tourism Destination), Algarve (Europe's Leading Beach Destination), Lisbon (Europe's Leading City Break Destination, Europe's Leading Cruise Destination and Europe's Leading Seaside Metropolitan Destination) and Porto (Europe's Leading City Destination).
World Travel Awards
The Algarve, Portugal, João Fernandes, President , Algarve Tourism Bureau
Enjoying the Algarve
Here you will have time for everything, so that you enjoy a more relaxed way of life. Cheaper prices, when comparing with almost all other countries in Europe, beautiful unspoiled beaches and landscapes, a large variety of Golf Courses, Marinas and not to forget the traditional Portuguese cuisine and wine. Those who venture beyond the coast, even by a mere 10 kilometres or so, you will find a new different Algarve with a varied landscape, a fascinating history, a calm lifestyle, and above all, the warmth of its welcoming people making you feel at home.
Every year, thousands have gone ahead and bought their home in Portugal, most as a second home for holidays but for many as a permanent move, either for retirement or in search for a new and healthier way of life.
Set on the westerly edge of Europe, Portugal has a coastline of around 800 km facing the north Atlantic Ocean, of which approximately 200 kilometres are in the south region (Algarve) where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, As a result the sea water becomes much warmer and calmer towards a more Mediterranean atmosphere.
The average sunshine rates of 8.6 hours a day makes the Algarve the place in Europe with more hours of sun during all year round, this microclimate makes all the coastline enjoy temperatures that vary from 15º C in winter to 35º C in the summer Months. It's no surprise the Algarve is the choice for so many people to come and live here.
Choosing the Algarve
The Algarve has been choice for millions of holidaymakers, every year thousands of permanent visitors return and is certainly an option worth considering if you are considering buying a overseas property. Some important and positive aspects of life in Portugal:
All those people willing to integrate more into Portuguese life, venturing away from these apron-strings, will be rewarded with fantastic spots of natural beauty, mainly cheaper prices, and a true taste of the real thing. If you just want to get away from it all, quite easily you will find tranquillity a few kilometres away from the touristic area’s hot spots.
Portuguese are a genuinely kind and traditional people, they are staunch exponents of family values, in many activities the family network is still of vital importance. Thankfully this is still a country with their own traditions, many of them linked to religion beliefs, a country where the family comes first, and where people are ready to help each other just for the satisfaction of being a good citizen. This is particularly clearer in all the small and numerous rural areas of Portugal.
Portuguese - The Language
Most people do not realize that Portuguese is a wonderfully rich and diverse idiom, spoken across four continents by approximately 200 million native speakers. Portuguese is in fact the third most spoken European language in the world, behind only English and Spanish. It is the language of Brazil, many African countries like Angola, Mozambique, or Cabo Verde, as well as Timor and not long ago the main language of Macau.
Economy - Politics
Portugal is a fully-fledged active member of the European Union, it´s a democratic country, tolerant, open, and free that abides by European rules. Over the years it has benefited from European subsidies, a result of which you can see clearly in all the new highways that cover the country from north to south, in the new health system and in many public infra-structures.
Portuguese love eating out just as much as enjoying a good regenerating day at the beach, it`s part of their lifestyle, and shared by visitors and residents alike. Cafes and restaurants fill with couples and families mostly on the weekends. As a traditional country it is quite usual to see young children out with all family generations, the restaurants welcome all.
In the Algarve you will find an obvious sop to the tourist trade, many English-type eating places but if you look more carefully you will also find the places where the Portuguese go, and that is exactly where you should also go for authentic and quality meals. If you are looking for fast-food chains, you will find them particularly at the shopping centres in all major Algarve cities.
Algarve Coast Line - Beaches
The Portuguese love the beach, whenever they have free time with their families, that is where they will often be heading. In the Algarve, you are spoiled with the variety of the most beautiful and diverse beaches. The water is quite clean, and the beaches are safe, in the summer months there will be a lifeguard, the sea water it is not always that warm but this is certainly the place to be, with beach tents, picnics and family games.
Portugal is a Catholic country, 97% of the population profess to this religion however during the last decades the power of the church to appeal to younger generations has certainly diminished. The north is the stronghold and uniting force of the church. The south isn´t has religious, although there are still some religious festivals. Mainly it still elderly people that attend to church. Every region in Portugal has its own festivals and events, translating into a national list of hundreds of local festivities.
Golf - is undoubtedly a very important factor for many buyers and visitors in the Algarve. As a top world destination for golf, Portugal in general and the Algarve in particular boast many world-class courses, with 11 courses of the Algarve in the World top 100 list. The Algarve has been constantly voted as major international destination for golfers, the existing facilities around the 34 golf Courses, (only in the Algarve region) are truly top class. Some of the best courses are located at Quinta do Lago, Vilamoura, Vale do Lobo, Penina and Monte Rei.
Surfing/ windsurfing /Kite – Quite popular with youngsters, Portugal is highly ranked in international competitions and Sagres is the perfect spot these sports fans.
Sailing -A wide variety of marinas and yacht clubs, provide the necessary equipment. The Vilamoura Marina, in the Algarve is the best-known and award-winning top-class marina.
Diving -Plenty of diving schools and spots to dive all around the Algarve
Cycling Is one of the fastest growing sports in the Algarve, numerous clubs, and programs available all year- round.
Horse riding - This is growing in popularity; something that is evident by the number of riding centres spread around the Algarve.
Fishing -Very popular activity, fishing trips are plentiful in the Algarve, setting out from many resorts and marinas.
Football - This is the nation's favourite sport, played by almost every youngster. The games are avidly followed at home, in bars or cafes with friend`s. The top team is the fabulous Sporting from Lisbon where players like Ronaldo, Figo, Futre, Nani, were “born”, there are also the not-so-great : ) FC Porto and Sl Benfica as other internationally renowned teams.
All over the country there are football clubs where thousands of young players practice this sport with the dream to become a player like Ronaldo, our most famous star.
Tennis & Paddle - Quite popular sports in the region with plenty of tennis academy around the Algarve