Most popular cities
Food, without question, is very important to the Portuguese. When you are on holiday in the Algarve, make sure to try some Portuguese food. There are many good Portuguese restaurants in the region. Of course you can find restaurants with other cuisines as well, like Italian, Indian or Thai food.
Famous specialties are grilled sardines, grilled piri-piri chicken and a cataplana (stew with meat or fish). Fresh fish and fresh fruits are an absolute joy due to all the sun hours the Algarve is exposed to. And the Portuguese love their sweets and desserts. In one of the many pastelarias, you can taste some of the various traditional pastries of the area. Look out for the Dom Rodrigo, Bolinhos de Amêndoa and pastéis de nata.
Activities in the Algarve
Looking for the perfect party destination of 2019? The Algarve is the ultimate pick for party girls and boys who like their booze. The nightlife in the Algarve equals fun and entertainment that lasts till early morning.
If you like to appreciate nature, you won’t be disappointed in the Algarve. There are several natural parks, like the Ria Formosa, which are very beautiful. You can find a variety of wildlife. The region is especially great for birdwatching. Some environmentally protected areas have even remained unchanged and unaffected by tourism.
The Algarve also owns an amazing countryside, ornated with endless orangeries. You can also visit the Monchique mountains and spend some time relaxing under the tree shadows. The natural hot springs of Caldas de Monchique are famous for their curative properties related to respiratory problems.
History and culture
The Algarve has more than 3000 years of history. Most of the towns developed from settlements that already existed when the Romans occupied the territory. The origin of the name Algarve dates back to the early Middle Ages, when the Muslims occupied the region and called it ‘Al-Gharb’, meaning ‘the west’ in Arabic. Many places in the Algarve have quite a peculiar architecture, thanks to Arabic and medieval influences.
Make sure to check out the Medieval town of Silves. It was the capital of Al-Gharb during the Moorish reign. Another highlight is to visit Sagres, which was long considered to be the end of the world. Visit the fortress of Sagres and imagine Henry the Navigator, a Portuguese prince from the 15th century, sitting on the cliffs and wondering if there was any land beyond the vast ocean.
If you come to the Algarve, you have many choices of accommodation. Whether you are a nature lover who enjoys the bare minimal or prefer 5 star treatments living like a superstar, the Algarve is the perfect destination for you.
However, after the busy summer season of last year, we recommend to book your hotel now, as it will probably sell out. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels in the Algarve. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.