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algarve portugal

Located on the very tip of southern Portugal, Algarve boasts beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by rolling hills protecting the beach from winds and leaving it only with a soft breeze from the ocean. This part of Portugal is an eclectic one, influenced by Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabic culture from the century or so of Moorish rule. The area is a populous one, even when you don’t include the millions of tourists who visit each year. The coast extends about 155 kilometers and is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Ocean and at the far western edge, the Atlantic Ocean. Despite a large population and being crowded during the summer months, Algarve doesn’t feel overrun with people. The many inlets, islands, and small towns along this coast provide plenty of space for people to spread out and give a degree of privacy for those who are looking for it. Algarve is a great beach destination for sunbathers, young backpackers looking for a good time, and families looking to wind down. The entire area is historically rich as well, and in addition to the Roman ruins, there is a strong Arabic architectural influence evident all around.

Popular Beaches in Algarve

boat in taviraEnglish is widely spoken in Algarve as many of the tourists who made the beaches of this area popular were British or Irish. It has since become popular with many more Europeans, including Germans, French, and Dutch visitors. Some of the more popular beaches in Algarve include Praia da Marinha to Armação de Pêra. The cliamte along this coast is temperate and not as hot as you’ll find at other top beaches in Europe at the same time of the year like Myrtos or Tuscany.

Accommodation In Algarve

While at many of the other top beaches in Europe it can be difficult to find budget accommodations or any accommodations near the beach at all, the Algarve hotels area is littered with a good number of well maintained and locally owned hostels. Many of the hostels were started by European expats who came to the area on vacation and simply couldn’t resist leaving. We recommend you staying at one of these hostels since they offer a unique experience in the Algarve region, serve fresh and local dishes, and are generally well kept and maintained. Most of these hostels also offer private, single, and family rooms and aren’t just for backpackers or young travelers who want to party. (There are those hostels out there as well though.)

Things To Do In The Algarve Region

Visit Faro – The capitol city in the region of Algarve, you can visit the Faro Cathedral, built in the Gothic style around 1750. The interior was exquisitely designed and one of the more intriguing pieces of architecture you can visit in the area.

The Ria Formosa Lagoon – This series of 6 barrier islands that links the area to the ocean is a major tourist draw in the area. The 6th island of the group has become part of a national park. In addition to the park there are plenty of small cafes, restaurants, and places to eat set up all across the Ria Formosa. You can easily access the area using one of the many buses that go to and from the Ria Formosa daily.

Algarve Pottery – Make your way to the towns of Porches or Loule for some of the area’s fine handmade pottery. There are potteries, workshops, and pottery tours across many spots in these and several other towns, for which the region is well known for. From there you can also hop along the wine trail and visit one of the seemingly counties wineries in the Algarve area.