The climate - with over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and a low annual average rainfall, the Algarve enjoys mild weather throughout the year, which is certainly a big attraction for visitors, both in the summer for a few days on the beach and in winter to relax or engage in a variety of activities.
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. The beaches, stretching as far as the eye can see, bound by golden cliffs in small bays nestling between rocks, provide many stunning backdrops for unforgettable holidays. There are around 200 km of coastline that are perfect for all kinds of water sports, including sailing, surfing and windsurfing. Yachting enthusiasts are guaranteed to find great support infrastructures in the modern marinas spread along the Algarve coast.
Golf has brought the Algarve many international prizes and awards, and the region has more than once been voted the best golfing destination in the world. The Algarve has about forty courses with excellent conditions for both experienced players and those taking up the sport for the first time. .
Nature is at its best in three protected areas: the Vicentina Coast which is the best preserved stretch of coast in Europe, the Ria Formosa, a maze of channels separated from the sea by a strip of sand, and the Marshland of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, rich in fauna and flora. But there are also the hills you can discover by bike or on foot, following the footpaths of the Via Algarviana, which connect the eastern end of the region to the westernmost point via the interior, ending at the Rota Vincentina - another set of trails not to be missed for those who like walking. For those seeking a bigger adrenaline rush, there is parasailing, scuba diving, hang gliding or abseiling.
Heritage offers many treasures to discover. For example in Silves, formerly the capital of the Arab Kingdom, in Sagres and Lagos, very important during the 15th-century Discoveries, in Tavira, a showcase of traditional architecture or in the historical centre of Faro with its beautiful cathedral.
Entertainment is red hot every summer in the many bars and clubs, especially in the most cosmopolitan areas like Albufeira, Portimão and Vilamoura. And throughout the year there are various events that bring colour and fun to the region, such as Carnival, music or food festivals, historical re-enactments and the traditional fairs and festivals which are held all over the region.
Food where the spotlight is naturally on fresh fish and seafood, either grilled or in a stew. But there are meat dishes, more common inland, and almond and fig cakes such as morgados or Dom Rodrigos, which go perfectly with the local almond liqueur or arbutus aguardente.
Resorts and Spas where you can enjoy some serious relaxation or health and well-being cures which are also available at the thalassotherapy centres and Spa at Monchique. But rest is within everyone's reach at a variety of resorts and hotels. From the simplest to the most sophisticated, what they all have in common is a genuine pleasure in offering hospitality.