. Wherever you look, the colours of the mountains and sea are always with you, creating the impression of a water-colour dotted with highlights of gold, green and blue.
The region is extensive and pleasant, with a Mediterranean climate, marked by the smell of the sea at low tide and the scent of wild flowers.
The best way of getting to know the little inland villages is on a pleasent stroll through the tangled web of narrow streets, alleys and steps. You can also lose yourself on the vastness of the Algarve coastline
on a hike, boat tour
or private charter
With a lot of things to do in Algarve
, you cannot miss visiting the most important wetland
South of Portugal, the Ria Formosa lagoon
system. The Ria Formosa Natural Park
is subject of increasing interest due to the high environmental quality that preserves both diverse bird and marine wildlife.
Its natural landscapes provides unforgettable leisurely walks or boat tours
and moments in communion with nature. Experiences like clam picking
and oyster tasting
are a must at Ria Formosa Natural Park.
Here the backdrop is composed of some of Europe's most beautiful beaches, from where you can admire the rocky coastline
and the playful shadows they cast on the sand.
After the enchantment of the landscape, you can discover the aromas and flavours of the traditional Algarve gastronomy
The menu may consist of fish and shellfish, with such dishes as "caldeirada de peixe" (fish-stew) or the famous "cataplana" (clams and fish steamed in a copper pan), or you can enjoy the traditional mountain food of stewed chickpeas and cabbage. The range of choices also include the famous regional delicacies, such as figs, almonds, carobs and a brandy made from the locally grown medronho (arbutus-berry), distilled up in the hills in old copper stills.
As you travel
across the Algarve
, amidst its hills and plains filled with places of great ecological interest, rich in biodiversity and ecosystems, you will feel as though you are passing through an area full of different traditions, unchanged for many centuries.
The handicraft is skilfully manufactured by the local craftsmen, who make use of longstanding, ancestral techniques and produce an excellent range of pottery, woven baskets, copper and brass articles, or other pieces made of linen and jute.
Only a step away from the tranquil peace of the inland region is the excitement of the Algarve nightlife. Bars, discos, marinas and casinos guarantee visitors the very best kind of merrymaking.
The region's built heritage is something you cannot afford to miss. The architecture of the whitewashed houses, with their brightly-coloured mouldings and remarkably beautiful chimneys, the church belfries and the museums, all reveal particular memories of the ancestors of the Algarve
people and help to make this such a special destination.
Also to be recommended is the range of outdoor sports
that are available, whether you're playing golf
on lush green courses
or enjoying some physical exercise at some of the region's excellent facilities, whether you're on the coast or perhaps up in the hills, where, after the rigours of winter and even before the first signs of spring, the land is covered in a pinkish white blanket, produced by the blossom of the almond-trees scattered across the horizon.
This is a true portrait of the Algarve
you'll find waiting for you, all year round.