Presentation of the Algarve
The Algarve is a region that is located in the south of Portugal. Its name comes from the word Al-Gharb which means West. The region is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south, to the east by the Spanish border. Superb coast that stretches for about 160 kilometers to the south of Portugal. The Algarve enjoys a Mediterranean climate, mild all year (minimum 15 ° C, maximum 37 ° C), the best climate in Europe with maximum sunshine. The sun shines there all the year. You will enjoy a water at 22 ° C that will refresh you just enough summer.
The Algarve offers an incredible diversity and a profusion of attractive beaches and for all tastes. To the east, the region is wilder with the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a large lagoon popular with birds. The hinterland bordered in large part by the serra de Monchique, massif where we like to maintain the traditions. The golden triangle is located between Quinta do Lago, Almancil and Quarteira / Vilamoua.
And then, there are cities like Silves which houses Arab remains, Lagos from the time of the Great Discoveries, Sagres for lovers of wild landscapes, Tavira is a showcase of traditional architecture, Olhão with the largest port of Algarve fishing. Portimão, Praia da Rocha and Albufeira are full of entertainment and Faro, its “capital” with a beautiful historic center.
For activities, there is plenty between the beach, amusement parks (Aqualand, Aquashow, Slide & Splash, Zoomarine). Excursions to visit the caves and go to meet dolphins, seals, sharks, tropical fish. The Algarve also offers beautiful hiking trails for walkers of all levels.
If you are a golf enthusiast, the Algarve offers courses ranked among the 100 best in the world with the ocean in the background. If you like water sports, do not worry, you can practice sailing, motor or jet ski trips … You prefer motor sports, get hooked at the Autodrome International Portimão.
Every year there are fairs or festivals celebrating the gastronomy algarvia such as the festa da Sardinha (Sardine) in Portimão, the Festival do berbigão (seafood) in Faro or Olhão, the feast of the chicken of Albufeira. But it’s not just cooking. Take the time of the carnival, it gives place to many festivities, that of Loulé is the most famous. Christmas is a very endearing moment in the Algarve and other highlights await you: medieval festival of Paderne or Silves, jazz concerts …
The Algarvia gastronomy is dominated by fish and seafood. The specialty of the Algarve is the grilled sardine and the fish and seafood Cataplana. The grilled chicken piri-piri. Added to this are the fruits and vegetables whose sun has enriched the flavors. Traditional pastries with almond etc …
Faro Airport is the main international airport of the Algarve and southern Portugal. It is 7 km southwest of Faro, just outside the city limits. All European airlines are present and you also have direct flights to many destinations.
Faro is the hub of public transport throughout the Algarve. In general, it is advisable to travel by train to go east (Tavira, Monte Gordo and Vila Real) and bus trips are suggested to go west (Vilamoura, Albufeira and Praia da Rocha ). The only exception is for Lagos: it is in this case recommended to take the train. Although train journeys are much more relaxed because there are still seats available, the seaside resorts of the west are far from the train stations (Albufeira is for example 6 km from the station “Albufeira-Ferreiras”) and it is therefore necessary to add a taxi ride.
A taxi ride from the airport to downtown Faro will cost between 10 and 12 €. A supplement luggage is asked in order to place them in the trunk of the taxi. Taxi rides to the seaside resorts of the Algarve are very expensive: it is therefore best to book your transfers in advance or to take public transport
How to move in the Algarve ?
There are train stations in all major cities between Lagos and Vila Real de Santo António
Public transport in all major zones
Color: beige or black and green
The price list must be displayed inside all taxis.
Supplements: increase of 20% the night between 22:00 and 06:00, and the weekend; fixed charge for all luggage carried in the trunk.
Car rental services (with or without driver) are available in all major centers, hotels and travel agencies.
Compulsory conditions: valid identity card (European Union citizens), valid passport (other nationalities), minimum age of 21 years. Mandatory insurance.
Emergencies / S.O.S
In case of emergency, call 112, the national emergency service, for free. Calls can be answered in three languages: Portuguese, English and French. If you need medical assistance, you should go to the Health Center (Centro de Saúde). Hospital emergency services should only be requested for serious cases.
Faro Red Cross – 289 899 900
Faro – 289 891 100
Lagos – 282,770,100
Portimão – 282 450 330
Tourist Office of the Algarve
Avenida 5 de Outubro, nº 18
Tel: (+351) 289 800 400
Fax: (+351) 289 800 489
Police assistance service for tourists
Albufeira Police – (+351) 289 513 203
Vilamoura Police – (+351) 289 388 989
Algarve Tourism Association (ATA)
Avenida 5 de Outubro, nº 18
Tel: (+351) 289 800 403
Fax: (+351) 289 800 466