In the Algarve, the landscape and the climate combine to create a region of year-round appeal. In winter the Algarve basks in balmy sunshine whilst in summer the power of the sun is masked by the cooling effect of the Atlantic breeze. It is this climate that has prompted the development of stretches of world-class golf courses as well as the surge in quality hotels and resorts built as close as possible to some of the more accessible, long, sandy beaches which wind themselves around most of the Algarve coast.
However, the Algarve is not just an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent beaches but also a chance to savour the delicious cuisine and to discover a rich cultural heritage handed down over many centuries of history.
The name “Algarve” stems from the Moorish invasion when the Moors named their new conquest “Al-Gharb” – “The Land of the West” and, in fact, many towns still bear the effect of this Moorish invasion, in their name.
Faro, is the capital of the Algarve, the administrative capital of a tourist region where Faro airport and the University of the Algarve are the main centres of development. The walled fortress has been restored to its old glory with the Sé Cathedral and Episcopal Palace as the focal points.
Outside the walls of the fortress are several points of interest, such as the Municipal Museum, the Church of Senhora do Monte do Carmo with its Chapel of Bones, the Lethes Theatre, opened to the public on 4 of April 1845 and modelled on the La Scala Opera House, in Milan. These are within Faro City itself. For those who prefer excursions of a more natural type, there is the very popular bike excursion to the well know Ria Formosa National Park.
Surrounding Faro, and mainly in the hills, can be found the ruins of a Roman Villa in Milreu, Estoi and many other picturesque villages of interest. A little further, but always only a brief car journey away, are such towns of interest as Loulé, Monchique (with it's Thermal Baths), Lagoa and Lagos.
Driving in the other direction, are Olhão (an old fishing city that sill operates as one of the principal fishing ports in the Algarve), Tavira and Alcoutim. Also of interest is the Fortress of Sagres located on the Cape of Sagres and it is the most westerly point in Europe where Prince Henry the Navigator founded his nautical school.
More details of the aforementioned towns as well as other points of interest, can be found on the Algarve Regional Web page: www.visitalgarve.pt. On this comprehensive website one can also read about the various activities such as cultural exhibitions and performances, food fairs, etc that are programmed for the area.
The reception staff is happy to assist you choose among the area’s many restaurants. They will also help you to hire a bike, car or to book an excursion of your choice.