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Algarve is the southernmost province of Portugal, with a coast of about 200 kilometers and ravishing beaches. This developing resort European is considered the cleanest one, the most comfortable and at the same time a prestigious resort in Europe.
If the Lisbon Riviera is primarily a "rich" excursion, then Algarve is quite different. Here it's all about rather a beach holiday with periodic excursions along the coast or inland.
Why do tourists choose Algarve? Because of local fishing villages, active recreation and sports, rich nature, and beautiful beaches.
Algarve is widely known for its resorts, but apart from them, there are many interesting places to visit. Therefore, for sightseeing you will definitely need a car. Start your journey from the capital city, choose car rental at Faro airport.
Attractions of the Algarve can be divided into natural and cultural. Let’s start from the cultural sights which have the historical background.
Cultural Sights of Algarve
If to speak about Algarve as a whole, a special interest should be paid to the fortification wall, Romano-Gothic cathedral in a mixed architectural style, Monastery of the Virgin’s Assumption, Church of St. Francis XVI - XVIII centuries, Church of St. Peter, Church of Carmo in the Baroque style and the museums of Henry the Navigator, St. Antonio di Altu and the local lore.
In Faro, you should visit the international airport, Chapel of Bones, Algarve University, Central Square, and the medieval castle. In the city, there are a lot of old churches built in different styles. In addition, in Faro you can visit various museums, in which interesting exhibits are presented.
Don’t forget about Portimão – the second largest city in the Algarve. In its vicinity, there is the fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar, as well as monuments of ancient architecture – the ruins of the Roman villa Abikada (IV century), the ancient necropolis of Alkalar, dated to around 1,600 BC.
You can go to the famous place called Vilamoura – the largest resort complex with hotels and apartments, bars, cafes, restaurants, casinos. Here is the largest harbor in Algarve, where yachts come from all over the world.
Natural Sights of Algarve
The nature of Algarve is very rich and fantastic. Reserves of the Algarve occupy two-thirds of the coast, giving the opportunity to open to tourists a unique flora and fauna of Portugal. For example, drive to Albufeira – a onetime fishing village which eventually grew into the largest local resort. Albufeira attracts with its amazing beach and picturesque rocks. The Algarve is still a land of fishermen – a variety of fish species, including sea flounder, sea bass, sea eel, golden mackerel are found there.
Local reserves and parks are protected by the state. Thanks to this, the natural attractions of the Algarve retain their original pristineness. Tourists can visit the reserved territory of Sudostey Alentejana and Costa Vicentina. There are over 200 species of birds, including rare species, as well as endemic plants and natural monuments of the Neolithic period.
In addition, it is worth visiting the natural parks Castro Marim and Vila Real di Santo António, the reserve Ria Formosa and others. It is worth noting that in the Ria Formosa there are waterfowl. Taking a photo during the visit to this natural sight of Algarve, you can capture rare individuals with bright plumage.
By the way, the Algarve is like a particularly oceanic version of Spain, also more isolated and wild, which gives the region a special charm. So if you cannot imagine your holiday without sea sunsets, Portugal will be a good place to travel in the south of Europe, and Algarve is an excellent destination for the acquaintance with this amazing country.