The Algarve is one of Portugal's most important tourist destination. Not surprisingly, considering this region in the country's deep
south combines a pleasant climate with sandy beaches, rugged coastlines and interesting nature reserves.
Add good infrastructure and reasonable cost of living to the mix and it becomes clear why the Algarve is a very attractive hibernating place for pensionados from northern Europe and Great Britain.
The Algarve, and in particular the city of Lagos, played a pivotal role in the early maritime explorations of the African coast all the way to Cape of Good Hope.
The devastating Lisbon earthquake of 1755, and the ensuing monster tsunami destroyed all the coastal towns and settlements of the Algarve. Only Faro escaped and replaced Lagos as the facto capital of the region.
In summer more than a million tourists flock to the Algarve to hit the beaches and visit attractions like:
The Ria Formosa National Park with several barrier islands and lagoons that protected Faro from the worst effects of the 1755 tsunami. The area is a major stopover for scores of migratory birds. There are also sustainable shellfish farms.
Lagos features beautiful beaches and a historic center. Several operators offer boat trips to the nearby rocks.
The spectacular Ponta da Piedade yellow-golden rockformations and rugged cliffs near Lagos.
The famous Lighthouse of Cabo de Sao Vincente.