The Info List - Algarve

--- Advertisement ---

The Algarve
(English: /ɑːlˈɡɑːrvə/; Portuguese: [aɫˈɡaɾvɨ], from Arabic: الغرب‎ al-Gharb "the west") is the southernmost region of continental Portugal. It has an area of 4,997 square kilometres (1,929 sq mi)[3] with 451,006[4] permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities.[5] The region has as its administrative centre in the city of Faro, where both the region's international airport (FAO) and public university, the University of Algarve, are located. Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve's summer economy. Production of food, which includes fish and other seafood, different types of fruit like oranges, figs, plums, carob beans and almonds, is also economically important in the region. Although Lisbon
surpasses the Algarve
in terms of tourism revenue[6], the Algarve
is still, overall, considered to be the biggest and most important Portuguese tourist region, having received an estimated total of 7.1 million tourists in 2017[7]. Its population triples in the peak holiday season thanks to seasonal residents. The Algarve
is also increasingly being sought after, mostly by central and northern Europeans, as a permanent place to settle. An American-based study concluded that the Algarve
was the world's best place to retire[8]. The Algarve
is one of the most developed regions of Portugal
and, with a GDP
per capita 86% of the European Union
European Union
average, the third richest (behind Lisbon
and Madeira).[9]


1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Climate 2.2 Human geography

3 Economy

3.1 Development 3.2 Tourism

3.2.1 Accommodation

4 Education 5 Sports 6 Culture 7 Notable citizens 8 Gallery 9 See also 10 References 11 External links


Estácio da Veiga's 1878 Archeological map of the Algarve

The Roman temple of Milreu in Estói.

The city of Silves, the first capital of the Algarve.

Human presence in southern Portugal
dates back to the Paleolithic
and Neolithic
periods. The presence of megalithic stones in the area of Vila do Bispo
Vila do Bispo
attests to this presence. The Cynetes, influenced by Tartessos, were established by the sixth century BC in the region of the Algarve
(called Cyneticum). They would be strongly influenced by the Celtici. Those Indo-European tribes, Celtic or pre-Celtic, founded the city of Lagos (then called Lacóbriga). The Phoenicians had established trading ports along the coast circa 1000 BC. Some sources claim that the Carthaginians founded Portus Hanibalis – known today as Portimão
– in about 550 BC. Much of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
was absorbed into the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
in the second century BC (despite the resistance of the Lusitanians
and other tribes), and the Algarve
region similarly came under Roman control. Many Roman ruins can still be seen, notably in Lagos, but also at Milreu.[10] Roman bath complexes and fish salting tanks have been found near the shore in several locations, for example the ones near Vilamoura
and Praia da Luz. In the 5th century, the Visigoths
took control of the Algarve
until the beginning of the Umayyad conquest of Hispania
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
in 711. When the Moors
conquered Lagos in 716, it was named Zawaia. Faro, which the Christian residents had called Santa Maria, was renamed Faraon, which means "settlement of the knights". Due to the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the region was called Gharb Al-Andalus: Gharb means "the west", while al-Andalus is the Arabic name for the Iberian Peninsula. For several years, the town of Silves was the capital of the region. In the mid-13th century, during the Reconquista, the Kingdom of Portugal
conquered the region in a series of successful military campaigns against the Moors. Al-Gharb became the Kingdom of the Algarve, and the moors were expelled, but battles with Muslim forces persisted. It was not until the early 14th century that the Portuguese finally secured the region against the subsequent Muslim attempts to recapture the area. King Afonso III of Portugal
started calling himself King of Portugal
and the Algarve. After 1471, with the conquest of several territories in the Maghreb
– the area considered an extension of the Algarve
– Afonso V of Portugal
began fashioning himself "King of Portugal
and the Algarves", referring to the European and African possessions. Prior to the independence of Brazil, the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (1815–1822) was an official designation for Portugal
which also alluded to the Algarve. Portuguese monarchs continued to use this title until the proclamation of the First Portuguese Republic in 1910. Between 1595 and 1808, the Algarve
was a semi-autonomous area of Portugal
with its own governor, as well as a separate taxation system.[verification needed].

The walls of the ancient town of Lagos.

In the 15th century, Prince Henry the Navigator
Henry the Navigator
based himself near Lagos and conducted various maritime expeditions which established the colonies that comprised the Portuguese Empire. It was also from Lagos that Gil Eanes
Gil Eanes
set sail in 1434 to become the first seafarer to round Cape Bojador
Cape Bojador
in West Africa. The voyages of discovery brought Lagos fame and fortune. Trade flourished and Lagos became the capital of the historical province of Algarve
in 1577 and remained so until the year of the fabled 1755 Lisbon
earthquake. The earthquake damaged many areas in the Algarve
and an accompanying tsunami destroyed or damaged coastal fortresses, while coastal towns and villages were heavily damaged except Faro, which was protected by the sandy banks of Ria Formosa lagoon. In Lagos, the waves reached the top of the city walls. For many Portuguese coastal regions, including the Algarve, the destructive effects of the tsunami were more disastrous than those of the earthquake proper. In 1807, while Jean-Andoche Junot
Jean-Andoche Junot
led the first Napoleonic invasion in the north of Portugal, the Algarve
was occupied by Spanish troops under Manuel Godoy. Beginning in 1808, and after subsequent battles in various towns and villages, the region was the first to drive out the Spanish occupiers. During the Portuguese Civil War, several battles took place in the region, specially the battle of Cape St. Vicente and the battle of Sant’Ana, between liberals and Miguelites. Remexido was the guerrilla Algarvian leader that stood with the Miguelite absolutists for years, until he was executed in Faro (1838).[11] The establishment of the First Portuguese Republic
First Portuguese Republic
in 1910 marked the end of the Kingdom of Portugal
and the Algarve. Geography[edit]

A panoramic view from the highest point Fóia of the mountain range of Monchique.

The Algarve
covers 4997 square km,[3] extending just south of the Tagus valley to the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Its highest point is Fóia, 902 metres (2,959 ft), in the mountain range of Monchique. It also includes some islands and islets. The region is also the home of the Ria Formosa
Ria Formosa
lagoon, a nature reserve of over 170 square kilometres and a stopping place for hundreds of different species of birds. The length of the south-facing coastline is approximately 155 kilometres. Beyond the westernmost point of Cape St. Vincent it stretches a further 50 kilometres to the north. The coastline is notable for picturesque limestone caves and grottoes, particularly around Lagos, which are accessible by powerboat. Climate[edit] The maximum recorded temperatures in the Algarve
fluctuate between 25 °C (77 °F) in winter and 48 °C (118 °F) in summer, with the temperature rarely falling below zero in the winter months. The winter of 2008–09 was exceptionally cold and wet. Temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) were recorded in coastal areas for the first time in many years.

Climate data for Faro

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 21.9 (71.4) 24.7 (76.5) 28.9 (84) 30.1 (86.2) 33.6 (92.5) 37.1 (98.8) 44.3 (111.7) 39.6 (103.3) 37.4 (99.3) 33.3 (91.9) 28.6 (83.5) 24.0 (75.2) 44.3 (111.7)

Average high °C (°F) 16.1 (61) 16.9 (62.4) 19.1 (66.4) 20.4 (68.7) 22.8 (73) 26.4 (79.5) 29.2 (84.6) 28.8 (83.8) 26.6 (79.9) 23.2 (73.8) 19.6 (67.3) 17.0 (62.6) 22.2 (72)

Daily mean °C (°F) 12.0 (53.6) 12.8 (55) 14.8 (58.6) 16.1 (61) 18.4 (65.1) 21.9 (71.4) 24.2 (75.6) 24.1 (75.4) 22.3 (72.1) 19.3 (66.7) 15.7 (60.3) 13.3 (55.9) 17.9 (64.2)

Average low °C (°F) 7.9 (46.2) 8.7 (47.7) 10.5 (50.9) 11.8 (53.2) 14.0 (57.2) 17.3 (63.1) 19.1 (66.4) 19.4 (66.9) 18.0 (64.4) 15.3 (59.5) 11.7 (53.1) 9.6 (49.3) 13.6 (56.5)

Record low °C (°F) −1.2 (29.8) −1.2 (29.8) 2.3 (36.1) 3.6 (38.5) 6.7 (44.1) 8.0 (46.4) 11.9 (53.4) 13.1 (55.6) 9.9 (49.8) 7.8 (46) 2.7 (36.9) 1.2 (34.2) −1.2 (29.8)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 59.3 (2.335) 52.0 (2.047) 39.4 (1.551) 38.6 (1.52) 21.7 (0.854) 4.3 (0.169) 1.8 (0.071) 3.9 (0.154) 23.2 (0.913) 60.1 (2.366) 90.4 (3.559) 114.1 (4.492) 508.8 (20.031)

Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 12 13 9 10 7 4 1 1 3 9 10 11 90

Mean monthly sunshine hours 170.5 165.2 232.5 252.0 313.1 333.0 368.9 353.4 273.0 226.3 183.0 167.4 3,038.3

Source: Instituto de Meteorologia,[12] World Meteorological Organization[13] (precipitation days), Hong Kong Observatory[14](sunshine hours)

Aerial view of Cape St. Vincent, the southwestern edge of the Algarve coast.

A view of Odeceixe, in Northwestern Algarve.

The interior of the Algarve
consists of small villages and is sparsely inhabited.

Human geography[edit] There are about 450,000 permanent inhabitants (90 residents per square kilometre) in the area, although this figure increases to over a million people at the height of summer, due to an influx of tourists. The Algarve
has several cities, towns and villages: the region's capital is the city of Faro, while other cities include Albufeira, Lagoa, Lagos, Loulé, Olhão, Portimão, Quarteira, Silves, Tavira, and Vila Real de Santo António, in addition to various summer retreats such as Vilamoura, Praia da Rocha, Armação de Pêra, Alvor, Monte Gordo, Tavira, and Sagres. Before 2004, the Faro District
Faro District
was the administrative unit governing the Algarve. In 2004 the Greater Metropolitan Area of the Algarve
was formed, which was converted into an intermunicipal community in 2008.[15] Algarve
is also a NUTS II and NUTS III statistical region. The intermunicipal community of Algarve
is subdivided into 16 municipalities:[5]

Municipality Population (2011)[4] Area (km²)[3]

Albufeira 40,828 140.66

Alcoutim 2,917 575.36

Aljezur 5,884 323.50

Castro Marim 6,747 300.84

Faro 64,560 202.57

Lagoa 22,975 88.25

Lagos 31,049 212.99

Loulé 70,622 763.67

Monchique 6,045 395.30

Olhão 45,396 130.86

Portimão 55,614 182.06

São Brás de Alportel 10,662 153.37

Silves 37,126 680.06

Tavira 26,167 606.97

Vila do Bispo 5,258 179.06

Vila Real de Santo António 19,156 61.25

Total 451,006 4996.80


A complex of apartments overlooking the beach in Praia da Rocha, Portimão. The Algarve
relies heavily on the tourism industry.

A panoramic view of Faro, the capital of the Algarve.

has some of Europe's Top Golf

Agricultural products of the region include fig, almond, orange, carob bean, strawberry tree and cork oak. Horticulture is important and the region's landscape was known for the large areas of land covered with plastic greenhouses which are used for that end. Fishing and aquaculture are important activities in the coastal area of Algarve, with sardines, soles, cyprinids, gilt-head bream and various seafood, including the grooved carpet shell, being the major productions. Algarve's wines are also renowned. There are four wines in the region which have Protected Designation of Origin
Protected Designation of Origin
(Denominação de Origem Controlada – DOC): Lagoa DOC, Lagos DOC, Portimão
DOC and Tavira DOC. Food processing, cement and construction, are the main industries. Tourism related activities are extensive and make the bulk of Algarve's economy during summer time. The Algarve's economy has always been closely linked to the sea, and fishing has been an important activity since ancient times. Only since the 1960s has the region embraced tourism, which has become its most important economic activity. With the increase in life quality and purchasing power, many Shopping Malls have been constructed, mostly in the past 15–20 years. Recently, an Ikea
opened in Loulé, one of five in Portugal. In 2017, the Algarve
was the Portuguese region that experienced the biggest economic growth, an increase of 4.6% of its GDP. [16] Development[edit] The Algarve
has been experiencing a strong development since the beginning of the 1960s, initially due to the need to accommodate its foreign visitors. The region started the construction of better infrastructures, mainly roads, sanitation, power grids, telecommunications, hospitals and housing. Due to the austerity measures introduced in 2011, tolls were set in place on the main motorway that crosses the region in order to offset the expense of its maintenance. Private investors, with the support of Municipalities, also began the construction of a huge variety of hotels, resorts, golf courses (which are considered to be some of the best in Europe) and villas. All this led to a large development in the region, especially for the locals, who had previously lived in harsher circumstances. Today, the Algarve
is amongst the regions in Portugal
with best quality of life.[citation needed] Tourism[edit] In the 1960s the Algarve
became a very popular destination for tourists, mainly from the United Kingdom. It has since become a common destination for people from Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland. Many of these tourists own their own property in the region. There are Algarve-based publications and newspapers written in English specifically for this community. In recent years the Algarve
has seen a high increase in tourists from Spain, France
and Italy, followed by Canadians, Americans
and Australians. Portuguese people from other parts of the country also visit the region in large numbers, especially in the peak of the Summer (July and August). Tourist attractions in the region include its beaches, Mediterranean climate, safety, cuisine and relatively low costs. Well-known beaches in the Algarve
range from Marinha Beach to Armação de Pêra. A well-known spa town is Caldas de Monchique. In addition to its natural features and beaches, the Algarve
has invested in the creation of a network of golf courses. The Algarve
is also popular for religious tourism, notably pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Piety (best known as the Sovereign Mother), a Marian shrine dedicated to the patron saint of Loulé, that attract thousands of pilgrims of the Catholic faithful to the city, or with the international pilgrimages to the apparitions site of Our Lady Mother of Goodness occurred near São Marcos da Serra.

The procession of the Sovereign Mother (Our Lady of Piety) attract thousands of pilgrims to the Marian shrine of Loulé, in Algarve.

Algarve's mild climate has attracted interest from Northern Europeans wishing to have a holiday home or residence in the region. Being a region of Portugal, and therefore in the European Union, any EU citizen has the right to freely buy property and reside with little formality in the Algarve.[17] British expatriates, followed by German, Dutch and Scandinavians, are among the largest groups wishing to own a home in this sunny region of Portugal. Tourism plays an important role in the economy of the Algarve. A large number of seasonal job opportunities are tourism-related and are fulfilled by thousands of locals and immigrants. Due to its seasonal nature, most of the economy relies on the good weather available mostly for only 5–6 months (characterised by a prolonged lack of rain and temperatures above 30 °C throughout the day), meaning that many Algarvians go unemployed during the low season. Nonetheless, due to the very high monetary income that the high season brings, most people in the Algarve
are still able to have comfortable lives even while unemployed. In March 2007, the Portuguese economic minister, Manuel Pinho, announced the creation of the "Allgarve" brand, as a part of a strategical promotion of the Algarve
as a tourism destination for foreign citizens.[18] According to World Travel Awards, Algarve
is the Europe's Leading Golf
Destination 2013 and 2014.[19][20] There are over 25 top-class courses in the Algarve, most of which were designed by legendary names such as Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Christy O'Connor Jr. Accommodation[edit] Accommodation in the Algarve
ranges from high rise resorts in places like Albufeira
to traditional guesthouses, located in the small towns and villages surrounding the Algarve
coast. Over the past few years many tourists visiting the Algarve
have moved away from the resorts, and have chosen the comfort of a traditional Algarve
guesthouse. Education[edit] The University of Algarve, headquartered in Faro with an extension in Portimão, is a public university which awards all academic degrees in fields ranging from marine biology to economics to environmental engineering. There are also several higher education private institutions (Piaget – Silves and others), state-run and private secondary education schools, including a number of international schools, and a wide network of kindergartens and primary schools. Sports[edit]

The 30,000-seater Algarve
Stadium (Estádio Algarve) was built as a venue for UEFA Euro 2004.

The Algarve
has many sports clubs, including football teams (S.C. Olhanense, Portimonense S.C.) which play in the first, second and third lay tiers of professional football. S.C. Farense
S.C. Farense
is the most successful football club in the Algarve
and play in the Campeonato de Portugal. Some other ancient sports clubs (football teams) from the region are Esperança de Lagos, Lusitano FC (Vila Real de Santo António) and Silves FC.[citation needed] Culture[edit]

Traditional hand-painted pottery from Porches

The Portuguese Water Dogs are native to the Algarve; they were the fisherman's main companion and were often taken with sailors during the Portuguese discoveries.

The Algarve
had the highest population of the Iberian lynx
Iberian lynx
in Portugal. However, there have not been any reports of lynxes in the wild in the region since 2003.

The water in the sea coast of Algarve

The Algarve
is famous for its pottery and ceramics, particularly hand-painted pottery and azulejos, which are painted, tin-glazed ceramic tiles. There are numerous ceramics and pottery outlets throughout the Algarve. For working potteries and ceramics workshops the main, or best-known, pottery centers are located in the towns of Almancil, Porches and Loulé, but there are many other potteries and workshops in the Algarve
region. Corridinho is the traditional dance of the Portuguese southernmost region – Algarve. Notable citizens[edit]

Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Aníbal Cavaco Silva
(former Portuguese president and prime minister) Adelino da Palma Carlos (former Portuguese prime minister) António Calvário
António Calvário
(singer) Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias
(navigator) Bonnie Tyler
Bonnie Tyler
(singer) Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard
(singer) Carlos Brito (politician and writer) Diogo Rodrigues
Diogo Rodrigues
(explorer of the Indian Ocean) Francisco Barreto
Francisco Barreto
(soldier and explorer; an officer in Morocco, viceroy of Portuguese India, he was tasked with an expedition to southeast Africa in search of legendary gold mines.) Gil Eannes
Gil Eannes
(navigator) João de Deus
João de Deus
(poet) João Moutinho
João Moutinho
(football player) João Vaz Corte-Real (claimed by some accounts to have been a pre-Columbian explorer of a land called New Land of the Codfish, possibly part of North America) José Mendes Cabeçadas
José Mendes Cabeçadas
(former Portuguese president and prime minister) Júlio Dantas
Júlio Dantas
(writer, doctor) Lídia Jorge
Lídia Jorge
(writer) Manuel Teixeira Gomes
Manuel Teixeira Gomes
(former Portuguese president and writer) Maria Barroso
Maria Barroso
(actress, wife of former Portuguese president and prime minister Mário Soares) Maria Margarida Pinto Ribeiro de Sousa Uva (wife of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Portugal) Nuno Júdice
Nuno Júdice
(poet) Maria Keil
Maria Keil
(artist) Clive Dunn, British film and television actor (Dad's Army), from the 1980s until his death in 2012. Patrick Swift
Patrick Swift
(Artist. Lived in Algarve
from 1962 until his death in 1983. Founded Porches Pottery/Olaria Algarve.) Katherine Swift
Katherine Swift
(Artist and ceramicist. Worked at Porches Pottery and founded Estudio Destra
Estudio Destra
in Silves.) Brites de Almeida (Aljubarrota battle events) Duarte Pacheco (engineer) Álvaro Esteves (XV century navigator)


The city of Tavira
capital of the Costa do Acantilado

The historic centre of Lagos

at night

A street in Silves

Partial view of Carvoeiro

A beach in Albufeira

The city of Vila Real de Santo António

Marina beach in Vilamoura

Typical view of the Algarve

Beach in Quarteira

Shepherd and sheep near Lagos

Desert island near Faro

Sagres Point, in the extreme of continental Portugal

Loulé's municipal market

The bog fountain in Alte

Silves Cathedral

The open fields of the Algarve
in Spring

The spa resort town of Caldas de Monchique

See also[edit]

Gharb Al-Andalus Kingdom of the Algarve Algarve
VR Portugal


^ a b c "EU Regions". Eurostat.  ^ "Regiões de Portugal". AICEP. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.  ^ a b c Direção-Geral do Território[permanent dead link] ^ a b "Statistics Portugal". ine.pt.  ^ a b "Law nr. 75/2013" (pdf). Diário da República (in Portuguese). Assembly of the Republic (Portugal). Retrieved 13 August 2014.  ^ "Lisboa ultrapassa pela primeira vez 1.000 milhões de euros em receitas de alojamento turístico" (Economy). O Jornal Económico. Retrieved 26 February 2018.  ^ " Algarve
com 4,2 milhões de turistas e 20 milhões de dormidas oficiais em 2017 - AHETA" (Economy). Diário de notícias. Retrieved 26 February 2018.  ^ " Algarve
once again elected best place in the world to retire". The Portugal
News.  ^ GDP
per inhabitant ranged from 28% of the EU27 average in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner London ^ CM-FARO. "Milreu Roman Ruins". www.cm-faro.pt. Retrieved 2017-02-27.  ^ "Remexido". Algarve
Primeiro (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2017-02-27.  ^ Faro – Instituto de Meteorologia, 1981–2010 (provisórias) ^ "Monthly Averages for Faro, Portugal". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 5 September 2012.  ^ "Climatological Information for Faro, Portugal" Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 5 September 2012 ^ AMAL. "AMAL :: Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve". amal.pt.  ^ "Contributo do Algarve
para o PIB Nacional pode chegar aos 4,6% em 2017". Sul Informação. Sul Informação. Retrieved 26 February 2018.  ^ "On the Rights of Citizens of the Union ...", EC Directive 2004/58 EC, retrieved 25 May 2007.[1] ^ http://www.correiodamanha.pt/noticia.asp?id=234857&idselect=11&idCanal=11&p=200 ^ "Europe's Leading Golf
Destination 2013 — World Travel Awards". Worldtravelawards.com. Retrieved 31 January 2014.  ^ " Algarve
elected Europe's best Golf
Destination of 2014". The Portugal
News. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Algarve.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Algarve.

Associação de Turismo do Algarve Film Production Algarve

v t e

Statistical divisions of Portugal

Norte Region

Metropolitan areas


Intermunicipal communities

Alto Minho Alto Tâmega Ave Cávado Douro Tâmega e Sousa Terras de Trás-os-Montes

Centro Region

Intermunicipal communities

Beira Baixa Beiras e Serra da Estrela Médio Tejo Oeste Região de Aveiro Região de Coimbra Região de Leiria Viseu Dão Lafões

Lisboa Region

Metropolitan areas



Intermunicipal communities

Litoral Alentejo
Central Alto Alentejo Baixo Alentejo Lezíria do Tejo


Intermunicipal communities


Autonomous Regions

Azores Madeira

All these divisions are further subdivided into municipali