The Algarve is the southernmost province of mainland Portugal. It is among the most popular tourist destinations of this country. Tourists come mainly from Britain, but Germans, Dutch and Irish are also numerous.
It is primarily this popular because of its beautiful beaches, Mediterranean climate and safety. And also because it is more than a quarter of a century on, firmly on the map as a rewarding and inexpensive holiday destination. Fortunately, it has managed to achieve this without overwhelming the features that make it so special.
Swatches of the Algarve remain delightfully wild and unexploited, with scores of little bays and coves where you can laze the day away if you choose, while the endless expanses of golden sand farther east allow everyone to stake out their own private territory.
Perhaps the most attractive feature of the Algarve is simply that it combines so many different attractions-beaches, luxurious hotels and manicured golf courses, nightlife and sunshine.
The part which is most developed and crowded of the Algarve is at the south of the IP1 motorway between Faro and Albufeira. With a hire car of Algarve car hire it is very simple to escape from the bustle of modern life and discover, to explore the many different faces of the Algarve.
The landscape and climate combine in the Algarve to create a region of year-round appeal. In winter the Algarve basks in balmy sunshine. In summer it remains green and equable due to the cooling effect of Atlantic breezes.
Travelling around, with your car hire Algarve you will encounter breathtaking views: sheer cliffs battered by Atlantic waves at Cabo de São Vicente; brightly painted sardine boats in the harbours; the Algarve is hilly, but traversed with rich sheltered valleys with their patchwork of orange groves; vineyards and olive trees, with Moorish-style houses tumbling down the hillside. Its highest point is Monchique, this mountain range has a maximum altitude of 906m. The highest peak is named Foía.
Agricultural products of the region include oranges, carob beans, figs, almonds and cork oak. Portugal is the wold’s biggest producer of cork, and much of it is grown in the Algarve and the Alentejo. Traditional almond and fig production, while still important, is in decline, but citrus production is increasing and large areas of the foothills are covered in orange and lemon groves.
Fish and seafood are other important resources in the region. With sardines, cyprinids, soles, gilt-head bream and grooved carpet shell being the major productions. Tuna, cod and sardine fishing and canning are important, but the industry has not modernised and faces strong competition from Spanish fishermen with more modern fleets. Algarve's wines are also renowned.
The maximum temperatures in the Algarve
fluctuate between 15 and 31 °C. The mountains separating the Algarve
from the Alentejo also shelter it from cold continental air in winter,
so that the region´s winter climate is markedly milder than the rest
of Portugal, though it does have high rainfall, due to Atlantic fronts.
That is why the Algarve is, all year long, an excellent place to be.
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