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The Algarve

Set in the southern coast of Portugal, the Algarve is distinguished for its unique scenery and pleasant climate, making it the perfect destination for leisure or business travelling. Enriched by natural beauty, west Algarve is outlined by the Monchique mountains and beautiful golden beaches. You can feel the local culture alive, remembering the past through a visit to the historical monuments, contemplating the artistic shows or handcraft fairs. In this corner of the Algarve you may visit many places of cultural, architectural or leisure interest such as the Slaves' Market in Lagos, the Fortress in Sagres or Monchique Mountain's Thermal Waters.

 

 

With its unique characteristics it is known to be the perfect place for leisure and sports enthusiasts. Golf is particularly high on the list of things to do, and there are numerous courses to test even the most ardent player. The existing and modern infrastructures invite everyone to try one of the many sport activities the Algarve has to offer: from golf to tennis, sailing, mountain biking, trekking, amongst others. The recently built Algarve Motor Park, located near Portimão is the most recent attraction for motor sports enthusiasts.

Background and History

 

The Algarve is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Every year tourists in their thousands flock to the south of Portugal to soak up the sun and relax in this European paradise. The summer months see high temperatures that attract the beach-goers and sun-lovers from around the world, and with it's world-renowned beaches of fine golden sand spanning the coast-line in front of the calm, clear seas, the Algarve is a European paradise for sun-seekers.

 

With more hours of sunshine than California and only short periods of rainfall, generally between November and March, the Algarve has the perfect weather and climate for tourism. The maximum temperatures in the Algarve fluctuate between 15°C and 31 °C, with the temperature never falling below zero in the winter months.

 

The Algarve coast line stretches about 100 miles from the western-most tip to the Spanish border, and as well as being most well known for its expansive and extensive beaches of fine golden sands, you will also find some of the most dramatic cliff faces and rock-formations in the world. The western end which juts out into the Atlantic is a rugged, undeveloped area, which has retained its natural charm, and is extremely dramatic, with cliffs of black rock from which Algarvian fishermen cling precariously hundreds of feet above the sea, for hours on end.

 

Nothing appears to have changed over the centuries, and the entire area is virtually untouched by tourism. The beaches here vary from tiny, intimate coves to long lengths of open soft sand, where the Atlantic waves crash and retreat. The highlight of visiting the western coast is Cape St. Vincent - the most south-westerly point in Europe. Migrating birds fly overhead, using Cape St. Vincent as a stop off point en route from Northern Europe to Africa. Visit these cliffs and you will see spectacular views straight out across the Atlantic Ocean, with nothing but water between you and America!

 

Eating out in the Algarve holds a prominent position in Portuguese life and is the only way to truly discover the extent of the region's culinary range. Food in the Algarve can be seen to reflect the heritage of this fantastic region, always full of flavour and richly prepared, and with roots dating back to a world long since gone.

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It was the Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza (1638–1705) who brought tea over to the UK. Her influence made tea more popular amongst the wealthier classes of society in particular, afternoon tea.

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