Algarve Travel Guide
Algarve is Portugal’s southernmost region, famed for its sunshine, pristine beaches, and extensive Atlantic coastline. The distinguishing feature of the Algarve region is its coastline of limestone cliffs and rock formations. The dramatic color collision between the yellow limestone and the turquoise ocean water creates a lasting impression.
Algarve isn’t just a series of impressive seascapes. With plentiful fish, groves of orange, olive, almond, and fig trees, it’s also an epicurean wonderland.
The region is also full of charming whitewashed fishing villages, reminiscent of its Moorish past. Algarve was ruled by the North African Moors from 700 to 1200 AD. The impact of this era can be seen most keenly in the architecture and tasted in the cuisine.
Algarve’s villages are characterized by decorative chimneys, terracotta roofs, colorful tile facades, mosaic walkways, and accents of blue and yellow paint that frame household doors and windows. Beyond the architecture, these towns offer a glimpse of local life. You’ll see older women sitting outside their homes watching all passerby. Gathered outside neighborhood cafés, groups of men play card games and read the latest soccer news. Fishermen fix their nets on the beach. And, cats and dogs freely walk the streets.
When to visit Algarve
Algarve is a very popular holiday destination. The season peaks in July and August. When we visited in early June, we never felt as though it was too crowded or busy. The temperature hovered between 27°C and 36°C. We also re-visited Algarve in November, which was the perfect time for coastal hiking. If you’re interested in milder temperatures, fewer crowds, and wildflowers, come in Spring, of Fall.