Locations

Algarve

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The Algarve is a distinctive province, both geographically and in the culture of its people.
 
The Algarve occupies the most southerly coast of continental Portugal and is geographically separated from the Alentejo and the rest of Portugal by a low mountain range. Foreign residents in the Algarve will often refer to the two Algarves, the Algarve that is world famous for its 155km coastline of golden cliffs with sandy beaches and resorts with golf, restaurants and nightlife. And there is the calmer agricultural interior which rich in history, tradition and culture. Buyers searching for property for sale in Portugal will often look to the calmer country villages set amongst the almond and orange plantations, with the beautiful scent of orange blossoms permeating the country air.
 
Culture - Portuguese affectionately refer to the Algarve as a country apart with it’s own culture influenced by the various foreign occupations, beginning with the Phoenicians who set up trading outposts around 1000BC, followed by the Carthaginians. The Romans stayed over 400 years building roads, palaces and farming grain, grapes and olives to feed their armies. They were followed by the Visigoths then by the North African Moors who’s occupation lasted 500 years before being dislodged by the Christians in the 13th centrury. The influence of the Moor occupation can be experienced in many the names beginning with “al” or “al-Gharb”, the features of the people and the distinctive architecture. A legacy of the Moor occupation is the typical Algarvian houses with flat roof, originally used to dry almonds, fish and cloth.
 
A more recent and most welcome occupation has been the thousands of foreigners who have chosen the Algarve as a retirement or second home. Algarvians have embraced the foreigners with the warm hospitality we have come to expect of the Portuguese people, with English being spoken by 35% of the population.
 
Geography - Officially the “Algarve” is known as the “Regiao de Faro”, which covers an area 4900 km² and with a resident population of approximately 450,000 people. The city of Faro is the administrative capital of the Algarve, home of the University of the Algarve and also the location of the Faro International airport, receiving 8,7 million visitors in 2017.
 
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The Algarve has a 155km coastline which is typically divided up into three regions, the Central Algarve, Eastern Algarve and Western Algarve.
 
• Central Algarve, the cosmopolitan centre of the Algarve with its, restaurants, nightclubs, shopping centres, marinas, water parks, fantastic beaches and championship golf courses in the coastal villages of Almancil, Quarteira, Vilamoura, Albufeira and Carvoeiro. Beaches tend to be sandy coves protected by golden sea cliffs.
 
• Eastern Algarve, is more traditional a favoured location for the Portuguese and Spanish holiday makers, includes Faro, Olhao, Fuzeta, Tavira and Villa Real de S. Antonio, on the Spanish border. The eastern Algarve is home to the Parque da Ria Formosa with is a protected wetland of lagoons and waterways protected from the sea by a chain of sandy islands with white beaches that run for kilometres.
 
• Western Algarve was the departure point that Prince Henry the Navigator choose for the sea voyages of discovery in the 15th century. The eastern Algarve is favoured in the recent past by British holidaymakers, it includes the villages of Portimao, Alvor, Lagos and Sagres, with a mix of beaches, towns with restaurants and bars, golf courses and home to the Formula 1 race track.
If you are looking for a house for sale in Portugal in a resort surrounded by opulent villas with golf at your doorstep or maybe a house in a village close to the beach or something more traditional in the countryside, the Algarve has it all.
 
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Climate - The Algarve's climate is mild, with little rainfall and plenty of sunny days. Winters are mild with temperatures averaging 17ºc and summers are warm with temperatures averaging 30º- 35ºc, refreshed by the cool sea breeze on the coast. The Algarve has 320 days of Sunshine with 10 hours of daylight.
 
The Algarve receives most of its rainfall during the winter, with July and August being the hottest months of the year, temperatures can occasionally reach 40ºc. The autumn and winter months are mild, but you will need a jacket in the evening.
 
You can tell the season from the beauty and scent of the countryside. In January to February the countryside is covered in white Almond blossoms. March to May is orange blossom time with the scent of orange blossoms permeating the countryside. In April to May the countryside is covered in a rich tapestry of wild flowers. The summer months of July to September, being the dry season, the countryside is browner. As the rainfall returns in the winter months of October to December, the countryside again becomes a blanket of lush green.
 
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