#3: Regions of Portugal - Algarve

24/03/2016 16:10

The third region that we bring to your attention among series Portuguese Regions is Algarve, located in the South of Portugal. The word Algarve derives from the arabic al-Gharb, meaning “the West”. It is subdivided into 16 municipalities – such as Albufeira, Lagoa, Lagos, Loule, Portimаo and Tavira -  having the administrative centre of region in Faro.

Tourism and related activities are very important for this region, especially during the summer season, attracting several national and international tourists. Golf is becoming very popular in this region, being even considered more than once the world's best golf destination.

Golf

When talking about local gastronomy, we advice you to try the sweet specialties Dom Rodrigos and Morgados cookies based on local products, such as almonds, figs and eggs. Due to its proximity with the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, seafood – such as clams, cockles and cuttlefish (choquinhos à algarvia) -  and fish – such as sardines and horse mackerel - have a strong consume in Algarve. Last but not the least, Moscatel wine and Aguardente de Medronho (made of berries) are also highly appreciated in this region.

Morgados

Choquinhos à Algarvia

It has several wonders worth visiting. We leave you here a few suggestions:

Faro

Faro is not only the southernmost city of the country but also the district with the same name. It holds an international airport, being the 3rd most important in the country after Lisbon and Porto.

Being a big city in the region, it hosts several important events. Student’s festival (Semana Académica) is organized every year in May by the University of Algarve, founded in 1979.

The Faro International Motorcycle Rally, usually held in mid-July, is also another famous festival, attracting many European motorcyclists every year. The city is even known as the motorcyclists’ European capital, finishing this event with a parade on its last day.

Faro International Motorcycle Rally

Loulé

A highlight of the Summer months in Loule is Noite Branca (Festival of White Night), celebrating the end of the Summer. Everyone is supposed to wear white, while the city is filled with music and a lots of fun!  Some people actually wander along the streets, dressed in white as princes and princesses, demons and fantasy figures. Carnival of Loulé, is also one of the most typical of the country.

Carnival of Loulé

Portimão

Praia da Rocha (Rock Beach), one of Algarve’s most famous beaches 1.5 km long, is just around the corner from Portimao marina and it hosts several parties and events during the Summer season.

Praia da Rocha

The beach soccer tournament, Mundialito de Futebol de Praia, which hosts the world's best national teams, takes place in Praia da Rocha every year from 2005 to 2012.

Portimão is also well known for being a great location for sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the host venue for many prestigious sailing events such as the Portimão Portugal Match Cup event that brings the world's best sailing teams to Portimão.

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