With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, it is one of Portugal's best-known tourist destinations, famous for its beaches, traditional Mediterranean cuisine and scenic beauty. The coastline is diverse, ranging from steep cliffs to long stretches of sand, lagoons, salt marshes and other dune formations. The “barrocal”, the transition zone between the coast and the mountains, is the main supplier of agricultural products, particularly “medronho”, honey and cork. The mountains occupy 50 per cent of the territory with the Espinhaço de Cão, Monchique and Caldeirão mountain ranges. Between deserted beaches, wild hiking trails, hidden villages, places where flamingos flutter and perfect golf courses, the Algarve is a year-round destination.
The wine-growing region, demarcated in 1980, has 4 Denominations of Origin (Lagoa, Lagos, Portimão and Tavira) with characteristics conferred by its proximity to the sea, climate, natural vegetation and culture marked by the long Arab occupation. In addition to the traditional native grape varieties, such as the red grapes Castelão and Negra Mole and the white grapes Arinto and Crato Branco, in recent times Touriga Nacional and Syrah have been successful, having adapted very well to the region's climatic conditions. The new projects, all vertical vineyards, are focusing on the red grape Aragonez, Touriga Nacional and the white grape Verdelho, along with international varieties such as Chardonnay and Syrah.
3 REASONS TO VISIT
- The beaches
- The extraordinary lacy coastline
- The seafood