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The beaches of the Algarve are legendary: Their soft, sandy stretches are met by sparkling waves and punctuated by red, rocky outcrops made for climbing, exploring and rock pooling. Add the Algarve’s glorious Mediterranean climate, fantastic cuisine and friendly, family-oriented people, and it’s little wonder why so many flock to this region of Portugal.
The central area of the Algarve is considered best for families and those who’d like to play a round of golf. Popular resorts include Vilamoura, Albufeira and Portimao. In the east, spots like Tavira and Olhao are prime destinations for couples, while the west is well suited for solo travel. There are some fantastic towns to explore in this corner of Portugal such as Sagres, Luz, Alvor and Lagos. When you reach historic Cape St. Vincent you’re at the most southwestern point in Europe.
The Algarve’s climate is Mediterranean. Temperatures reach 30 C (86 F) or higher in July and August, and the weather typically stays mild between October and January, though most of the rain also falls during these months.
There are buses connecting the towns of the Algarve but for maximum independence, renting a car is your best bet. Faro Airport is the gateway to the area and is located just 4 km (2.5 miles) from the capital city of Faro.