The Algarve (Portuguese pronunciation: [aɫˈɡaɾv(ɨ)]) from the Arabic word (الغرب) meaning “the West” is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal.
It has an area of 5,412 square kilometres with approximately 410,000 permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities. The city of Faro is the region’s capital and also administrative centre. The international airport (Faro/Algarve Airport) [FAO] and public university (the University of the Algarve) are both located here.
Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve’s summer economy. Fish, seafood and fruit production, which includes oranges, carob beans, figs and almonds, are other important activities in the region. The Algarve is among the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal. It’s population more than doubles in the peak holiday season thanks to a high influx of visitors.
The maximum temperatures in the Algarve fluctuate between 15 °C in winter (temperature never usually falls below zero in the winter months), and 40 °C in summer.
The South-facing coastline is approximately 155 kilometres long. Beyond the westernmost point of Cape St. Vincent it stretches a further 50 kilometres to the North. The coastline is notable for picturesque limestone caves and grottoes, particularly around Lagos, which are accessible by powerboat. There are many other beautiful and famous summer locations such as Albufeira, Vilamoura, Praia da Rocha, Lagos, Armação de Pêra, Alvor, Monte Gordo, Tavira, and Sagres.