41 Facts About Algarve


Algarve is the fourth most developed Portuguese region – in 2019, it was placed fourth out of seven regions with a human development index of 0.

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Algarve region came under Roman control after Fabius Maximus Servilianus defeated the Lusitanians and the Turduli in the context of the Lusitanian War, as was the case of much of the Iberian Peninsula, which was absorbed into the Roman Republic in the second century BC.

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In 552, the Algarve was conquered by the Byzantine Empire and, in 571, Liuvigild managed to secure the region for the Visigothic Kingdom , which lasted until the year 711, and comprised most of the Iberian Peninsula and parts of modern France.

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The conquest of the Algarve led to serious disagreements with the Kingdom of Castile.

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The over five centuries-long Moorish rule over the Algarve, left their mark and added to a unique blend of architectonic, gastronomical and artistic features like the traditional Algarve corridinho, a folk dance found in this southernmost region of Portugal.

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Vila Real de Santo Antonio and other places in coastal Algarve thrived on the growth of the fishing industry, which included the processing of species of tuna and sardine.

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Researchers agree that the Lisbon metropolitan area and the Algarve are the two regions in mainland Portugal most at risk of experiencing earthquakes and tsunamis strong enough to cause catastrophic loss of human life and infrastructure.

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Sea-surface temperatures in the Algarve are generally cool, though milder than the remaining west-facing coasts of Portugal.

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The Algarve has several cities, towns, and villages; the region's capital is the city of Faro, while other cities include Albufeira, Lagoa, Lagos, Loule, Olhao, Portimao, Quarteira, Silves, Tavira, and Vila Real de Santo Antonio, in addition to various summer retreats such as Vilamoura, Praia da Rocha, Armacao de Pera, Alvor, Monte Gordo, Alcoutim, and Sagres.

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In 2004, the Greater Metropolitan Area of the Algarve was formed, which was converted into an intermunicipal community in 2008.

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The Algarve is a NUTS II and NUTS III statistical region.

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Coincidentaly, with this decline in fish canning in the region, since the 1960s the Algarve has embraced tourism which has become its most important economic activity.

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An Ikea, the first in the Algarve, opened in Loule, at the time one of the only five in Portugal.

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In 2017, the Algarve was the Portuguese region that experienced the biggest economic growth, an increase of 4.

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Algarve has been experiencing a strong development since the beginning of the 1960s, initially due to the need to accommodate its foreign visitors.

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Today, the Algarve is amongst the regions in Portugal with the best quality of life.

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Algarve-based publications and newspapers are written in English specifically for this community.

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Brazilian community in the Algarve is the second largest expat community in the region after the British, followed by important numbers of Ukrainian, Romanian, Moldovan, Indian, Nepalese, Sinhalese, Bangladeshi and Pakistani people who arrived there to work in retail, hospitality industry, construction, agriculture and manufacturing.

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The Algarve is popular for religious tourism, notably pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Piety, a Marian shrine dedicated to the patron saint of Loule, that attract thousands of pilgrims of the Catholic faith to the city, or minor pilgrimages of faithful Catholics to the site of putative apparitions of Our Lady Mother of Goodness which had supposedly occurred in 1999 near the village of Sao Marcos da Serra.

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Nonetheless, due to the very high monetary income that the high season brings, most people in the Algarve are still able to have comfortable lives even while unemployed.

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The Golden Triangle, a first among such affluent areas, is located outside of Faro, capital of the Algarve, being known for its luxury resorts and Michelin star restaurants.

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Algarve further went on to criticize the inapt attitudes of politicians and city halls which continuously fail to preserve this legacy.

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England-inspired, England-reliant tourist product of the Algarve since the 1960s is a source of criticism in Portugal to the point that the Algarve region has been compared to a colony of the English.

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Portuguese tourists perceive their status as tourists in the Portuguese region of Algarve as being constantly challenged by the extreme Anglophilia of the Algarvian people and its tourist offer.

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Region of the Algarve has a rich ethnographic heritage, with centuries-old customs, traditions and historical heritage.

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The Algarve is a cultural and historical point of interest all year round, but at particular times, such as Easter, Christmas, or even Spring, together with its gastronomic delicacies, the Algarve region has an old, multifaceted legacy that shaped its regional cultural identity within Portugal.

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The Algarve is a place that gathers many settlements, from prehistoric times, to Phoenician, Roman, Visigothic, Arab and Christian Reconquista times, there are several testimonies that left a little piece of themselves, to form the Algarve of today.

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The Roman Ruins of Milreu in Estoi, the Roman ruins of Cerro da Vila in Vilamoura or the Roman ruins of Quinta da Abicada in Mexilhoeira Grande, are good examples of Roman vestiges in the Algarve, being some of them equipped with a dedicated interpretive center to tell their story.

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The Islamic occupation period from which a great heritage remains, present in various aspects of the Algarve culture beginning with the name of the region since the word "Algarve" goes back to the Arabic word "al-Gharb" meaning West, including castles and fortresses, vestiges of a unique ribat, the Ribat of Arrifana, as well as alcarias, and some churches that were adapted from ancient mosques, in addition to strong influences in popular architecture, left its mark.

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Algarve dialect is a dialect of Portuguese as spoken in the Algarve.

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Algarve is famous for its pottery and ceramics, particularly hand-painted pottery and azulejos, which are painted, tin-glazed ceramic tiles.

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Old fig and almond-based sweets and desserts as well as newer carob-based products; a plethora of fish and seafood dishes near the coast; and pork and chicken dishes from inland Algarve, are among the most typical elements of its regional cuisine.

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The southern strip of Portugal, the Algarve region, was the area with the greatest concentration, occupying an area of about 650 square kilometres between the Monchique, Caldeirao and Espinhaco de Cao mountain ranges.

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Algarve is divided into three regions: the Litoral – the southern coast with its beaches; the Barrocal – the northern interior and the Serra de Monchique in the northwest and the Serra do Caldeirao in the northeast.

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The vegetation of the northern Algarve is divided into forests, hilly terrain, scrubland, fertile land and pastures with mountain springs and streams, lakes and waterfalls.

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The University of Algarve, headquartered in Faro, with an extension in Portimao, is a public university which awards undergraduate, integrated master, master and doctorate degrees in fields ranging from biomedical sciences, landscape architecture, agronomy or marine biology to economics, psychology, sociology or languages, literatures and cultures.

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The population of the Algarve is served by two private higher education institutions .

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Cycling is a popular sport in Portugal and the region of Algarve has long-established, noteworthy professional cycling teams which compete in the Volta a Portugal and other major cycling events.

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The Volta ao Algarve is the oldest and most popular road bicycle racing competition in the Algarve region.

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The Algarve is home to some of the world's most renowned golf-courses.

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The nature of the Algarve coastline offers a mix of flat water lagoons such as those of the Ria Formosa Nature Park, or the waves of Sagres and the South-west coast.

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