Dreamy beaches hidden among cliffs, tranquillity, delicious seafood, and a wide range of leisure activities are just some attractions you can enjoy if you stay at the Iberostar hotel in the Algarve.
This ancient province, with 2,700 hours of sunshine per year, is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal, and is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country along with Lisbon.
As well as the charming capital city of Faro, and the town of Portimão, the Algarve is home to many other towns and villages worth visiting, including: Albufeira, Alcoutim, Aljezur, Alvor, Castro Marim, Lagoa, Lagos, Loulé, Quarteira in the municipality of Loulé, Monchique, Olhão, Silves, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.
Located to the south of the Portuguese region of the Alentejo, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and west of the Guadiana River, which marks the border with Spain, the Algarve is a land full of natural attractions. About 125 miles (200 km) of coastline with gorgeous beaches, islands and places of outstanding natural beauty await, the perfect area to take your time to explore.
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There are many places to visit in the Algarve. One of them is Faro, the regional capital which, as well as housing an international airport, is also home to a 13th century cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Portugal.
Do not forget to visit Portimão, the largest city in the Algarve, next to the Arade River. This old fishing village has in recent years established itself as one of the main tourist and commercial centres. Among the places you shouldn’t miss are the gardens of the Praça da República, and the Jardim 1. de Dezembro which displays beautiful tiles; the Church, shopping streets and, just 3 km from the town centre, the famous Praia da Rocha.
Nor should we forget the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a nature reserve of more than 18,000 hectares which is famous for being an excellent spot for bird watching. One of its peculiarities is that it is sheltered from the Atlantic by a natural barrier formed by five islands and two small peninsulas. This impressive protected area stretches along the leeward coast, occupied by the towns of Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.
Another noteworthy place is the Sierra de Monchique, an area of lush vegetation in the heart of the Algarve and home to the spa town of Caldas de Monchique, which is very popular for its thermal treatments. Not far from there, there is Cerro da Picota Hill, a 774 m hill from where you can enjoy exceptional panoramic views.
We also suggest using some time during your holidays in the Algarve to take in the views at Cape St. Vincent. It is considered the most southerly point of continental Europe and is perfect to admire the coast of Sagres, full of traditional fishing ports and home to the Baleeira Fort. Another great day out is the Costa Vicentina, a wild strip of coastline which forms the largest protected area on the Portuguese coast.
In Lagos, you will fall in love with the magical Ponta da Piedade, an area full of rocks, cliffs, grottos and small lakes that will leave you breathless, and relax on the beaches of Camilo and Meia, just minutes away from the town centre. In Aljezur, visit the castle of the same name, originally from the tenth century which was in use until three centuries ago, and the Fonte das Mentiras.
The beaches of the Algarve are ideal for relaxing or practicing water sports and are perfect for those who decide to travel to Portugal with family, as a couple or with friends. Moreover, on top of everything we have already mentioned, there is still plenty more to see and do in the Algarve.
For example, we must mention the 3-km-long Manta Rota Beach, located 40 km from Faro, the beach on Tavira Island, a short distance from the town of the same name, Barril Beach, in Tavira which is ideal for sailing sports, Odeceixe Beach which is 1 km long and popular with surfers, located on the border between the Algarve and the province of Alentejo. Then, there are the beaches at Falésia, San Rafael and Galé, belonging to the area of Albufera, the beaches of Monte de Clérigo and Arrifana, near Aljenzur and perfect for water sports, and last but by no means least is the beach of the Island of Faro, with crystal clear waters and not far away from town if you fancy shopping for souvenirs.
Hiking trails in the Algarve can also be an ideal pastime for a more active holiday. One of the most suitable places are the surroundings of Dona Ana, in the town of Lagos, surrounded by chalk formations.
Also, if you fancy playing golf in the Algarve, you will be able to do so with no problem. You will find about thirty first-class golf courses, some of them designed by legendary figures such as Nick Faldo or Severiano Ballesteros. Therefore, it is not surprising that the World Travel Awards distinguished the Algarve as the best destination in Europe for golfers in 2013 and 2014.
You can also go shopping in the Algarve, since you will find plenty of shops and shopping centres in and around the larger towns and resorts. Some of the most popular souvenirs are hand-painted tiles and ceramics.
And if you are travelling to the Algarve with children, you will be pleased to hear that the area has several water parks, such as the Aqualand Algarve complex, the AquaShow Park or the ZooMarine theme park.
All this and much more will be just a few steps from your hotel in the Algarve, and we are waiting to welcome you here!
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