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Destinations of Portugal - Algarve

It seems as if the entire world suddenly wants to come to Portugal, whereas before there was hardly anyone flocking here! Well actually, thatís not entirely true. The Algarve has been one of Europe's foremost holiday destinations for a very long time, and for good reason ó the beaches, resorts, restaurants, weather, and host of cultural events make it the perfect destination for any type of traveler.

The best-known city in this southernmost region of Portugal is Faro, which is a fantastic destination in and of itself, but also acts as a handy hub to travel into and out of. Itís airport services a number of international airlines, and Faro is also easy to get to by bus and train from other major cities in both Portugal and Spain.

So you're landing in Faro, what can you do there?

While in Faro, it's worth checking out the Episcopal palace and cathedral in the central square of the old town. And, of course, the only proper way to get into the old town is through Faroís famous arched entrance ó a little taste of the history that runs through the city. If the hustle and bustle get too much, you can take a ferry 7km south to the abandoned Barreta Island for some peace, quiet, and privacy.

The town of Lagos offers a peek into the past with its famed old town, but what really sets this destination apart areis its rugged cliffs and sandy Atlantic beaches. Inside the town, check out the historic centre, including Moorish walls and the 17th-century Forte da Ponta da Bandeira. Outside, take a trip to Ponta da Piedade, the most famous of the coastal cliffs, which offer spectacular views (and a great photo opportunity). And, of course, take a little time to relax on one of the many beaches there.

Albufeira has become the de facto capital for group getaways in the Algarve, with its main strip hosting bachelor (and bachelorette) parties from the world over. This once sleepy fishing village now sees thousands of visitors throughout the year, who come for the golden beaches, the world-famous nearby Benagil cave nearby, food, and vibrant nightlife. Beyond the strip, however, there are still plenty of family-friendly restaurants and interesting nooks for parents and children alike.

If you're looking for glam and glitz in the sun, this is probably the place for you. The resort town is famed for its sweeping beaches (including Praia da FalÈsia), high-class hotels and restaurants, and exclusive nightlife. While the whole of the Algarve is known for its golf resorts, Vilamoura stands above the rest with several world-class courses. And, after a day on the green, why not kick back at the Casino Vilamoura to really get that 007 feel.

Why Not do it all?

The Algarve offers a wide range of options for any traveler, with each city, town, and village having its own unique style and culture. OSo , one of the best ways to visit the region is to take a multi-destination tour, traveling from town to town and soaking it all in.


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