The Algarve is the southernmost region in Inland Portugal, bordering in the north with the Alentejo Region and on the south with the wide Atlantic Ocean. With its wide golden coast, with pleasant warm waters, thin sand and great beach conditions, along with a large historic, cultural and artistic heritage, the Algarve region is the major Tourist destination of the country, with a huge variety of hotels, restaurants and all sort of facilities.
Historically, the Algarve was the last region to be conquered from the Moors during the Christian Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, and the last region to integrate the Portuguese Kingdom, back in 1292, and the Moorish influences are perfectly visible throughout the region. In fact, the “Algarve” toponym has a Moorish origin, from the name "al-Gharb al-Ândalus": the Moorish name to the current Algarve and part of the Alentejo regions, that was the most important Moorish centre for culture, science and technology in the Peninsula The traditional Algarve’s architecture, with white houses with terraces and typical Moorish chimneys, the almond and orange tree, among other fruit trees that can be seen all over the Algarve fields, as well as several toponyms all over the region, are also Moorish inheritances that have remained throughout the centuries.
The proximity with the North of Africa can be observed by the warmer and pleasant climate, and the mountain ranges situated on the north of the Algarve shelter the coast from the strong winds coming from the north of the country, provide to this region the perfect conditions for Tourism. In the past decades, the region has suffered a huge Tourist development and now offers the most diversified Tourist facilities.
The Algarve’s Gastronomy is based in ancient tradition and products, however the restaurants offer is quite diversified and international. Among the traditional dishes, the sea food and shellfish is quite appreciated and can be found all over the Algarve, but also sausages and smoked-ham, vegetables and Pastry, usually based in eggs and dried fruits, like the almond or the fig.