Algarve is set in the south of Portugal, a country with nine centuries of history and well defined geographical borders. Since 1974 a democratic regime prevails in Portugal.As a member for 26 years of the European Union, Portugal also forms part of the European Monetary System, using the Euro as his single currency.
Actually Portugal is the 43rd largest economy in the World, it has one of the highest growth rates over the last 40 years among all the OECD countries. In terms of safety, Portugal is considered by the Global Peace Index, the 17th most peaceful country in the world, in a total of 153 countries considered. Regarding transparency it holds the 32nd place out of 182 countries.
Algarve - the best hidden secret in Europe
The Algarve region has 200 kilometer coastline with some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world, the favorite for many sun-seekers from all over.
The Algarve is known by its long sunny days, a gastronomy to “die” for, endless golden sandy beaches, golf courses, the kindness of their people and more, much more for you to discover. Try to mention Portugal or the Algarve in a conversation and you will be surprised with how many people instantly will bring up warming memories of beautiful sunny days, well spent in this corner of Europe.
The majority of Algarve visitors come from the UK, from Germany, Spain and lately also from France. There is also a large number of visitors from the United States, Canada and Brazil.
Enjoying the Algarve
Here you will have time for everything, so that you enjoy a more relaxed way of life. Cheaper prices, when comparing with almost all other countries in Europe, beautiful unspoiled beaches and landscapes, a large variety of Golf Courses, Marinas and not to forget the traditional Portuguese cuisine and wine. Those who venture beyond the coast, even by a mere 10 kilometers or so, you will find a new different Algarve with a varied landscape, a fascinating history, a calm lifestyle, and above all, the warmth of its welcoming people making you feel at home.
Every year, thousands have gone ahead and bought their home in Portugal, most as a second home for holidays but for many as a permanent move, either for retirement or in search for a new and healthier way of life.
Set on the westerly edge of Europe, Portugal has a coastline of around 800 km facing the north Atlantic Ocean, of which approximately 200 kilometer are in the south region(Algarve) where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, As a result the sea water becomes much warmer and calmer towards a more Mediterranean atmosphere.
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The average sunshine rates of 8.6 hours a day makes the Algarve the place in Europe with more hours of sun during all year round, this microclimate makes all the coastline enjoy temperatures that vary from 15º C in winter to 35º C in the summer Months. It's no surprise the Algarve is the choice for so many people to come and live here.
Portuguese are a genuinely kind and traditional people, they are staunch exponents of family values, in many activities the family network is still of vital importance. Thankfully this is still a country with their own traditions, many of them linked to religion beliefs, a country where the family comes first, and where people are ready to help each other just for the satisfaction of being a good citizen. This is particularly clearer in all the small and numerous rural areas of Portugal.
Portuguese - The Language
The vast majority of people do not realize that Portuguese is a wonderfully rich and diverse idiom, spoken across four continents by approximately 200 million native speakers. Portuguese is in fact the third most spoken European language in the world, behind only English and Spanish. It is the language of Brazil, many African countries like Angola, Mozambique, or Cabo Verde, as well as Timor and not long ago the main language of Macau.
Choosing the Algarve
The Algarve has been choice for millions of holidaymakers, every year thousands of permanent visitors return and is certainly an option worth considering if you are considering to buy a overseas property. Some important and positive aspects of life in Portugal:
- Family Values
- Cost of living
- Easy lifestyle
- Welcoming country
- People are particularly open to families
- People really make an effort to help you on your language and cultural integration. Climate
- Relaxed approach to life
- Approximately 2H30 flight or less from London, Paris, Milan, Berne, Munich, Amsterdam
- Established ex-patriot community
All those people willing to integrate more into Portuguese life, venturing away from these apron-strings, will be rewarded with fantastic spots of natural beauty, mainly cheaper prices, and a true taste of the real thing. If you just want to get away from it all, quite easily you will find tranquility a few kilometers away from the touristic areas hot spots.
Economy - Politics
Portugal is a fully-fledged active member of the European Union, it´s a democratic country, tolerant, open and free that abides by European rules. Over the years it has benefited from European subsidies, a result of which you can see clearly in all the new highways that cover the country from north to south, in the new health system and in many public infra-structures.
During the last years Portugal economy went through a rough time but already for 2015 Portugal's government is expecting a second year of economic expansion after the country began to climb out of its debt crisis in 2014. The government forecast gross domestic product to grow 1.5% this year after a 1 percent expansion in 2014, Portugal's first full year of growth since it sought a bailout in 2011.
Portuguese love eating out just as much as enjoying a good regenerating day at the beach, it`s part of their lifestyle, and shared by visitors and residents alike. Cafes and restaurants fill with couples and families mostly on the week-ends. As a traditional country it is quite usual to see young children out with all family generations, the restaurants welcome all.
In the Algarve you will find an obvious sop to the tourist trade, many English-type eating places but if you look more carefully you will also find the places where the Portuguese go, and that is exactly where you should also go for authentic and quality meals. If you are looking for fast-food chains you will find them particularly at the shopping centers in all major Algarve cities.
Algarve Coast Line - Beaches
The Portuguese love the beach, whenever they have free time with their families, that is where they will often be heading. In the Algarve, you are spoiled with the variety of the most beautiful and diverse beaches. The water is quite clean and the beaches are safe, in the summer months there will be a life-guard, the sea water it is not always that warm but this is certainly the place to be, with beach tents, picnics and family games.
Portugal is a Catholic country, 97% of the population profess to this religion however during the last decades the power of the church to appeal to younger generations has certainly diminished. The north is the stronghold and uniting force of the church. The south isn´t has religious, although there are still some religious festivals. Mainly it still elderly people that attend to church. Every region in Portugal has its own festivals and events, translating into a national list of hundreds of local festivities.
Golf is undoubtedly a very important factor for many buyers and visitors in the Algarve. As a top-flight world destination for golf, Portugal in general and the Algarve in particular boast many world-class courses, with 11 courses of the Algarve in the World top 100 list. The Algarve has been constantly voted as major international destination for golfers, the existing facilities around the 34 golf Courses, (only in the Algarve region) are truly top class. Some of the best courses are located at Quinta do Lago, Vilamoura, Vale do Lobo, Penina and Monte Rei.
Very popular with youngsters, Portugal is highly ranked in international competitions and Sagres is the perfect spot for a fan of this sport.
A wide variety of marinas and yacht clubs, provide the necessary equipment. The Vilamoura Marina, in the Algarve is the best-known and prize winning top-class marina.
Plenty of diving schools all around the Algarve
Is one of the fastest growing sports in the Algarve, numerous clubs and programs available all year- round.
This is growing in popularity; something that is evident by the number of riding centers spread around the Algarve.
Hunting and fishing
Very popular activity for the locals, fishing trips are plentiful in the Algarve, setting out from many resorts and marinas. You should also try the trips to spot dolphins, or just enjoy some great visits one of the many clubs to some of the rocky crags.
This is the nation's favorite sport, played by almost every youngster. The games are avidly followed at home, in bars or cafes, as men are by far the predominant fans. The top team is the fabulous Sporting from Lisbon where players like Ronaldo, Figo, Futre, Nani, were “born”, but there is also the not so great FC Porto and Sl Benfica. In 2004 Portugal hosted the Euro competition and five new stadiums were built, the other five were renovated.
Quite a popular sport with plenty of tennis academy around the Algarve