Brief description: Sunlight, heat and the vibrant colours of the landscape: everything in the Algarve is a source of energy and everything is waiting for your attention. All year round the region’s beaches, nature reserves, picturesque villages, golf courses, castles and fortresses can be enjoyed in all their splendour. Day or night, you can do almost everything. History, culture and the popular local cuisine are readily available to you. The people of the
Algarve have mixed freely with other cultures for many centuries and have long been used to welcoming visitors.
Perhaps this is why people always have fond memories of the region.
Location: Southernmost region in Portugal framed by a 200km coastline
Demography and geography: With an area of 4,996Km2 and a resident population of 430 084 inhabitants, spread throughout 16 municipalities, the Algarve is subdivided into three main areas: the coastal area, the “barrocal” area (which marks the transition between the coast and the mountains) and the hills area (which occupy 50% of the territory).
Climate: The Algarve has a warm climate with mild winters and on average 300 days of sunshine a year. Summer temperatures can reach above 32°C and winter temperatures stay between 10 – 18°C
Getting there: Faro is approximately two and half hours from London airports (regional airport travel times vary) and is served by 26 UK airports
Access to the Algarve from the UK
- The capital of the Algarve is Faro which is also the location of the nearest airport (FAO);
- Faro Airport is 2 ½ hours from London (LHR) & (LGW) and is served by 26 UK airports;
- There are a number of different airlines that travel to Faro with direct flights throughout the year;
- UK and Irish airports account for the top ten most popular flight routes, with London Gatwick sending the most passengers, followed by Manchester, Dublin, East-Midlands and Bristol;
- NEW- 2014 – British Airways has launched a new flight route from London Heathrow (LHR) to Faro (FAO) airport.
Two weekly flights on a Saturday and Sunday will depart totalling and include of 18,240 seats over the summer season.
Currency: Euro (€)
Visas: No visa is required for UK passport holders – (please call the Portuguese consulate in London for Visa enquiries on: 0207 291 3770)
Local time: GMT
Clothing: Lightweight, cotton summer clothing is best for the summer months with casual but smart options for dinner. During winter months there will still be warm days but take trousers and a light jacket for the cooler evenings
Language: Portuguese is the native language though English is widely spoken especially throughout the region especially on the coast. A local word that visitors might like to remember is ‘Bom Dia’ meaning ‘Good Day’
Business hours: Most shops open Monday – Friday from 9.30am until midday and then 3pm to 7pm. On Saturdays shops are open from 9am until midday
Electricity: 220 volts (two-pin plug)
Telephone: Portugal’s country code is +351
Number of Blue Flag awarded beaches: 88
Number of golf courses: 43 (18 and nine-hole championship-standard courses)