The coastal belt where most Algarvian live is fringed with sand-spit islands, lagoons, drifted dunes, spectacular headlands, cosy coves and vast open beaches.
The Algarve's healthy climate, pure air and mostly pollution-free environment are nicely complemented by wholesome, locally-caught and home-grown food.
Clarity of light and brilliance of colour are startling features of the Algarve. The coastline is made up of various shades of gold set in a translucent turquoise sea.
A motorway slices through countryside where farming methods have not fundamentally changed since medieval times. Tourism has made the Algarve remarkably cosmopolitan, yet traditions and ancestral ways of doing things prevail.