Algarve Past and Present
The Algarve has not always been the way it is today. One could easily forget that this beautiful part of Portugal with its sandy beaches and red rocks rising sticking out from the sea could have been anything else but a peaceful tranquil part of the world.
Instead, it was heavily for and over. Roman and Moors, even the English came through on their way to ransack and loot Lisbon. Once upon a time The Algarve was a Kingdom.
Henry the Navigator put Portugal and The Algarve on the map as an important seafaring nation, and the subsequent wealth of Portugal was due to the many discovery voyages which took place from Sagres during the 15th Century.
The Algarve has a size of around 5.411 square kilometres with more or less 400,000 inhabitants. This figure can easily reach well over a million people during the summer month. Faro is the centre of the administration from which 16 Municipalities, who in turn have a say over 77 Parishes.
The southern coastline is 155 kilometres long and runs a little less then 52 kilometres to the north/west.
The Algarve has its widest point in the north. There The Algarve is about 36 kilometres deep. Roads are the main line of transport road but The Algarve also has a single-track railway connecting Lagos to Vila Real do Santo António which also links to Lisbon and the north.
The notorious Road 125 winds itself around the entire coastline, but has now been replaced to a large degree with a motorway like dual carriageway the “Via do Infante”
This dual carriageway starts a few kilometres behind Lagos and runs all the way to the Spanish Boarder.
This new mini motorway also has links to the main road to Lisbon the A2.
Faro the international airport of The Algarve is centrally located.
The Algarve varies greatly once away from the coast the inland regions of The Algarve are very picturesque.
January and February the coast is covered by almond trees and their white or pink blossom. Almond trees are also running along roads and inner city streets shading the many varieties of wild orchids and of course providing shade for the people too.
March in The Algarve is the time, when the oranges are flowering, the smell of the orange blossom mingles with that of the acacias.
In April the wild flowers of The Algarve are out in full bloom
May and June is the time to see the bare barks of cork trees and the purple of the jacaranda.
July the cherries have their day as well as the melons and strawberries amongst other fruit.
The grapes for The Algarve wine are picked in August and September. Figs and Almond are also ripe and ready to be plucked from the trees.
In November there is the famous festival of São Martinho, which is not celebrated just in The Algarve but all over the country.
December is the harvest time for the beautiful fruity oranges The Algarve has to offer. The picking of oranges in the Algarve goes right through until march.
Monchique is a must on your travel through The Algarve. The highest point of the mountain range is the village of Foia which lies at 902 m.
Monchique is famous for its spring waters and of course the potent locally brewed drink “Medronho”
The Algarve is a wonderful place come and visit us.