Algarve

Presentation

 
The Algarve(Portuguese pronunciation: [aɫˈɡaɾv(ɨ)], from Arabic: الغرب‎, trans. Al-Gharb, meaning "The West") is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal. It has an area of 4,997 square kilometres (1,929 sq mi) with 451,006 permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities. The region has as its administrative centre the city of Faro, where both the region´s international airport (FAO) and public university (the University of the Algarve) are located. Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve´s summer economy. Production of food, which includes fish and other seafood, fruit, oranges, carob beans, figs and almonds, is also economically important in the region. The Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal, and one of the most popular in Europe. Its population triples in the peak holiday season thanks to a high influx of visitors, and receives an average of 7 million foreign tourists each year. In total, including national visitors, almost 10 million people visit the Algarve annually.

In the 1960s the Algarve became a very popular destination for tourists, mainly from Britain. It has since become a common destination for Germans, Dutch and Irish people. Many of these tourists own their own property in the region. There are Algarve-based English-written publications and newspapers specifically addressed to this community. In addition to the natural beauties and plenty of beaches, the Algarve has invested in the creation of a network of golf courses. Well-known beaches in the Algarve range from Marinha Beach to Armação de Pêra. A well known spa town is Caldas de Monchique.

The Algarve is a popular destination for tourism, primarily because of its beaches, Mediterranean climate, safety, cuisine and relatively low costs. Is also popular for religious tourism, for example with the pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Piety (best known as the Sovereign Mother), a Marian shrine dedicated to the patron saint of Loulé, that attract thousands of pilgrims of the Catholic faithful to the city, or with the international pilgrimages to the apparitions site of Our Lady Mother of Goodness occurred near São Marcos da Serra.

Algarve´s mild climate has attracted interest from Northern Europeans wishing to have a holiday home or residence in the region. Being a region of Portugal, and therefore in the European Union, any EU citizen has the right to freely buy property and reside with little formality in the Algarve. British expatriates, followed by German, Dutch and Scandinavians, are among the largest groups wishing to own a home in this sunny region of Portugal.

Tourism plays an important role in the economy of the Algarve. A large number of seasonal job opportunities are tourism-related and are fulfilled by thousands of immigrant workers from other countries.

In March 2007, the Minister of Economy, Manuel Pinho, announced the creation of the "Allgarve" brand, as a part of a strategical promotion of the Algarve as a tourism destination for foreign citizens. According to World Travel Awards, Algarve is the Europe´s Leading Golf Destination 2013 and 2014.

 


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