Rock and Sand Algarve!
Close encounter between Sun and Atlantic.
The Algarve on the most south westerly coastline of Europe and the southern part of Portugal, once was the point of departure for the famous discovery travels by Portuguese navigators to the African and Indian parts of the world.
AL-GHARB (Algarve), the name is from Arabian origins and means "The West", at that time, just the exact geographic indication of the westerly Atlantic top part of the enormous Arabian-Moorish empire. The Algarve is separated from the northern part of Portugal by the mountain chain of Monchique (Sierra de Monchique). In the East the river "Guadiana" separates the Algarve from Spain and has in the South and West only the Atlantic Ocean as borders.
During their reign from approximately 500 years, the Moors cultivated the land by introducing clever irrigation systems. Thus turning the Algarve in a spectacular almost garden like landscaped province, we can still admire today. Already in January thousands Almond trees are blooming, transforming the coast and the country side in a white and pink ocean of blossom.
Even today the Moorish influence is still noticeable. For example in the villages you will find the typical Moorish architecture. In picturesque alleys we can find the white washed houses, from which their chimneys erect towards the deep blue sky like little minarets. Under the impression of this flair, one feels that time has stopped in these parts..
The West part, starting from the capital of the Algarve, FARO is called BARLAVENTO, it is the part with the rocky coastline Here you can find the unique red and earthen coloured rocks under lining the sunny sand beaches.
We see the ochre coloured cliffs, breaking into the turquoise sea; in combination with the hidden coves and picturesque cave landscape. Fascinating are the huge pillars, arising like monuments from the sea and the cathedral like domes and arches. These bizarre Formations appeal to our fantasy.
The beaches are smooth and the sea water is crystal clear. A natural wonder in the Atlantic, with its ever changing beautiful colouring. This creation of nature doesn't exist anywhere else in Europe. We can safely state that it belongs to the most beautiful coast landscapes, seen on this planet..
A totally different view offers the part east from FARO, also called SOTAVENTO, the sandy Algarve. The tides have formed this landscape, reminding of the mud flats in the North Sea. You will find here sand banks, dunes and shallow lagoons. Especially interesting is the village of OLHÃO with it white washed cubical houses, flat roofs and small steeples, reminding of a North African Kasbah.
Ponta da Piedade
In and around the in history often mentioned former capital LAGOS you can find apart from remarkable churches and monuments also one of the most fantastic rock formations in the Atlantic. Lagos is a busy and lively harbour town set against a historical back ground. In any case you shouldn’t miss out on a boat trip to the caves, starting at the light house “Ponta da Piedade” or also in town at the fortress.
To give you a good impression of these beautiful landscapes we have put together on the right side of this page a small picture gallery for you.