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Sandy beaches, seaside resorts, great weather and world-class golf courses all combine to make holidays in the Algarve a popular, year-round choice. This 100 mile stretch of coastline to the south of Portugal is famous for its beaches, which are lapped by the Atlantic Ocean and studded with towering rocks. A wide choice of resorts means there is an Algarve holiday suitable for every kind of holiday maker: Albufeira is the biggest beach resort and home to bustling nightlife, while Praia da Rocha has water parks and plenty of family fun. Purpose built Vilamoura has a marina and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, while Lagos is a paradise for surfers. There's a huge choice of places to stay in the Algarve, from family villas and self catering apartments, to luxury golf hotels. With flights to Faro, the region's airport, taking less than three hours from most UK regional departure airports, holidays in the Algarve are within easy reach. What's more, Portugal is often voted one of Europe's best value holiday destinations. It's no wonder holidaymakers return to The Algarve year after year.
Most holidays in the Algarve revolve around the beach, but there's much more here to do besides sunbathing and swimming. Pick from an impressive menu of water sports, including surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and wake boarding, On dry land, try rock climbing, horse riding tennis and cycling. The Algarve is home to some of the world's best golf courses and there are over 30 to choose from. Popular family days out include the Aquashow, Slide & Splash and Zoomarine parks. Inland, discover verdant hills and pretty, Moorish villages. Head to the harbour town of Portimao for great seafood and Faro for local pottery and other crafts.Take an excursion over the border into Spain and explore Seville. There are plenty of boat trips available in the Algarve, but don't miss the chance to go dolphin and whale watching in the Atlantic Ocean.
Nightlife in the Algarve varies greatly, depending on the resort you choose to stay in. There's no specific clubbing resort in the Algarve, but the busy strip at Albufeira is lined with pubs, clubs and bars and Praia da Rocha is also lively after dark. The marina at Vilamoura has a good atmosphere in the evening, with lots of harbourside bars and restaurants. Look out for a traditional fado evening, where you''ll hear nostalgic love songs accompanied by guitars. Lagos has a relaxed nightlife which centres around its main square. For low key evenings and seafront strolls, head for the quieter resorts of Alvor and Carvoeiro.
With all that coastline, it's not surprising that seafood features heavily on the menu in The Algarve. As well as charming restaurants serving local dishes, you'll find a wide choice of international restaurants and fast food outlets in the bigger resorts. Enjoy a taste of local wines or Portugal's famous Port. The Algarve also produces two spirits "Aguardente"(a rough Portuguese brandy) and "Medronho" (made from the strawberrylike fruit of the arbutus) which are worth a try if you can take the taste.
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