Distances between each Tourist Town in Kms.
Distances in Kms.
Algarve Guest & Manor Houses
Algarve Holiday Apartments
Algarve Holiday Rental Agents
Algarve Holiday Resorts
Algarve Hotels & Spa
Algarve Golf Courses
Algarve Golf Courses & Green Fees
· Beach View
· Riding on the Beach
· Old Public Transport
· Beach View
Algarve - History
Due to the importance of its position on the world map
this province has been invaded and fought over by the
Phoenicians, Romans and Moors. Closely associated with
the sea throughout its history this was the base of the
famous Henry the Navigator who, from the
point at Sagres
organized the successful 15th Century exploration of
the New World.
The Algarve has been inhabited for thousands of years
but the first developed society was probably the
Phoenicians in 1.100 BC and then followed by the
Tartessus tribe to about 600 BC. In the same century
there is also evidence of a tribe by the name of
"Conii" being found around the area of Vila
Real de Santo António followed by another tribe
named "Turduli" in the same area in 400 BC. In
between these two tribes the whole area had been
inhabited by a wave of Celts. Another tribe from this
same period was the "Cynetes".
Somewhere around 235 BC the Romans moved up from their
base in Cadiz to occupy the Algarve and were
eventually removed by the invading Visigoths in about
410 AD. Here they were to stay until 711 when the
Umayyad from North Africa took possession of the
southern Iberian Peninsular. The Moors were to stay
in possession of the Algarve until 1185 when Sancho I
and his Christian army briefly captured most towns
with Silves holding
out to 1189. However, by 1191 the Moors had these
same towns back in their possession. Finally, King
Sancho II and his Christian army helped by Crusaders
retook the Algarve in 1236. The first time that the
Algarve was referred to as a part of the Kingdom was
when Afonso III was crowned in 1249 he took the title
of "King of Portugal and all Algarve".
However, it was not until 1272 that Afonso III
eventually took Faro
which was the last stronghold of the Moors in the
The King of Castile did not at first accept Afonso III's
claim to the Algarve and it was only in 1267 at the
Treaty of Badajoz that this situation was temporarily
resolved. The situation was again settled in 1297 at the
Treaty of Alcañices when the actual boundaries between
the two countries were agreed. The Algarve inhabitants
remained for nearly 300 hundred years without any
further change in their rulers but subject to raids from
pirates. This situation changed when the throne of
Portugal fell vacant in 1580 and the nearest relative
in line was King Felipe II of Spain who soon crowned
himself as King of Portugal.
Shortly after this the Algarve fell prone to attacks
from passing English vessels. In 1596 the Earl of
Essex invaded Faro and
removed amongst other things the historic library
belonging to the Bishop of Faro. Francis Drake who was
harrying the ships that were preparing for the Armada
failed in his attack on Lagos in 1597. He moved
westward and landed in Sagres
to destroy what he could find which included the
supposed house in which Henry the Navigator had been
living although he is recorded at that time as residing
In 1640 the Portuguese decided to rid themselves of
their disliked absent ruler and successfully reclaimed
their Kingdom and placed João IV on their throne. (House of "Duque de Bragança").
The Algarve nearly became a separate Kingdom when the
ambitious prime minister of Carlos IV of Spain, Manuel
Godoy, was involved in the Treaty of Fontainebleau in
1807. In the agreement created by the Emperor Napoleon
and agreed by Carlos IV of Spain was that Portugal
would be carved into areas to be governed by France
and Spain - Manuel Godoy to assume the Algarve.
However, the Wars that followed between Portugal that
were supported by England and Spain resulted in the
plans of Napoleon turning into a complete failure.
The Algarve was also to play a part in the problems
once more caused by the claims to the throne of
Portugal in 1822. Two royal brothers, Pedro and Miguel,
warred against each other with liberal minded Pedro
winning against the hardliner Miguel. The Algarve towns,
as in most of the country, were at the time divided in
their support. From the village of Estombar
appeared a rebel Miguel supporter named "Remexido"
with a strong band of followers. His support for Miguel
was brutally applied to his enemies and extending
especially to robbery. In 1833 Pedro had to send some
2.500 men to the Algarve to successfully capture this
elusive and troublesome bandit. (Visit - Portugal History)
Algarve - Description
The Algarve is composed of 5.411 square kilometres with
approximately 420,000 (Year 2004) permanent inhabitants.
This figure can swell to well over a million people in
the height of the summer. The Algarve administrative
centre is Faro with its
control over 16 Municipalities, which in turn govern a
total of 77 Parishes.
The length of the south-facing coastline is approx. 155
kilometres and stretches about 52 kilometres to the north
on the west. At the widest point to the north, it is
approximately 36 kilometres deep. Communication is mainly
by a motorway but there is single-track railway line running
from Lagos to
Vila Real do Santo António
that also links to the line running to
further north. The old coastal road "EN125"
runs along the whole coast and has now been greatly
replaced by the new almost parallel motorway "A22"
(also known as the Via do Infante). Starting at
the border of Spain and stretching west to
Lagos. Close to
Albufeira it joins
with the main motorway to
This motorway will take the visitor from the Spanish
boarder at Vila Real de Santo
António in the east to the historic town of
Lagos in the west in a
little over one hour of driving, thus now making the
whole Algarve very easily accessible. There is one
international airport located close to
Faro and this conveniently
lies in the middle of the Algarve coastline.
There are about 100 sandy attractive beaches washed by
the Atlantic Ocean and due to the maritime shelf and
water currents the sea temperature can be often be
surprisingly warm even in some of the winter months.
Located on the tip of Europe with the vast ocean of
the Atlantic as its southern and western border, this
enviable position gives this region possibly the most
unpolluted climate in the European continent.
The interior from the coast greatly varies in its
picturesque appeal due to its variety of fauna, soil
and contours. In January and February the coast is
painted white with almond blossom shading the many
varieties of wild orchids. In March, the heady perfume
of orange blossom mixes with the bloom of acacias.
During the month of April the bountiful wild flowers
give cause to the delightful music of the many
colourful birds. May and June is the time to see the
raw beauty of the striking bare barks of stripped
cork trees in contrast to the palette purple of the
jacaranda. July is the time of cherries, strawberries
and melons. August and September provide the picking
of grapes, figs and almonds. November is for the
gathering of chestnuts for the national festival of
São Martinho. Whilst, in December it is time
to start picking the famous sweet juicy Algarve
oranges which continue through to March.
Away from the immediate coastal plain are the
foothills leading up to the highest point Foia
(902 mts.) above the un-spoilt village of
mountain area is well known for the layers of Roman
terraces with granite stone walls that provide the
stream of local vegetables that can be found on sale
in the local market. Also, from this region comes
the local brewed drink "Medronho"
that is best drunk in one of the many local taverns.
The Algarve has few remaining ancient structures as
it has suffered several earthquakes since the first
recorded one in 63 BC. Particularly ruinous were the
ones in 383 AD, 1719, 1755 and 1761.
Visit our sister site for more information:
· Armação de Pera
· Praia da Luz
· Quinta do Lago
· Vale do Lobo
· Vila Real de Santo António