Portugal Promotional Tourism Video

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About the Algarve

 

Brief History
 
 
Algarve
 
The region has a rich cultural legacy with vestiges starting from the early Roman presence to those of the long period of Muslim occupation and continuing to the christian re-conquest and extending to the epic period of the Portuguese discoveries.
 
More than five centuries of Moorish influence has left its imprint on the region, beginning with its name: Al-Gharb, meaning The West. Other Moorish legacies include the names of the towns and villages, the region's agriculture, the architecture of the monuments, the lacework patterns of the balconies, roof terraces and chimneys and the whitewashed houses.
 
The Algarve was the last part of Portugal to be re-conquered from Muslim rule in the mid-13th century.
 
Later, in the early 15th century, the beginning of the Portuguese maritime expansion brought a new lease of life to the Algarve and its inhabitants. Lagos and Sagres have since this period been linked to Prince Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese Discoveries. Still today, at the headland known as the Ponta de Sagres, a giant stone finger can be seen pointing towards the Atlantic Ocean.
 
 
In Vilamoura
 
The Algarve's main bustling resort is where it really all happens: beaches, marina, bars, restaurants, shopping arcades, casino, golf courses, riding centre, etc..
 
Sightseeing nearby the Tivoli Marina Vilamoura:
▪ Cerro da Vila Museum - discover the legacy of the Roman period and the history of Portugal
▪ 6 golf international courses less than 5 minutes’ drive away
▪ Parque Ambiental de Vilamoura (Environmental Park), a 200-hectare private park for wetland preservation
 
 
Surroundings
 
Faro
The region's capital boasts some splendid monuments - the Cathedral, the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção, and extremely interesting museums such as the Museu Infante Dom Henrique and the Museu Etnográfico.
 
Lagos
Lagos was formerly the capital of the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, and the last port before the Portuguese caravels set off for their long sea journeys during the 16th century Discoveries.  
The Lagos Marina is the first stopover for boats coming to the Algarve from Western Europe and is thus much sought after on the way in and out of the Algarve by sea.
 
Monchique
Wander amongst the charming townhouses clustered on the hillside and discover a wealth of little churches and then stop for a refreshing break at the nearby Monchique Spa.
 
Portimão
In this fishermen's town, visits to the main church (Igreja Mãe) and the Town Hall are musts. Just outside the town is the bustling Praia da Rocha as well as the lesser-known Roman ruins of Abicada.
 
Sagres
Five centuries ago Prince Henry the Navigator founded a Navigation College in Sagres that made essential contributions to the Portuguese Discoveries and the country’s seafaring future. The famous wind rose compass, 43 metres in diameter, is well worth a visit. 
 
Tavira
Apart from the irresistible golden beaches nearby, the authentic and picturesque town of Tavira offers views of the River Gilão and its Roman bridge. 
The typical Algarve rooftops and chimneys are unparalleled. The Travessa de Dona Brites hosts enchanting medieval houses with Gothic doors and windows.
 
Other places of interest
Albufeira, Alcoutim, Aljezur, Almancil (the Baroque masterpiece, São Lourenço Church), Alte, Cacela, Carvoeiro, Castro Marim, Estombar, Lagoa, Loulé, Moncarrapacho, Ponta da Piedade, Porches, São Bartolomeu de Messines, Vila do Bispo and Vila Real de Santo António.

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Last update 2013-05-20