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The Algarve stretches across the whole of southern Portugal, occupied by the Moors for 600 years its name derived from the Arabic El-Gharb meaning "west". The Algarve enjoys an idyllic dry climate, created in part by its geography, being surrounded by hills, the sea and the river Guadiana. Located on the southern 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 it is therefore no surprise that the Algarve has become a top spot for holiday homes particularly within the Central Algarve. However unlike many other popular holiday destinations, the Algarve has managed to retain much of its original charm and attraction.

East of Faro the coast is known as the leeward shore. The area stretching eastwards to the Spanish border forms an unusual lagoon landscape closed by sandy islets. A large part of the coastline has been declared a protected area, namely the Ria Formosa Natural Park. The windward shore is the Algarve's most famous stretch of coast with its ochre - coloured cliffs, coves and grottoes, spectacular rock formations divide the beaches, creating quaint private paradises. Many of the beaches are bordered by beautiful sand cliffs, which merge with pine trees, creating a feast of nature that is unmatched anywhere else.

The interior of the Algarve is still relatively unknown. The flower-decked, whitewashed villages have managed to preserve their traditional appearance with typical Arabic chimneys which are still copied in new build villas today. Traditional Algarve handicrafts are an important industry for the local population and the year-round scents alone are worth the visit, with eucalyptus, pine, lavender and rock-rose all growing here in abundance.

The Algarve also offers numerous recreational activities, including: world class golf courses, tennis courts, sailing, horse riding, and water sports, world class night life, including discos, clubs, and casinos and last but not least a wealth of restaurants where one can choose from traditional Algarvean fare to international cuisine.

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