It’s strategic location in the SW corner of Europe, defines Western Algarve’s identity in many ways. Inhabited since pre-historic times, here lived communities of hunter-gatherers, Phoenicians, Greeks, Celts, Carthaginians and Romans. It was under Arabic occupation for 5 centuries, and was finally conquered by the expanding kingdom of Portugal in the XIII century. In the following years, the coastal areas were regularly sacked by pirates, witnessed the first ships departing for Africa in the Portuguese Discoveries period, and were largely destroyed by a massive earthquake. Meanwhile, once prosper cities fell into silence with the silting of their rivers, and consequente decay of commercial activity powered by navigation. Western Algarve was the stage for many lives and battles, and its present cultural heritage mirrors the richness of this diversity throughout the ages.
But this magical land has much more to offer all year round, and in the last few years, Nature Tourism is having a role in mitigating tourism seasonality in the area. Its’ fine weather, good people, low population density, delicious traditional food, rich natural and cultural heritage and protect areas, make it a paradise for those hopping to encounter a rich, preserved and quiet territory. The West coast and the South coast to Burgau are protected by the Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina Natural Park, and constitute one of the last largely undisturbed stretches of coastline in Southern Europe.