Algarve is Portugal’s most famous tourism destination, encompassing the country’s entire southern border along the Mediterranean coast. Most of the year, Algarve is a quiet, rural district where the economy is mostly farming and fishing. But in the summer months, millions of tourists come to Algarve for the beautiful beaches, the warm and gentle weather, and the delicious seafood pulled from the ocean.

Faro, the cultural capital of the region, has charming architecture and wonderful sites to visit, with roots in both Christian and Jewish history. There is a gay bar in Faro, and also coastal towns Albufeira and Portimão, which can get crowded on summer weekends.

Portugal is a popular destination not only because of the beautiful locations, but also the low cost of visiting the country. For the price of budget hotels in other European destinations, tourists can stay at the fabulous Palace of Estoi (above), a historic pink estate that has been converted into a boutique hotel.

Let’s take a look at some photos of the beautiful beaches in the Algarve region:

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