Many consider the Algarve as one of the best golf destinations in Europe. The mild climate, with over three hundred days of sun per year, allows the golf season to extend for several months, bringing in players from all around the world.
Sir Henry Cotton put the Algarve on the golfing map with Penina which has subsequently played host to the Portuguese Open 10 times. He went on to design several more classic courses and subsequently other “greats” of the game such as Seve, Faldo, Nicklaus & Palmer to name but a few have designed courses in the region.
In October of each year the Victoria course in Vilamoura hosts the Portuguese Masters and provides a stiff test for the rest of the year for keen amateurs willing to follow in the footsteps of the pros.
The Algarve courses meet the requirements of even the most demanding of golf enthusiasts, marking the region as a premier destination for the sport for all levels.
The cuisine of the Algarve is influenced by the travels of the Portuguese and numerous ingredients were introduced to Europe by the explorers: chilli, coriander, ginger and paprika to name but a few.
Traditional Portuguese cuisine tends to be simple, freshly caught fish and seafood feature as do chicken and pork. There are literally thousands of places to eat in the Algarve from Michelin starred restaurants to beach shacks serving freshly caught fish.
Guia claims to be the home of Chicken Piri Piri; this barbecued chicken dish where chilli oil is coated onto the meat as it is cooked, served with fresh salad and chips is a must for anyone visiting the Algarve.
Sardines is another famous dish in the Algarve and are found on the menu in most restaurants and cafes around the coast, served with boiled potatoes and salad, this is a cheap dish to enjoy with a glass of cool rose wine while sitting at a beachside restaurant. Shellfish is also popular with clams featuring on their own or in other dishes such as pork with clams or in the traditional Cataplana stews. These clam shaped copper pots of Arabic origin, hold in all the flavour of the food, opening with a cloud of steam and wonderful aromas of fish or chicken, shellfish, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes flavoured with coriander. Some restaurants only serve this for a minimum of 2 people and is well worth trying whilst visiting the Algarve.
Fresh fish of all types is abundant and just waiting to be tried off the chargrill, seabass, sea bream, monkfish are popular and can be ordered filleted if you prefer not to fight with the bones!
The cuisine is not all fish and seafood though, meat plays a big part in Algarvian cuisine, chicken, pork or beef kebabs, large juicy steaks (usually Argentinian) , lamb and pork are all popular on the menus. Meat tends to be chargrilled and served with fresh vegetables and salad and chips, potatoes or rice.
Portuguese wines are wonderful! The majority of us know of Mateus Rose the popular light easy drinking slightly sparkling wine but there are so many different wines available and should definitely be tried while you are visiting the Algarve. Portugal has been transformed into one of the most exciting and innovative wine regions in the world. Europe’s fourth largest producer, it boasts incredible diversity, from the spritzy whites of Vinho Verde to the full-bodied reds and, of course, the powerful, fortified Port wines of the Douro