The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It is Portugal's most popular holiday destination due to the approximately 200 km (120 mi) of clean beaches, the cool, unpolluted water, and the fact that it is relatively cheap, very safe, and overall welcoming.
The cities of the Algarve are traditionally grouped into Barlavento (Windward) and Sotavento (Leeward), the western and eastern halves, respectively.
The Algarve is rich in culture and diversity. If you are looking for fast paced resorts or a calm tranquil setting either is attainable. The entire region is around 5,400 km2 (2,100 sq mi). Although the number of permanent residents is under 500,000 the area receives more than tenfold that in tourism each year. The busiest times of year tend to be July and August.