The Algarve is the name of the southern coast of Portugal, incorporating, amongst others, the cities of Faro, Lagos, and Portimão. The region's administrative centre is Faro, which has its own international airport and public university.
It is one of five Regions of Portugal (NUTS II subdivisions).
The Algarve is hilly, but traversed with rich valleys. It is composed of 5,412 square kilometres with approximately 410,000 permanent inhabitants. This figure increases to over a million people at the height of summer due to an influx of tourists.
The Algarve is a popular destination for tourism, primarily because of its clean, warm water beaches, Mediterranean climate, safety and relatively low costs. The length of the south-facing coastline is approximately 155 kilometres. Beyond the westernmost point of Cape St Vincent it stretches a further 50 kilometres to the north. The coastline is notable for picturesque limestone caves and grottoes, particularly around Lagos, which are accessible by powerboat. Praia da Marinha, Lagoa was classified as one of the 100 most beautiful and well preserved beaches of the world. There are many other beautiful and famous summer places such as Albufeira, Vilamoura, Portimão, Lagos, Armação de Pêra, Quarteira, Monte Gordo and Tavira.