19 Nov 2010

Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve from the Arabic word meaning "the west" is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal. It has an area of 5,412 square kilometres with approximately 458,734 permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities. The region coincides with the Faro District, and has as its administrative centre the city of Faro, where both the region's international airport at Faro (FAO) and public university (the University of the Algarve) are located. Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve's summer economy. Fish, seafood and fruit production, which includes oranges, carob beans, figs and almonds, are other important activities in the region. The Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal, its population more than doubles in the peak holiday season thanks to a high influx of visitors, and receives an average of 9 million foreign tourists each year. In total, including national visitors, over 12 million people visit the Algarve every year.

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