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Did you know that...The word Algarve

The word Algarve comes from Al Gharb?

Al Gharb was the region southwest of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim rule since 711, when the Arab invasions in the Peninsula.

Al Garbe derives from an Arabic expression, Gharb, which means West. Accordingly, the Al Garbe toponym refers to the region to the west of Al Andalus, or simply to the territory to the west.

It was the last region of Portugal rescued from the Moors in the Christian Reconquest. D. Sancho I, whose reign extended from 1185 and 1211, reaches to the Algarve, but is forced to withdraw. The conquest of this territory is consummated in the reign of Afonso III, in 1249, with the taking of Silves, with troops commanded by Don Palo Peres Correia.

It is from D. Afonso III that ultimately was defined the boundaries of Portugal, the Algarve was finally an integral part of the Portuguese kingdom.

The strong and prolonged Arab domination in the region of Algarve left deep marks of their culture. We can find traces Muslims in linguistic heritage, artistic and architectural, agriculture, etc. Noteworthy is the Palace of Balconies in Silves, outstanding example of Moorish architecture in Portugal.

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Did you Know that...wines

As a designated winegrowing region, Algarve’s wines and liqueurs lend themselves well to its traditional gastronomy. Its traditional grape varieties and the warm sun of a typically Mediterranean climate produce fruity wines of low acidity and high quality.

The importance of wine to the region goes back to the time of the Moors, an era when this ‘fruit of the vine’ was exported widely. Today, wines of great quality continue to be produced, benefiting from a location sheltered from the cold winds of the north by the mountains of Monchique and open to the full and uninterrupted gaze of the sun.


The winegrowing region of the Algarve is now divided into the sub-regions of Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa, Albufeira and Tavira. There are a great variety of wines, but as a companion to delicious Algarvian meals, the Vida Nova of Albufeira made by the famous singer Cliff Richard, the  Balsa from Tavira, the Alvor Vinho Regional Algarve or the Tapada da Torre of Portimão are recommended