The diversity of nature Algarve is definitely one of the greatest riches of the Algarve. Visitors can easily experience different environments within this region: from the coast to the mountains, there is a whole world of diversity to be explored and just as many different ways to do so. The coastal areas offer an ecological system of amazing biodiversity, from native birds to mollusks and crustaceans, and there are several points of interest for visitors to observe the natural Algarve, the fauna and flora closely on pleasant trail walks.
You’ll take great pleasure in discovering the rock pools, coastal footpaths, national parks, walking trails, wide open spaces and unique flora and fauna of the region. The protected habitats and unspoiled, peaceful environments by the sea – especially in the national parks of the southwest Alentejo, the Ria Formosa and Sapal – are ideal for ramblers and walkers, bird watchers and botanists, painters and photographers. Or just anybody who might have forgotten what clean, fresh air smells and tastes like. Check out the numerous walking and cycle trails along the coastline, or just find a stretch of beach and walk to your heart’s content.
Far from the sandy beaches and steep cliffs, green blends with garish shades of brown earth in the vast expanse of the inland Barrocal, which opens its doors to visitors of the nature Algarve, to experience another Algarve, one that is covered with orange groves and orchards of fig, carob and almond trees.
The Coast and its Beaches
One of the Algarve’s greatest charms is the diversity of its landscapes of the nature Algarve, which is also true for its coastal region. The “Costa Vicentina”, which begins in Sagres and stretches northwards, is dominated by dark steep cliffs with small yet charming beaches. Here and at Ponta de Sagres or at S. Vicente Cape, you can feel the wild power of nature Algarve.
The nature Algarve on the southern coast, from Albufeira to Lagos, however, there are dozens of sandy beaches — some of them only accessible by boat — inviting to quiet and relaxing holidays with the family. The nature Algarve from, Quarteira to Vila Real, large golden sandy beaches stretch over miles and miles, always framed by green pinewoods and the blue Ocean. Here holidays can be either more cosmopolitan or quieter.
The Barrocal and the Mountains
The nature in the “Barrocal” is a long strip of limestone ground in the inner Algarve and is the orchard and garden of the region. This is the Algarve where the famous almond and orange trees grow, as well as carobs and a wide variety of colourful flowers, a beautiful part of the nature Algarve. This is also the Algarve of whitewashed houses, laced chimneys and beautiful landscapes that stretch towards the sea.
The Mountains and the Guadiana River
The Algarve is bordered in the North by a range of round-shaped hills, which undulate like a petrified ocean until they vanished on the horizon. Here and there, they are spotted by white villages and by the farming lands lying in wetter and more fertile valleys dominated by silence and rich and varied fauna and flora.
Serving as a natural border, the nature of the River Guadiana adds a touch of freshness to this area always under a hot sun. Small boats carry visitors from Alcoutim to Vila Real and reveal that Algarve of small villages, verdant banks and aquatic birds. Old paths wind the valleys and go uphill amidst undulating fields of gorse, rock roses and humble wildflowers. Here and there, an olive tree, a fig or almond tree stands isolated while a shepherd looks after his sheep and a mule pull a wooden plow that breaks up the stony soil. This is the less known yet also beautiful nature Algarve.
Finding out the history and the nature of this inner Algarve is like breathing the land that offers everything she gets. Here you can go down a murmuring gully bordered by blooming oleanders to see the swift flight of a kingfish or a badger escaping in a hurry. Then you can climb “Rocha da Pena” to admire a beautiful orchid or to do some climbing. And you can also rest your eyes on an oceanic horizon while tasting a piece of Monchique ham and watching the powerful flight of an eagle looking for a prey. These are indeed unique experiences.
Discover the nature Algarve; every month of the year is worth a visit:
- January: Spring starts with full yellow coloured Mimosa
- February: the Algarve is covered by white/pink flowers of the almond blossom
- March: is known for its numerous fields of poppies, orchids, daisies, and the rock roses tinting the hills of the Algarve hills in white, red and yellow.
- April: starting already in March, continuing in April, the sweet blossom of the orange trees.
- May: you will be able to try the fresh taste of the “néspera”
- June: you can eat the first fresh figs.
- July: grapes are ready to be picked
- August: are very hot months and the sardines have an excellent taste! The carob is ready to be picking.
- September: it’s time to pick the olives.
- October: the almonds are delicious.
- November: is known for its wild chestnuts.
- December: the first sweet oranges are ripe and ready to be eaten.