Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Bitte of Algarve History...

Bearing Witness to the Past Going back to the beginning of time From the very earliest periods of history, the Algarve has been the chosen place of settlement for different peoples, resulting in many distinct and fine historical buildings that are the top priority for all those wishing to discover more about the great cultural heritage of this region.From pre-history through to the Pombaline architectural style of the 18th century, with excursions into the Roman, Arab and mediaeval periods, much evidence of these past times has survived intact.Scattered all across the entire region are the menhirs and megalithic monuments that testify to the presence of the first men to make their mark on human history. Later came the Romans to enjoy the pleasures of this coastline and to leave their own testimonies to their presence and culture. The Roman Ruins of Milreu, in Estói, the Roman Villa of Cerro da Vila, in Vilamoura, or the settlement at Alcalar are all examples of this period. Now, they come equipped with visitor information centres to ensure a broader and fuller understanding of just how the Romans lived in the Algarve.The Algarve is also home to a rich Islamic heritage, with influences to be found across various dimensions of the region's culture. This includes some of the castles and fortresses, as well as a number of churches converted from their previous function as mosques. There is also a strong Islamic influence to be noted in popular architectural styles.Vila Real de Santo António represents the region's very best example of the huge legacy left by the Marquês de Pombal as he set about rebuilding much of Portugal following the 1755 earthquake. Indeed, the entire architectural richness of this sun-blessed region derives from the multitude of references that may be encountered by those prepared to venture a little beyond the immediate beauty of the coastline.

During your holiday don't forget to visit the most famous and important highlights of the Algarve .Beginning with the Algarve 's capital, located at the sea side Faro, is surrounded by the Ria Formosa, a nature reserve of 17.00 hectares and stopping place for migrating birds. The Faro airport is connecting the Algarve with most European capitals by direct flights and handles several million passengers a year. Drive west and you will arrive to Vilamoura. A special place, an exclusive leisure and recreation resort community where the peace of life is so easy it feels like summer all year round. Driving a few kilometres more, you will get to the centre of the Algarve , Albufeira, acknowledged as one of the main tourist regions of the country. Continuing towards the heart of the sunny Algarve , you will find the small inlet of Carvoeiro protected between high cliffs. A few kilometres ahead, Lagos is our last stop. A Marina presents a lovely picture and the harbour, is the first sight a visitor has. With its relaxed atmosphere and quiet charm, make it one of the most appealing locations in the Algarve to visitors from abroad, an important tourist town there are still many architectural signs of its ancient past.Car Hire in the Algarve at a cheap price, a brand new vehicle and a helpful team to assist you. We suggest the following websites: Algarve Car Hire, Car Hire in the Algarve, Car Hire Portugal, Portugal Car Hire, Car Hire Lisbon, Faro Car Hire, Vilamoura Car Hire, Albufeira Car Hire, Carvoeiro Car Hire, Lagos Car Hire. If you need airport transfer from or to Faro airport check out Algarve Transfers.