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Algarve

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The southernmost portion of mainland Portugal has long been one of Europe’s most popular sun-and-sea destinations – easy to understand when you encounter its mix of golden sands, family resorts and whitewashed towns.  The coastline itself is a vision at times, with flower-covered slopes leading down to quiet shorelines, but things get much livelier at the main tourist centres, equipped with myriad restaurants, bars and attractions.

Keeping kids happy

A holiday to the Algarve from GlasgowAirport suits all sorts of travellers, but the destination is famed for its appeal to families. There’s a mild climate year round, which holds numerous advantages, but just as notable is the range of activities on offer, from beach sports and water parks to go-karting and dolphin-spotting trips. In addition there are more than 70 Blue Flag beaches to choose from – all accredited for their environment and safety levels.

Myriad charms

Away from the thrum and activity of the key resort towns, the Algarve is somewhere with a whole host of less populated spots. The cliff-surrounded town of Sagres and nearby VicentinaCoast are great bets for both surfers and hikers, while cyclists can wend their way between old fishing villages (the region’s seafood, unsurprisingly, is superb). If you head inland, meanwhile, you’ll find rich reward in the gorgeous Serra de Monchique mountain range and under-visited treats like the Roman ruins at Estoi.

Great for golfers

The 300 annual days of sunshine enjoyed by the Algarve have helped it become one of the continent’s most enticing golf spots. There are more than 30 well-tended courses to choose from, including the rightly lauded San Lorenzo (Quinta do Lago), recently named among the world’s 25 best courses by Golf World Magazine. Four others in the Algarve made the top 100 – the region’s spectacular scenery adds to the experience.

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