Algarve has a long history, old customs, heritage buildings, and living traditions that you can enjoy during the whole year.
- Algarve traditional houses
In the Algarve, you will notice that the traditional architecture is quite different from the rest of the country. There is a strong influence of the Moorish heritage over many centuries which is reflected in their traditional houses. A typical house in the Algarve usually displays some architectural features such as colorful moldings, picturesque chimneys, whitewashed walls, and cool roof terraces. This kind of construction might not appear very practical in day-to-day life, but there’s something really special about this type of construction.
- Algarve gastronomy
Portugal is famous for its very rich and diverse gastronomy. And when you are in the Algarve, you will want to taste some local regional dishes as well. These dishes are reputable for their very rich flavor and, at the same time, simple preparation. However, you will also notice that there is some clever use of spices, aromatic herbs, and other ingredients.
The most traditional dishes in the Algarve are fish and shellfish, as well as the slowly grilled seafood over charcoal. Another famous dish in the Algarve is the cataplana.
In terms of desserts, most of them will use fruits that grow in the Algarve like carob, oranges, figs, and almonds, among others. They are usually simply blended with sugar and eggs, making the perfect combination together.
And, in case you want to drink any traditional, you will want to taste the famous Medronho brandy.
- Algarve traditions and customs
Algarve has a lot of peculiar customs and traditions that you can easily notice in the local people’s lives.
The most traditional customs in the region are the manufacture of wicker baskets as well as pottery.
Besides, they have the popular Saints celebrations and the “Charolas”, the groups of traditional musicians.
About the traditional games, we can’t forget about the “Maios”. Maio means May in English and this yearly celebration takes place on every 1st of May. At this celebration, you’ll be able to check the “maio” dolls, some human-sized dolls made of clothes, which represent local personalities as well as their professions and events as a satire.
When visiting the Algarve, you can’t miss the “corridinho” which is like local folklore, mixing the famous Waltz, tango, slow music, and foxtrot.
- Algarve culture
Portugal is a country with a rich culture and the Algarve has some particularities as well. One of these is the fact that in Algarve, you will see many people living through their music and arts. We have already mentioned the “Corridinho” which is a cheerful version of the folklore that is actually a mix between mazurka and polka.
- Algarve history
There’s no question that Algarve’s history was greatly influenced by the Arab occupation. This is still very noticeable in the architecture that is present in the entire region. However, the Arab influence is not present only in the architecture.
If you pay some attention when you’re in Algarve, you’ll notice many local names, buildings, and words that start with the letters “AL” just like “Algarve”. These words are usually a part of the Arab heritage.
The Arab occupation lasted for over five, from the 8th to the 13th centuries, and that’s why it left some strong heritage of the region and its culture, and that’s why Algarve architecture and some traditional costumes are so different than those that you can find in the rest of the country.
After many long battles, Algarve was finally reclaimed by the Christians. Ever since 1249, the Portuguese monarchs were entitled kings of Portugal and of the Algarve.
The Algarve is indeed a very special place. Few places can combine so much history, diversity, and natural beauty as Algarve does. Algarve offers so much more than sun, beaches, and golf. If you’re really interested in knowing the real Algarve, you need to visit some of the cities, try their regional food, and enjoy their local culture and traditions.