The Algarve, Portugal's southern region known for its rugged cliffs, Atlantic beaches and colourful rock formations, is adding new hiking trails to its well-signposted routes through rural villages and over rolling hills.
Stretching around the mountain resort of Monchique in the region's west, the long-distance hiking trail has been extended by three routes for whole-day or half-day hikes and two connecting trails, local officials say.
The new routes, which range from 7 to 12 kilometres in length, add to an already rich network that allows tourists to easily explore the Algarve on foot or by bicycle. Many of the routes are themed and some also have audio guides.
In addition to being popular for hikes, the Algarve's coasts are a magnet for surfers, offering perfect waves and 300 sunny days a year. Between Albufeira and Portimao is a special gem: the Benagil Caves, which can be best explored by taking a kayak or canoe.
Meanwhile the hinterland of the southern Algarve is home to Portugal's most famous red wines. The landscape of the Alentejo is characterized by huge cork oak forests, olive groves and hilly vineyards that stretch to the horizon. With weather that is mostly hot and sunny, the region is a little like Tuscany.
The centre of wine tourism is north of the Algarve in Evora, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Various wine routes start here and lead to the most famous growing regions, such as Borba, Portalegre, Redondo, Reguengos or Vidigueira. In the north-east of the Alentejo, directly at the border to Spain, there are the beautiful wineries of the Serra de Mamede. – dpa