Lots of hours of sunshine, beautiful sandy beaches, tasty local (fish) dishes ..for all these reasons is the Algarve,in the South of Portugal, a popular destination. You can choose the lively stretch between Faro and Albufeira, or just escape the crowds and drive towards Sagres in the west or to Tavira in the east. The west coast, north of Sagres, is a national park, popular with surfers. The Ria Formosa, a small archipelago of the lagoon islands extends the east of Faro to the Spanish border. In the hills you will find the old spa town of Monchique, an elegant alternative to the beach, where you can walk through the woods.