. Portugal is becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations on the European mainland, and the Algarve region in the southern part of the country is the choice for most of the tourists who come to the country. Its no wonder, for there are miles of beaches, warmer weather and water than elsewhere in the country, and a huge tourist-oriented infrastructure. The region is so popular, in fact, that it has become somewhat overcrowded in the summer months, leading many to seek new areas away from the miles upon miles of high-rise hotels and resorts that line the coast.
The Alentejo region just north of the Algarve is beginning to see some over-flow from the millions of tourists who crowd into the developed areas, and the sparsely populated Alentejo is perfect for those who still want to take advantage of low airfares but would like to have a little elbow room. An hours drive from the airport in Faro will take you into the Alentejo region and away from the condos, hotels and golf courses but you may have to do a bit of your own research for accommodations as most travel agents are still focused on Algarve holiday packages.packages.
That is likely to change, but now is a good time to explore the Alentejo before it, too, becomes over-run by northern European tourists. The Alentejo is a good place to get a feel for the real Portugal, but it doesnt have the miles of beautiful coastline that the Algarve offers, so your best bet might be to take advantage of the holiday packages available at Algarve hotels, and then rent a car to escape the teeming masses for a day or two. Lay around the beach for a few days, do the tourist thing, then leave your Algarve hotel for an adventure further inland.