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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > July 2015 > Explore the stunning coast and interior of southern Portugal’s Algarve

Explore the stunning coast and interior of southern Portugal’s Algarve

While the southernmost region of Portugal is known for its beaches and sandy islands, it is also about enchanting hillsides, historic towns, rich fora and fauna, and walking trails.
A lagoon in the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa
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Coastal highlights

1 CABO DE SÃO VICENTE

Europe’s southwesternmost point, Cape St Vincent, was a revered place even in the time of the Phoenicians, and at sunset you can almost hear the hissing as the sun hits the sea. At the end of the cape is a wind-whipped red lighthouse and the excellent, Museu dos Faróis, which showcases the importance of Sagres in Portugal’s maritime navigation history.

2 PARQUE NATURAL DA RIA FORMOSA

This natural park is mostly a lagoon system stretching for 37 miles along the Algarve coastline. It encloses a vast area of sapal (marsh), salinas (salt pans), creeks and dune islands. The marshes are important for migrating and nesting birds. You can see many wetland birds here, along with ducks, shorebirds, gulls and terns. This is the nesting place of the little tern and rare purple gallinule.

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