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Nestled in the far southern corner of Portugal, the Algarve is a popular coastal resort region for continental Europeans. This region is home to some of the most beautiful beaches of Portugal and a history dating back to the Romans and Moors. Self-driving is the best way to explore these spots, but visitors should not forget to compare car hire rates when hiring a vehicle.
Faro Airport provides air links to the Algarve and is located just west of the city centre of Faro. Cities are spread out along the Algarve coast and relying on public transportation to visit these can be difficult. Taxis can get expensive so most visitors opt to use car hire in Algarve to best explore this region.
There are plenty of options when it comes to car rental in the Algarve. The main city in the region, Faro, offers the most options. But most cities and towns in the Algarve will have at least one or two companies to choose from. Leading rental companies such as Avis, Budget, Hertz and Sixt have desks at Faro's airport.
Driving is easy in the Algarve as the roads are well-maintained and simple to navigate. However, some of the coastal roads can be narrow and require defensive driving, especially with oncoming traffic. Public transportation options can be limited outside the city centre and service is sparse during the weekends.
The beaches in Albufeira are considered to be the best in the region, attracting visitors from all over Europe. However, for a day away from sun and surf, head for the historic city of Lagos. Steeped in Roman and Moorish history, some fascinating buildings can be seen here. With a vehicle it is also possible to explore the stunning nature reserve area along the coast of Faro.
The peak tourist season in the Algarve is during summer, running from June to September. Although summer is popular, temperatures can easily rise into the 40s (°C), which is very hot. In comparison, winter temperatures hover around a pleasant 25°C during the day and low teens at night.