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Marine Places

Western Algarve

The western Algarve coast extends from the city of Faro in southern Portugal to Cape St. Vincent, at the southwestern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, and then for a further 30 miles (50 km) to the north. This coastline, which is bathed by the warm Gulf Stream, is notable for its picturesque, honey-colored limestone cliffs, small bays and coves, sheltered beaches of fine sand, and emerald-green water. Many stretches of this coast show typical features of marine erosion at work, including caves at the feet of cliffs, grottoes, blowholes, arches forming through headlands, and sea stacks (isolated pillars of rock set off from headlands). Although limestone is a primary component of the landscape, other rocks, including sandstones and shales, form parts of the cliffs along scattered stretches of the coast. The strikingly beautiful scenery has made this coast a popular vacation destination.

Western Algarvezoom image
  • Atlantic Ocean Northeast
  • Type Secondary coast
  • Formation Erosional action of waves on ancient rock strata
  • Extent 84 miles (135 km)
  • Location Southern and southwestern coast of Portugal
Western Algarve habitat mapzoom image