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7 Reasons Why You Should Visit This Affordable Region Of Europe This Spring

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With Europe finally getting warmer as spring approaches, you may be wondering whether the upcoming season is the right time to book that long-awaited Transatlantic getaway, especially if July crowds and overpowering heat are not your idea of fun.

View Of Carvoeiro, A Beach Town In Algarve, Southern Portugal, Southern Europe

There are plenty of gorgeous European spots to pick from, from the frozen fjords of Norway to the ancient cities of the Italian Peninsula, but if you're looking for somewhere a tad bit warmer and even a potential beach break, it's the beautiful Algarve, in Southern Portugal, where you should be headed.

Here are 7 reasons why:

It Is Warm This Spring

Wooden Staircase Leading Down To Praia Dona Ana Beach, Bounded By The Atlantic Coast, Southern Portugal, Southern Europe

The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal, a country that is part of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe's warmest region due to its proximity to the African continent.

Needless to say, winters are already pretty mind, and you can expect temperatures to rise significantly over spring.

It's currently 70°F in the Algarve, and it's still only March.

As we roll into April, it is bound to feel even warmer, and though there may be some seasonal rainfall in spring, these are typically sporadic showers that end as quickly as they start.

As TUI reports, there is a 63% chance of a perfect sunny day that time of year.

Coupled with the balmy weather, we can't think of anything better to do in April than losing those heavy winter layers and going for some gelado by the beachfront in Faro.

It Has The Most Beautiful Coastline In Europe

Golden Sand Beach Praia da Rocha In Portimao, A Resort City In The Algarve, Southern Portugal, Southern Europe

Portugal may not be a Mediterranean country – it straddles the Atlantic Ocean instead – but that's not to say it lacks coastal beauty, like France, nor breathtaking natural landmarks, like Greece.

In fact, the most scenic stretch of coast in Europe is the Algarve itself.

The Algarve is basically synonymous with golden sand beaches and bright-blue oceans, of the kind you would expect to find in tropical destinations like Mexico or Costa Rica, not Europe.

Plus, thanks to the amazing weather, there's never a bad season for sunbathing (certainly not spring).

If you're looking for the trendiest swimming spots, the city of Lagos is where it's at, with over 30 sandy beaches, and one of the most beautiful in the world at that: Camilo Beach, where a wooden staircase leads down to a secluded strip of sand bounded by towering rock formations.

Underrated Culture

Young Woman Walking The Ramparts Of The Ancient Silves Castles In Silves, Algarve, Southern Portugal, Southern Europe

The culture is another huge draw for tourists flying to the Algarve this spring, as the coastline is interspersed with medieval cities, quaint fishermen villages characterized by their centuries-old tradition of salting codfish, vibrant resort towns and ancient sites.

In Lagos, you can find a well-preserved Old Town bedecked in classic Portuguese tiles and dotted with historical medieval churches, and even a Roman-like bridge spanning the gap between two cliffs, overlooking a pristine beach, with origins lost to time.

Instagrammable Carvoeiro is also worth a visit, with its colorful waterfront and traditional restaurants, as is whitewashed, cobbled Albufeira.

Regional capital Faro should not be missed out on, either: it is full of cozy cafes, fado artists at every turn, and the food scene is unparalleled.

4th Best Cuisine In The World

Portuguese Food Next To The Beach

Do you follow your tummy as much as you do your heart?

You'll be glad to know the Algarvian food scene is notoriously Portugal's best, as it carries elements not only of Portuguese diet, considered the fourth best in the world, but also pan-Mediterranean and even North African.

You see, the Algarve is one of the closest points between Europe and the African continent, and needless to say, it's been heavily influenced by Maghrebi culture over the centuries, particularly during the period of Moorish rule, and this is typically reflected in the diverse culinary practices.

From the oil-drenched lagareiro octopus, to the traditional Portimao sardines, and the more global Portuguese pastries, rest assured you won't go hungry as you travel this sun-drenched coast, particularly if you're big on seafood.

It Is Incredibly Affordable

Tourists Bathing In A Sandy Beach Near A Medieval Castle In Ferragudo, Algarve, Southern Portugal, Southern Europe

The Algarve is also one of the most affordable sunny breaks in Europe this spring, not only because of seasonal tourism blights but also due to the low consumer prices seen across Portugal, particularly in its largely rural southernmost province.

Portugal is the cheapest country in Western Europe, where the minimum wage is set at roughly $900 per month, and as prices for food and goods reflect the local purchasing power, don't be surprised if your tourist dollars stretch a lot further here than they would in France or England.

Expect to pay an average $15 for dinner in a mid-range restaurant, or if you're being really frugal, a negligible $5 (or less) for an Iberian ham sandwich, a Portuguese tart, and some orange juice in a pasteleria.

Hotels are incredibly affordable to book as well, with a three-night stay in a private room in Lagos City Center Hostel costing roughly $92, while the four-star TURIM Estrela do Vau Hotel in trendy Albufeira will still only set you back by $228 for three nights this spring.

One Of The Safest Beach Destinations In Europe

Benagil Cave In The Algarve, Southern Portugal, Southern Europe

Safety is a major concern for Americans flying abroad, particularly foreign countries where the culture is unfamiliar and they don't know an awful lot about it, but when it comes to Portugal, you really shouldn't be excessively worried.

Not only are most locals able to speak English and are incredibly friendly, but the country itself is remarkably safe, even by European standards: in the Algarve, pickpocketing does occur, but it is relatively uncommon, and violent crimes are unheard of.

Officially, Portugal is a Level 1 destination – as defined by the U.S. State Department – which means it is as safe as can be: it's a status shared by Croatia, Switzerland, Finland, Iceland, and other low-risk countries.

While we wouldn't encourage you to leave items unattended as you snooze on a beach or rely too much on the kindness of strangers you've just met, your chances of getting mugged or falling victim to a scammer are very slim to none.

It Hosts Nonstop Flights From The U.S.

Traveler Holding USA Passport At Airport

Finally, nonstop flights from the United States to the Algarve are launching this spring, making it a lot easier for Americans to get to the sunny coast ahead of the peak tourist season, without long layovers in Lisbon, Porto or other transit hubs in Portugal.

This is one of United's newly-announced Transatlantic routes for 2024, and it will link their Newark hub to Faro, the regional capital of the Algarve, with four weekly flights operated on a Boeing 757-200 aircraft, starting May 24.

Flight UA281 departs Newark (EWR) at 9:50 p.m. local time, arriving in Faro (FAO) the next morning at 10 a.m. local time, roughly 7h10 later.

Returning home flight UA 282 is scheduled for take-off at 11:45 a.m., touching down in Newark at 3:05 p.m. on the same calendar date.

Outbound flights will depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, while return flights take place on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Tickets are on sale already and start from $846, or $76 monthly if you choose uplift as the payment method.

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