The Algarve (English: ; Portuguese: [a???a?v?], from Arabic: ?????? al-Gharb "the west") is the southernmost region of continental Portugal. It has an area of 4,997 square kilometres (1,929 sq mi) with 451,006 permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities. The region has as its administrative centre in the city of Faro, where both the region's international airport (FAO) and public university, the University of Algarve, are located. Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve's summer economy. Production of food, which includes fish and other seafood, different types of fruit like oranges, figs, plums, carob beans and almonds, is also economically important in the region. Although Lisbon surpasses the Algarve in terms of tourism revenue, the Algarve is still, overall, considered to be the biggest and most important Portuguese tourist region, having received an estimated total of 7.1 million tourists in 2017. Its population triples in the peak holiday season thanks to seasonal residents. The Algarve is also increasingly being sought after, mostly by central and northern Europeans, as a permanent place to settle. An American-based study concluded that the Algarve was the world's best place to retire.
The Algarve is one of the most developed regions of Portugal and, with a GDP per capita 86% of the European Union average, the third richest (behind Lisbon and Madeira).
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