For centuries, was a conduit for many people, including Tartessos, Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians. It was part of the Roman Empire, with relevant cities as Ossónoba and Balsa.
For about five century was under the rule of Islamic peoples, reaching a high economic and cultural splendor.
After the conquest of the region during the reign of King Afonso III, the old Moorish Al-Gharb was included in the Christian kingdom's westernmost Iberian Peninsula, entered into a certain decline that would have stopped in the fifteenth century by the odyssey of exploration of the African coast and the Moroccan squares conquest, under the command of Prince D. Henry.
With the end of the Lusitanian presence in African territory, the region came back a certain decline, accentuated by the destruction inflicted by the earthquake of November 1, 1755.
Subsequently, the Algarve started the XX century as a rural, peripheral, with an economy based on agriculture cultivation of nuts, corck and other dry fuits, fishing and canning industry.
However, after the 60s, it was the explosion of the tourism industry, thereby changing completely its social and economic structure.