Portugal, more concretely Algarve, has an important meaning for us. It was the first time we traveled together. It was ten days to get relaxed, to get a tan and to enjoy the amazing beaches in the region. We were there in May. The weather was warm and we skipped the peak season (from the end of June until the end of August)
We want to point out something about Algarve: this is a quiet region. That means is perfect to get a tan and just relax at the beach. It does not mean that it is a boring region, not at all. It is perfect to surf and to practice sports and walk through the nature.. We really enjoyed to walk along the see. We just want to let you know, that if you are looking to party everyday or really enjoy the night life is maybe not the perfect place for you. Even if you can go out and there is always a party mile to find, most of the clubs are full with tourist and it is not something special that you cannot find everywhere. The capital of the region is Faro with more than 60.000 inhabitants.
All the accommodations we had in this trip were Airbnb. We had almost the whole time there a small apartment in Albufeira. It was no luxury but we had everything we needed. We chose Albufeira because we found enough apartment offers and because it is located more or less in the middle of Algarve, that allowed us to do day trips to the different destinations around. We had a double room for two nights in Faro before we left.
In order to rent a car in Algarve we definitely recommend you to do it in advance: the earlier you book it, the cheaper. If you did have no time to do it or you just decided to rent a car in the last moment, we strongly recommend you to go to the local car rental companies and avoid the famous big companies. In 2015 we saved around 200€ just by going to a local car rental.
We realized during this trip that traveling together was funny. It was not always a piece of cake, but be discovered that we get along also when we are 24/7 together. We both like to sightseeing and we agreed in the way we wanted to plan the day, which is a big advantage 🙂
We just select our favorite locations:
Silves is a wonderful small city located into a valley. There is a castle on the top of the city and the streets are steep, so be prepared to exercise. There is no tall buildings in the city, just traditional houses. The whole city has a marvelous traditional flair. From the castle you have a wide view from the city. The castle itself is not so exciting, but it is worth it to go inside just for the view. I do not know exactly why we were so fascinated from the city but it is one of our best memories in Algarve.
Fortaleza de Sagres is a military fortress in the SW of Algarve. It is situated inside a national park. This fortress only hat one wall in one side, the rest of the area is secure thanks to the cliffs. We did not managed to get the whole history of the fortress. We had the impression that everyone had his own point of view and story and, of course, it was always the right one 😉 it was built in order to protect the land against pirates and enemy’s boats. Inside you will find „la rosa dos ventos“, no one really knows what this wind rose was for. Each story about the fortress will reveal you a different use. The area of the fortress is really big and has a breathtaking view of the Atlantic. The waves crush wild against the cliffs. Just some minutes away you can find a lighthouse and a winding stone stairs which ended in the see, also an interesting view.
Tavira is also one of our best memories in Algarve. A river split the city in two parts which are connected with bridges. By low water you can even see the fishermen working in the river with a traditional method. The city has a castle from which you can admire the city. In a sunny day is the perfect location to take pictures 😉 The castle is also used as a botanical garden, it is worth to take a walk through it. Most of the buildings of the city are white. The city has a peaceful atmosphere and at the same time plenty of possibilities to eat out.
Faro is the capital of Algarve. Everything you need, you can find it here. The Downtown of Faro is really beautiful and it maintains the Portugal’s tradition. You can discover the history of faro along the tiles in the downtown. Though the downtown is quite small, the streets and the the view of the see are amazing. The best memory of Geda are the sunsets in Faro when the water goes down. The reflections into the water, the boats lying on the sand mixed with an spectacular sunset light.
Lagos has a harbor and it is deeply connected with the see. The city is a mix between tradition an modernity. The city maintains the ancient walls and everywhere you go you can feel the traces of the old city. The downtown is really beautiful and it remembers as how it was centuries ago. Our surprise was that at the same time the city was covered with street art and it has a big number of amusements for young people. Along the promenade you can see the crabs walking around the rocks or spend some time shopping some souvenirs. There is a beach just one minute walking from the city, it is protected against the wind through by the cliffs and the city. We just fancied to go to the beach and tan a little bite while taking a bath. After the trip, we have to admit, that if we have known how Lagos was, maybe be had decided to stay there instead of staying in Albufeira.