Take a walk along the lovely coastline near Faro's city centre. There is a promenade which offers great views of the Ria Formosa Lagoon, which is a system of 6 barrier islands, 1 of them is an artifical island. The area is a stopping place for hundreds of different birds.
You will also come along Faro's Marina which is a yacht-filled harbour with fancy cafes and a maritime museum.
I was very surprised to see so many storks nestling on various locations all around the busy city centre. You can spot them on most churches, all sorts of rooftops and even on lamp posts in the middle of a busy roundabout.
Faro's coastline with the Ria Formosa Lagoon seems to be a pardise for all sorts of birds.
If you visit Faro for more than one day, take the chance to visit the Old Town by night.
Most visitors only come here on a daytrip from one of the busy beach resorts along the Algarve. So after 6 p.m. it gets much quiter in the city and you can even feel lonely in the beautiful illuminated Old Town.
Faro's buildings absolutely delighted and intrigued me. This was my first trip to Portugal and I was amazed at how different it is to Spain. Every house had either a delicately curved balcony, or an interesting door or some other feature I stopped and examined. I've included five photos here and I think I should let them speak for themselves.
Photo 1 is of a type of door knocker we saw all over Faro :the fist, sometimes just 1 and on a double door , two.
Photo 2 is just one of many photos I took of houses that caught my eye. I think the decorative detail on this one is particularly delicate and understated.
Photo 3: balconies of every shape and design , a lot of them pot bellied and curving out at the bottom.
Photo 4: Tiles/Azulejos used in every decorative way imaginable
Photo 5: A wall painting in the Old Town
It's hard to know how to describe the waterfront at Faro. Part pleasure craft marina, part fishing boat harbour, it's actually enclosed and you have to go under a small bridge under the railway track to get to the channels of the lagoon outside. It's well back from the sea and the town beach is 7km away. You need to take the no 16 bus or get a boat from the harbour.
The town is nicely arranged around this waterfront which is shaped like an amphitheatre, an impression heightened by the broad sweep of steps leading down to the water right at the centre. On the Hotel Eva side it's very much posh marina ( photos 4&5), leading in to the Placa Dr Francesco Gomes and the tree-shaded Jardim Manuel Biver. This stretch, leading to the Old Town entrance is beautifully laid out and very,very relaxing to stroll round or relax on one of the many seats.
Beyond the entrance to the Old Town, there's more of a fishing harbour flavour and if you walk round here in the morning you'll see lots of activity on the boats coming and going from the lagoon. Photos 3 & 2.
Faro has a small marina bordered by a nice small park named Jardim Manuel Bolivar. Near the marina there are also some restaurants.
Walking along the marina is a nice thing to do if you have to spend some time waiting for your bus departure. In fact the bus station is quite near this area. You could also spot some nice boats like that on the first pic.
Favorite thing: Faro is also the home of the Ria Formosa lagoon, a nature reserve of over 17.000 hectares and a stopping place for hundreds of different birds during the spring and autumn migratory periods. You will find storks all over the town and the Algarve region.
Algarve is internationally known for it's beaches and it's coast line. While in visit you absolutely must go to a tourist information centre and buy a ticket to go on a cruise travel; some of this cruises offer you lunch in closed beaches, i.e., that have no access by land.
Fondest memory: Faro has a beatifull sand island with white sand and strong winds. If you bathe be sure to swim near the cost; sea is a bit wild around here.
Tavira was no disappointment, we were a bit wary of visiting the Algarve, famed for being a 'British' holiday resort so after asking our Portugese friends where was best to go we arrived in the historical wee town.
The beach was a boat ride away which was very satisfying and when we arrived on the island it was packed with tourists but very few Brits in sight which was a relief. You could sit on the firth which was prettier but the water looked a wee bit grotty what with all the boats arriving. Instead we headed through the island following the crowds by the campsite (I woudl definately stay there next time) and a few bars to reach the other side.
There it was. The Atlantic Ocean, the very same one that we can see from our wee town of Dumfries. There was the accompanying gale blowing and I felt at home. I forced myself in for a swim but it was very cold! the beach was huge, plenty of space for everyone, there was even a football game being played in bleachers at the other end but we were able to relax and people watch.
Located in the center of the Algarve in Portugal’s southernmost region, Albufeira is the seat of the county and belongs to the administrative district of Faro which is located 39 Km. away.
Totaling an area of 14,800 hectares, and with a population of approximately 40,000 residents, this county is divided into five parishes: Albufeira, Ferreiras, Guia, Olhos d'Água and Paderne.
From 1985 onwards, the Borough of Carvoeiro therefore became one of the five boroughs within the Lagoa Municipality, part of the Faro District, and it borders on the Estômbar and Lagoa boroughs to the west, north and east, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The borough area is 12.8 square kilometers, which is 13.7 % of the Lagoa municipal territory. Forty percent of the municipal coastline is in the borough, and its excellent cliffside beaches with scenic landscapes triggered the tourist influx, especially from the U.K., at the beginning, during the sixties. After that , visitors of other nationalities such as Germans discovered the attractions of the area.
However, in centuries gone by the Carvoeiro coast was coveted by other civilisations, especially in the view of its connections with the sea -fishing and coastal defense. The fact that archaeological relics have been found of the shore at Praia do Carvoeiro, such as a lead Roman anchor stock and a 13th century iron anchor, prove this point.
Favorite thing: Albufeira’s origins are unknown, but all evidence leads one to believe that the region was already inhabited during prehistoric times and the location where the city stands today was at one time, a few centuries prior to our day, an important settlement with its own harbour.
The cliff-lined coast is punctuated with beaches of a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and the winters are mild with limited rainfall mainly between the months of October through March, giving an average yearly temperature of 17.5ºC.
Albufeira is acknowledged as one of the main tourist regions of the country.
Armação de Pera History
Not very long ago this town was once nothing more than a collection of small shacks where the local residents from the nearby town of Pera used to maintain their fishing boats. It is quite probable that the name “Armação” is a link with the distant past of the great Tuna fishing industry that existed along the Algarve from the 15th Century and before. This later fell under the protection of a small 18th Century fort that still remains in part to this day.
Albufeira has everything for a marvellous stay in order for you to enjoy its golden beaches and clear, warm waters, or else just relax or rest or look for adventure.
Albufeira has 23 beaches for you to choose from covering 30 km.of coast. Look for the blue flags posted on the beaches which signify pure ocean water.