Driving from Sevilla to Lisbon, we drove through the Algarve. While that isn't unconventional, we kept off the highway and found our way to the coast as often as we could. We went to Faro, Albufeira( and had lunch on the coast at Pic Nic, bought beautiful pottery in Porches, and spent the night in Sagres. The next day we followed the coastline north thru Vila do Bispo to Bordeira. This coastline was just breathtaking! We went thru Praia de Monte Clerigo and again the wiews were just amazing.
I have a friend that, each year, takes a week off to fly to Brazil. Once arrived, he goes to the beach, and for a week he... sleeps, only awaking to have a cocktail or... to go to bed.
My God, Venâncio!
With Algarve two hours driving from home do you really need to go so far to sleep?
Cocktails in Algarve are good, we only miss the fresh coconut. Does the coconut justify the trip?
PS - After writing this, I remembered that Venancio's weekend sleeps are in his apartment in Nazaré. Brazil is his annual long term sleep.
PS2 - In my last weekend in Algarve, while I was showing the highlights to the boys, Fernanda... slept in the beach. That's why I remembered Venâncio!
To attract tourists is fundamental in Algarve and for Algarve.
Not only bars and hotels plan their animation programs to call or fix the clients, but also the local authorities have that concern. So, don't get surprised if, for instance, in a quick visit to Sagres, you find a Moroccan or Turkish girl performing... belly dance.
The truth is that Sagres is a must in the world history, but now it has not much to see. Why not, putting there something else? The fact is that my weekend visit was planned to last 15 minutes and it took more than one hour.
In the old days, this nice village perched in the hills was the first look of Algarve for all those who travelled to the sun. With the opening of the highway, it turned out of the way, missed inland. For more than 20 years I forgot it, until I saw an old picture.
How will it be today, with desertification growing around it? Really out of the beaten path, it is something different to see in the way, if travelling with time.
Vilamoura, in Algarve, all 2,000 hectares of it is the largest tourist complex in Europe replete with 5-star hotels, upscale facilities and high-end entertainment. If you got the money to burn and love hobnobbing with the stars, then Vilamoura is one place to take your holiday in. But right in the center of it, a piece of ancient history reminds the visitor that this place has always attracted people for various reasons all these millennia. Just by the entrance to the waterfront is an authentic Roman villa from the 1st to 3rd century AD , or at least the ruins of one, called Cerro da Vila, and a small museum. In those times, the community here was engaged in a more pedestrian and surely smelly occupation -- the production of fishpaste. One can now see what remains of baths, well-preserved tiles, of a prosperous Roman home, including the entrance hall, rooms, kitchen, slaves' quarters, among others. Entrance fee is 2 euros.
Well, this isn't the view from the top of the mountain, more what the top of the mountain would look like if people hadn't got there first! Our short stay at the top of this 3000-ft (900-m) peak, the highest in the Algarve, was not one of the high points of the trip (if you will pardon the pun!). The top of the mountain is covered by tall communications antennae of various shapes and heights, including a Portugese military base. This complements a very ugly looking tourist restarurant/trinket shop also perched on top of the peak! Compounding our problems, was the haze on this day. Although we could see the coastline off to the south, it really was not clear enough to warrant even a photo. Still, on the way back down the road to the top, I felt compelled to at least take one shot from up there, just above the tree line!
Normally, the drive up would have been better as well but the severe forest fires that raged in Portugal during the summer of 2003 had even reached these slopes. At least the damage was not as bad as some that I have seen in Canada, so hopefully the forest will be able to recover in a few short years.
The best parts of this trip were stumbling onto the Quinta de Sao Bento at the 800-m level on our way down (see my Restaurant tips) and seeing the nice 'azulejo' plaque at the summit (see Local Customs)!
The coast between Ferragudo and Americao de Pera is a littered with spectacular caves and more remote beaches. You are hardly likely to find deserted sand here but it is a nice change from the resorts. Many of these are still blue flag with cafes and showers there. The sand was great at the couple we found and the coves gave good protection from the strong breeze that was apparant whilst we were there. From the boat trip we could see many opportunities to explore the coast. The main photo is close to 7pm in August. It is not that shady during the day.
Off the beaten path beach does exist. Looking for a town/village that is nearly off the beaten path then try Saleema with beach, just beware of the tide.
Further info on my Saleema page
Situated roughly 250 metres above sea level, in a beautiful valley of the Serra de Monchique, in the midst of luxuriant vegetation and beautiful sunlight, this spa is an unexpected oasis of peace and tranquillity and a genuine paradise for all those who visit it. a century before the birth of Christ, the waters of Monchique were already much appreciated by the Romans, who gave them the name of "sacred waters", as is proved by the numerous important archaeological finds that have been made in the area round the thermal springs of Monchique.
Sagres is the most south-westerly village in mainland Europe and, as such, was on the edge of the known world right up to the late Middle AgesFrom the headland fortress, the awesome cliffs curve round past the 17th-century fort at Beliche to the famous lighthouse on the point of Cape St. vincent S. Nowadays, it is the end of the line, well-beloved by backpackers from all over the world, and of considerable interest to botanists and bird-watchers.and historic wise defenitly the most interersting place of the Algarve, where yu can watch and witness, the place that portuguese discoveres, sat sail 500 hundreds years ago.
Tavira is a lovely old town which stands on either side of the river Gilao. Its two halves are connected by a seven-arched Roman bridge. and it's the town in Algarve wich developed the most in the last ten years as far as i know
Nowhere else in the Algarve, along with the old tavira full of churches and historic buildings has developed to a modern town with a lot to offer to the tourist. for some tavira still is the favorite town of the algarve, unspoiled and quite the same for the last 20 years, and against touristic policies held in the Algarve. very charming and quite.
armacao de pera is at the same time my favourite spot in algarve and the ugliest one.
to explain this:
is the algarve place i visited and stood more time on my vacations.
is the algarve place with more buildings on the coast line than any other making the armaçao de pera beach very ugly and sour.
over all , a so-so place to be if yu want to go to the south of Portugal.
Amongst the beautiful houses on the slope stand the mother-church Misericórdia Church and the Senhor do Pé da Cruz Hermitage. Nearby look for the famous thermal spas of Monchique and Fóia, overlooking the hills and the ocean. Here a visitor can try the smelling hot spring water that emerges at a constant temperature of 32ºC.the must known algarve place away from the coast, and once in the region yu should try and visit Monchique and it´s surroundings.
*taken on the web
The original town of Santo António de Arenilla, built by fishermen on a sand bar in the river Guadiana, was swept away in a violent storm.
With the same determination he showed in rebuilding Lisbon after the earthquke of 1755, the Marquês the Pombal decided in 1774 to raise a new Santo António from the ruins of the old. Nearly a century after the original settlement was destroyed, Vila Real de Santo António was built. It took just five months. The town, laid out in a grid design drawn up by the architect Reinaldo Serrano recalls the Baixa quarter of Lisbon. At its heart lies the old Praça Real, a model of classical harmony and proportion. The square is paved in the tradicional Portuguese style, with a circular pattern that frames the obelisk erected in honour of the town's founder.
Once rebuilt, Vila Real soon reestablished itself as a fishing port and went on to become a thriving centre for trade with neighbouring Andalusia.
Silves, once a city of glittering minaret and bustling bazaars, was the Moorish capital of the Algarve. Its imposing red sandstone castle was the scene of horrific medieval battles between Islamic Moors and Christians.NOWADAYS the perfect place for a perfect hollyday away from the busy algarve, but close enough to it at the same time. ten minutes ride and you´ll be at the centre of Portimao for example and all the fussfuss of the glitering Algarve.
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