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Trip List by bjh1

Algarve with Henry

27 Jun 2011  Never been to Portugal before
4.5 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

We booked a trip to Lagos in Portugal, but as the car hire costs were little more than the transfer costs, we hired a car and instead of a trip to Lagos we had a holiday in the Algarve - just the thing for anyone wishing to see more than the beach.

  • 1. Sagres
    Sagres, Faro District

    A quiet little town with an imposing fort on a promontory. We enjoyed strolling around the site, although there is little of the original left. Nearby is Cape St. Vincent - a bit of a tourist trap, but it is the most South westerly point in Europe so we can say we've been. Had a pleasant lunch in a little bistro in Sagres

  • 2. Silves
    Silves, Faro District

    A bit a rabbit warren so best to park down by the river near the Toiurist Information point which is well signposted from the main road (turn left after the bridge). Small cobbled streets lead to the Cathedral (which was closed for a reason no one could explain on the day of our visit) and the fort - which has been extensively refurbished and is worth a visit for the views. Cafe Inglese provided a good and cheap lunch and is right next to the Cathedral and castle.

  • 3. Monchique
    Monchique, Faro District

    Fairly high in the hills. Parking is at first sight a problem until you climb the steep cobbled street from the main square to a roundabout from which the last exit leads to an underground car park - cool and free. Not a lot to do but there are splendid views and a seventeenth century monastery which is about a fifteen minute walk from the centre. Plenty of eating places in the centre of the village.

  • 4. Odeceixe
    Odeceixe, Faro District

    We came here one day to avoid temperatures in the high thirties in Lagos. Here it was a pleasant 28. A large expanse of pristine sand flanked by rocky headlands means that even if many people are there it is never crowded. Plenty of parking and a decent snack bar catering for most things - the best toasted sandwich we had anywhere.

  • 5. Mount Foia
    Mount Foia, Monchique, Faro District

    An extension to a drive to Monchique is this splendid viewpoint - the highest in the Algarve - although you do share it with a lot of masts and radomes. Suggest you get there early - we arrived a little after ten and by half past, four coaches had arrived and we passed a further five on the drive back down. From here you can see pretty well all of the Western Algarve and even the West coast. A large 'emporium' caters for shopaholics and there is a pleasant enough cafe.

  • 6. Lagos
    Lagos, Faro District

    We stayed here and have reviewed the hotel (Albergeria Marina Rio) and a couple of restaurants (D. Henrique and O Marafado). It's a busy place and caters for all tastes. The marina is worth a look to see how the other half live and there are a lot of opportunities for a boat trip to see the grottoes - although you can see them just as well from the cliff path down to them. Parts of the centre are a bit 'busy' but it is worth wandering around the residential part of the old town to get a little flavour of the other side of the place. It is well situated as a base for visiting the area, but as I said earlier you need to be a dedicated sun worshipper to spend a week here without leaving.