will talk us through some of
the best places to see in Portugal.
After kicking around Costa Del Sol for a few weeks, I was getting bored of high rise apartments, English breakfast cafes and drunken louts on the beach. I needed a change, I wanted somewhere sunny and warm, but where culture was still in existence.
A friend suggested I hit the south of Portugal. I heard stories of cool lighthouses, stunning beaches and spectacular rock formations. My first stop on my Algarve adventure was Faro. The place has a bit of a reputation of being over-run with tourists, but to be honest, it’s way cooler then Estepona or Torremolinos in nearby Spain. Also it’s a great place to base yourself if you want to explore the more remote areas of the Algarve. I went in mid-summer, when the days are really hot, but in the off-season you can still find lots of sunny days and also actually experience more of what southern Portugal has to offer.
Faro is stunning, a cool town with lots happening. The old town just off the harbor has old Europe cobblestone streets and 18th century Portuguese architecture. The place feels like it has some culture, unlike many towns on the Costa Del Apartementos. But really, if you are here for just a wicked suntan and cocktails in the evening, then you won’t be at all disappointed either. The beaches, while a little way from the center, are clean and filled with pretty people, but not so much so that they ever get really crowded. You will also see some pretty trippy cars on the streets here, stuff that you won’t see elsewhere in Europe. I can’t really explain it, you just have to see it.
I also went to one of the weirdest churches I have ever seen. I wasn’t atoning for sins or anything like that (though there are many you can get up to in the Algarve). Capela dos Ossos in the Igreja do Carmo church (Literally the chapel of bones) is decorated with the skeletal remains of over 1000 of its former monks. Yeah, a little weird, and not the place to take the girl you met on the beach yesterday,
After a week in the relaxed part of Portugal, I wandered off in search of the party. I found it in Albufeira. Here you have a great nightclub scene that kicks on well into the evening. There are inexpensive restaurants and bars all along the strip and in the old town. It’s a party goers paradise in the sun. The people in Portugal are much more friendly than many other parts of Europe, laid back and happy. Many speak a bit of English, generally not much though, so a bit of Portuguese will go a long way.
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