Algarve offers many exciting experiences and has a very varied nature. The towns along the coast offer authentic atmosphere, but also a wild nightlife with dense concentration of tourists especially during peak seasons. Algarve is well-known for its sunny and mild climate, and especially many golfers go there. Algarve is very versatile with something for everyone. It is obvious to explore the rocky coastline by car.
Travel inspiration for Algarve, Portugal
We talked about renting a car – which we, however, came from again. Later on we definitely regret that. The purpose of the trip was to see how Portugal – western Europe’s poorest country looks but also enjoy spring at the beaches.
Beautiful and varied scenery, beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, plentiful sunshine, relatively low prices
Many tourists in high season, poor beach in Faro
Things to see in Faro
Faro is the capital of the region of the Algarve, and has about 50,000 inhabitants. It is the southernmost town in Portugal. Faro is located behind the Ria Formosa lagoon, which is a system of natural and artificial barrier islands. This area is a part of a larger nature reserve. The area has a significant economic impact, as there is major fishing activity in the area. In terms of scenery, the area is unique as hundreds of different bird species migrate into and across the nature reserve.
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Close to Faro, is Faro International Airport, which is the most used means of transport to and from the coast of Algarve. The airport has a lot of traffic from March to October. It’s easy and cheap to get by bus or taxi to Faro town center or to other resorts along the coast. Many low-cost airlines are flying to Faro , which has led to a significant increase in the number of passengers to Algarve coast and the airport.
Before the trip we had researched what Faro had to offer. Here it was pointed out that the town has a busy center with lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. In addition, we read that the town has a historic town, which was clearly worth a visit. First of all, I would emphasize that our experience of the town was quite another. We discovered that the town was worn and dull, and there was not much life. The old town is, though existent, so not very well-preserved and not very big. The historic district we were very disappointed. Faro has a number of parks to offer, which is neat and lovely to stay in. Also the marina is nice and cozy. In my view, Faro has not much to offer and we regretted very much that we had booked our hotel in Faro town throughout the holiday and that we had not rented a car so we could experience the countryside outside Faro. It should be mentioned that we visited Faro very early in the season , which may have dampened life and tourism in the town.
Ilha Deserta Portugal
A street vendor sold us a boat trip to the nature reserve at Faro coast. We were promised a fantastic trip guaranteed to see different species of birds , dolphins etc. We were however very disappointed. It was a very boring boat ride. We did received any kind of information about the animals or the nature reverse. We were shipped out to a deserted island called Deserta Island where we had the opportunity to go for a long walk . There was not much to see both fauna and flora was bland. However, the beaches and the water in some places quite nice as we availed ourselves of . However, there was unfortunately some garbage around. We will not recommend a boat trip out to the nature reserve – it’s a waste of time and money. The thing the seller promised us were not satisfied at all.
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Faro to Albufeira
From the bus station in Faro, we took a bus to Albufeira, one of the most popular holiday resorts in Algarve. It is very easy and straightforward and can really be recommended. We took a taxi back again later that night.
There are many tourists in Albufeira, which makes the town a lively resort area . The beaches are great and attracts many bathers . There are beautiful rock formations along the beach , which offers beautiful white sand and clear water – though at times by large waves. Albufeira is also known for its wild nightlife . There is an abundance of cafes , bars and nightclubs in the city . Albufeira is a nice place for young people , which is not far from the gorgeous beaches and the wild nightclubs. There is everything for holiday happy tourists within a short radius. We could personally prefer the Albufeira’s lively atmosphere even though it can certainly be a bit too overcrowded in high season. You must be able to tolerate tourists if you visit Albufeira especially during high season.
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Algarve Coast Portugal: Overview
Algarve is a beautiful place with very varied nature. It is possible in a week to discover the Algarve from Lagos in the west to Huelva in Spain in the east. Car hire in Portugal is cheap and I would definitely recommend it and I will do it next time I will be visiting Portugal. In my opinion, Faro is very authentic and the atmosphere is much more local than, such as Albufeira. But as sun bathing tourist, Faro is not ideal. Here is very far to the beach. It looks like that the selection of restaurants, bars and cafes are very limited in Faro however the tend to be more local. Moreover, the beaches of Albufeira much more welcoming . In my opinion, it is enough with one or two nights in Faro. Then, there are plenty of opportunities to experience nature and the quaint fishing villages and resorts along the coast by car.
A trip to the Algarve can truly be recommended, especially during the spring when there are many hours of sunshine and the weather is mild. Algarve is for you who want a great combination of relaxation and exploring.
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I hope my travel inspiration for Algarve, Portugal has given you the interest to travel to this beautiful southwest corner of the European continent.
pictures of algarve
More pictures of Algarve is available here