After having visited the ever-bustling capital of Andalucía – Sevilla, we moved on to Portugal. Straight away we were forced to think on “our wheels” as a strange toll system in Portugal was restricting our moves. Please read more about toll roads in Portugal in another post by my fellow traveler: adrianroaming.
As soon as we arrived to our first Portugal stop, Faro, I felt the contrast. The city is humble and quite and not overwhelmed by tourists at all! Beautiful streets, relaxing atmosphere and amazing people were greeting us everywhere. The locals all spoke great English, which I can’t say about Spaniards. There is a strong correlation between Hollywood movies being dubbed in a particular country and its people’s ability to speak English. By all means I’m not saying everyone has to speak English, it’s just an observation.
We also unpleasantly learned that Portugal is more expensive than Spain in terms of eating out. On a bright side, accomodation is usually cheaper than in Spain…
As we had a car, we decided to use it to the full advantage and went around the Algarve region.
Lagos stroke us with an amazing view of the port, but appeared to be slightly more populated by tourists. We felt the same relaxing port vibe from the ocean here as in Faro.
After we moved on to Sagres. The Fortaleza de Sagres basically sits on the cliff. We didn’t go in as we thought we could get great views without going in anyway. If you want to go in, the entrance is 4 euros.
Being from Australia, I got used to incredible ocean/cliff/waves/rocks views, so I wasn’t as impressed as probably some people would be. However, having almost 600 year old piece of architecture right next to you definitely gave this view a different edge to it
It’s windy out there, so take a jacket or two
Overall, fantastic introduction to Portugal.
Tip #1: Try to find local places for food/drink. They are usually not as appealing to the eye but cheaper than most of touristic places and the food is to die for!
Tip #2: Try to rent a car and drive around the Algarve. It’s definitely the best way to see it!