Since my birthday is in May, I always like to treat myself with a longer weekend to a sunny and warm place.
Since I have never been to Portugal before, exploring the Algarve seemed like a great idea. Below you can read about my stay there.
Day 1: Faro City, Beach and Sunsets
As we landed at Faro airport, we decided to stay in town for the first day and explore the surroundings. We went to the old town of Faro, took a few photos and enjoyed fresh pressed orange juice with omelette for breakfast.
Since it is a very small city, you will only need a few hours to explore the most important things such as the cathedral and historic city center.
After breakfast, we took the bus (14 or 16) to the beach which, by the way, does not come very often. You better check the times before, or you will end up waiting forever like us.
We spent a few hours at Faro beach roasting in the sun, before we enjoyed the most beautiful sunset, see photo below. It was soooooo pink and I am sure, every girl would have loved it!
The water in Portugal somehow is super cold but I guess that has to do with the fact that it is the Atlantic, so be prepared.
One downside of Faro beach is that it is rather stony, so be careful when going in, so you don’t cut yourself.
Day 2: Sabres and Caves near Albufeira
On the next day we rented a car and drove to the most southwestern point in Portugal, called Sagres. There you see amazing landscapes including beautiful cliffs, beaches and huge rocks.
Unfortunately, we chose a very windy day to visit the cliffs, which caused my dress to fly up all the time and we had to be extra careful when stepping too close to the edge of the cliffs.
When you visit the most southwestern point in Portugal, you can theoretically swim to America. Therefore, you will find a food stall saying “The last sausage before America“. What a fantastic marketing strategy! Make sure to eat a sausage there and get your certificate along with it.
On our way back from Sagres we stopped at multiple caves, which are all located around Albufeira.
It is a lot of fun trying to find them, walking there and finally climbing around. You will discover the most beautiful places. Our ways led us through tiny aisles to “private“ beaches“, bays and hidden caves.
In order to find the caves we used the app MAPS.ME, just tapped on them and drove there.
Day 3: Olhão, Lagos und Tavira
On our last day, we drove along the southern coast of Portugal and stopped in multiple small towns/municipalities whenever it suited us. We ended up in Lagos, Olhão, Albufeira and Tavira.
Each city/municipality impresses through its own unique charme and architecture. The most common thing you will see in all cities in Portugal are the tiles on the house fronts, which make some cities very colourful and provides excellent photo spots for photo addicts like me.
Finally, let me tell you something about each places we visited:
Lagos is known for its tourist friendly beaches, rock formations (caves) and nightlife. That’s why it is a very popular place among tourists.
Olhão is popular for its fishing port and delicious fish dishes. So, if you happen to visit, make sure to eat out and try their fresh sardines.
Albufeira is often referred to as the party city with lots of clubs, bars and restaurants for the flood of tourists which come there every year.
Tavira is a rather quiet town with loads of churches. The two parts of the town are connected via a bridge and Tavira has a military base.
Personal Opinion and Tipps
You should definitely rent a car to explore the Algarve properly. It is not a huge area even though, on the map, it might seem so. You can easily make it from west to east in a few hours, without stops, or even take a day trip to Spain.
I really enjoyed the cliffs & rock formations (caves) during our trip as well as the fresh food anywhere we went.
It was also fun to get lost in the small streets of different towns and then find your way out again, not to mention to take photos without lots of people photobombing it.
Finally, I think if you go for 1 week, you will have enough time to properly explore the Algarve and relax for a while as well. We only went for 3 days but I feel like I have seen every stone and cave in Portugal by now. *haha*
I hope you enjoyed our short Portugal trip through the Algarve and are already booking your flight there as well.