After traveling down to the Algarve and setting up shop in Albufeira, we set about exploring the area. Our first stop was Faro (pronounced Faru), which is Portugal’s southernmost city and has about 50,000 residents in the city itself.
While Faro was lovely, we didn’t find a ton of specifically interesting things to see otherwise. Additionally, I have no idea what it means when you search in TripAdvisor for “Things to Do in Faro,” and the number one ranked thing is: “Taxis and Shuttles.” Since we have Marco the VW Polo, we certainly didn’t need to engage in whatever frivolity and excitement that entails.
But we did find something called the Palacio de Estoi, which ranked number 8 (we passed up the Segway Tours and ATV off-road tours which also ranked ahead of it), and it sounded kinda cool, seeing how we like palaces and everything. When we got there, we walked in and politely asked how much it cost to enter as well as how late they were open. We were surprised to hear that it not only cost nothing to enter, but it was also open 24/7! We thought this place must be a very cool place to see if they has to be open 24/7 to accommodate all the throngs! But then we found out that it was actually a hotel. Oops. It is billed as a “small luxury hotel,” and was quite beautiful, as you can see by the below pictures.
So that was it for Faro. The next day we decided to bop over to Lagos (which we think is pronounced: Lagoosh, but we could be slightly wrong). While headed there, we thought it would be fun to first venture to the southwestern-most place in Lisbon, which is guarded by the Sagres Fortress. We ended up spending much more time there than we planned, because it was very cool. Speaking of cool… the weather wasn’t. A gorgeous mid-70’s day with nothing but sunshine. Which lead to our first sunburns. We had been meaning to protect ourselves, but didn’t realize that we’d end up in an area that would hold our fascination for so long. Oh well, goofy hats and sunscreen our now on our must-bring-everywhere list!
After enjoying ourselves immensely at the fort, we journeyed on back to Lagos, which now held a distant second place in our fascination with this part of the coast. However, as luck would have it, we found it to be an exceedingly charming town, with beautiful streets lined with lots of shops and restaurants. Probably our favorite city in Algarve so far.