round the Algarve
The Algarve is situated in the south of Portugal.
Its breathtaking coastline, beaches and rugged cliffs, its
grottoes, and mountain ranges, year-round sunshine, and reasonable
prices, have made the best known of the Algarve's beach
towns into Portugal's top holiday destination. So, for
God's sake let's get away from it.
We'll take a few days out of the schedule and hire a car.
Go on . . . it won't kill you . . . and we'll head off into
the back country, and and find some castles, and vineyards
and some beaches no-one goes to.
From Faro to Faro in four days.
Grab a car at Faro,
and head off West towards Lagos, until you see the
N125 which will take you to Villa do Bispo. Then look
for the N268 and head for Sagres. Any of the little
side tracks along the way, like the one to the tiny town of
Salerma, are worth a look.
rental locations close by]
here we are in Sagres. So What?
This is the Western most part of Europe,
so it's about the sunset, bubba! Put the Raybans away and
listen up . . . wherever you are looking out
at a water horizon to the west and there's a great ocean beyond
that, sunsets are a free light show of splendid proportions,
and here, surrounded on three sides by massive cliffs, with
good port wine to suck on while you contemplate God's works
. . . it doesn't get much better!
Sunset's over. Off to the bush!
Put the Raybans back on. It's morning and dinner in Sagres
was goood!. It's left you with eyes like burn holes in a blanket.
Best thing, roll down the window, find the N268 and make for
Alfambra. Oh, and a pint of ice cold milk does wonders!
At Alfambra, bacon, eggs, greasy sausages . . . don't die
on us now! Then it's the N120 to Aljezur. This is the gateway
to a great place. The South East National Park. Right, dismount
vehicle, open brochure and read . . .
"From Burgau to Cabo de Sao Vincente on the southern coast
and up the whole Algarve and Alentejo coastline, lies the
Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina.
Take time to explore part of this truly stunning area, with
its rugged cliffs bordering the coastline, empty beaches,
inlets, estuaries and marshes, where you will see some of
the most splendid wildlife, unique to Portugal."
True, as well.
After you spend a about a lifetime and a half checking out
the park, head back to Aljezur for dinner.
Done the park? Head for the hills
Morning comes so quickly when you're having fun. And we're
on the N127 where you just relax and take this one easy, for
its a real winder of a climb on this back country road. It
eventually gets you to Monchique.
This is a great little market town and its set like a jewel
in the middle of a hilly forested area called the serra de
. . . now wait for it . . . Monchique.
There's a bit of hill outside the town, ony about 3000 ft
high, but because of the long sweep of valley away to the
North-East and South you get a great panorama over the Algarve.
Anyway, bit of a stroll, Raybans back in the pocket, and you'll
be at the top in no time.
Roll on down to Silves
So here we go, South on the A266 which is a little skinnier
even than yesterday's A267, but we're rolling, and we are looking
for the town of Porto de Lagos. Lunch at Porto de Lagos (not
to be confused with the hustle bustle of Lagos, down the road
and on the beach) and then on to Silves. Great scenery, and
yes, castles even!
At Silves and at towns really close
to Silves there is a raft of good meals and places to stay.
So, rest up, eat well, have a couple of wines, and tomorrow
you'll be fully fit for climbing all over the red sandstone
castle towers and checking out the remains of Moorish and
Roman settlements, or just wander about enjoying the scenery.
And it's Faro, here we come
afternoon and down the N125 through lovely country to Faro.
There's plenty to see on the way, so don't leave it too late.
If you'd rather you can slip straight down to the coast and
join the motorway from Silves, and then you can check out some
of the coastal towns on the way. See, three days, great times,
no great cost. Worth it?