In July 2019, we decide to take a week and check out the Algarve region of southern Portugal. This is a well-known tourist destination, that we had gone to about 30 yrs ago, and had little recollection of it, except for 2 things:

  1. We had driven from Lisbon to Algarve, and our destination was Faro. I remember we came to a fork in the road halfway, and there were signposts for each fork of the road. Both signposts said Faro for each fork of the road 🙂 . We ended up asking a local nearby how to get to Faro and he guided us.
  2. We had stayed at a boutique hotel in Faro, with a pool, and my son, Imran, who was 2 at the time, kept throwing his shoes into the pool. Strange what your brain decides to keep in memory 🙂

We flew into Lisbon, and rented a car at the airport. I had always wanted to rent the classic old Fiat 500 (below)

Algarve, Portugal Older model Fiat 500
Older model Fiat 500

but instead, had to settle for the newer version; bigger, but still nice to drive. The model demonstrating the cars stayed the same.

Algarve, Portugal Younger model Fiat 500
Younger model Fiat 500

We started driving south towards Setubal and onto Santiago do Cacém and Sines. Some views along the way below

Algarve, Portugal Santiago do Cacém, cute village on a hilltop not far from the Atlantic ocean
Santiago do Cacém, cute village on a hilltop not far from the Atlantic ocean
Algarve, Portugal Lunch in Santiago do Cacém, complete with drying laundry
Lunch in Santiago do Cacém, complete with drying laundry
Algarve, Portugal Beach at Sines
Beach at Sines

When we arrived in the Algarve region, we started looking for a good B&B to stay at. To our surprise, there were very few places with vacancy, and they were all charging a lot of money. It was then that it hit us, that this was full on tourist season here. So after more research, we decided to stay at the Marriott Pine Cliffs Resort, on points. So off we drove to this rather nice and fancy place in Albufeira and checked in. This is a nice resort on the beach.

Algarve, Portugal Seafood dinner at a local nearby restaurant in Albufera
Seafood dinner at a local nearby restaurant in Albufera

Next day, we started exploring the Algarve region, and drove off to check out Lagos. We parked at a busy touristy beach, and took a short boat ride to check out some remote places and the rocky coastline with sandy coves

Algarve, Portugal Beach at Lagos
Beach at Lagos
Algarve, Portugal A spectacular inlet with a fallen roof, and a small beach; reachable only by boat or swim
A spectacular inlet with a fallen roof, and a small beach; reachable only by boat or swim
Algarve, Portugal Remote beaches and coastal cliffs
Remote beaches and coastal cliffs
Algarve, Portugal Beautiful cliffs all around
Beautiful cliffs all around
Algarve, Portugal Lunch was at a Michelin recognized beach-side restaurant
Lunch was at a Michelin recognized beach-side restaurant
Algarve, Portugal Vegetable Paella for lunch
Vegetable Paella for lunch
Algarve, Portugal Fun on the beach
Fun on the beach

More interesting landscapes

Algarve, Portugal Fallen roof cave
Fallen roof cave
Algarve, Portugal Beautiful coastline scenery
Beautiful coastline scenery
Algarve, Portugal Steps leading to a small beach area
Steps leading to a small beach area

Street entertainment in Lagos

Drove back to the hotel for sundowner on the beach at the Resort

Algarve, Portugal Sunset on the beach at Pine Cliffs Resort
Sunset on the beach at Pine Cliffs Resort
Algarve, Portugal Resort is perched high on the cliffs above the beach and ocean with an elevator down
Resort is perched high on the cliffs above the beach and ocean with an elevator down

We spent the next few days checking out various towns along the southern coastline in Algarve, including Luz, Lagos, Portimao, Guia, Albufera, Quarteira, Loule, Faro & beaches in-between. Below are some scenes from these places

Algarve, Portugal Luz; fishing is big business here
Luz; fishing is big business here
Algarve, Portugal Henry the Navigator statue in the main square in downtown Lagos, complete with cathedral
Henry the Navigator statue in the main square in downtown Lagos, complete with cathedral
Algarve, Portugal Impressive cliffs along the coastline
Impressive cliffs along the coastline
Algarve, Portugal Loule town center
Loule town center
Algarve, Portugal Street Dining; fresh seafood was delicious and available everywhere
Street Dining; fresh seafood was delicious and available everywhere
Algarve, Portugal Seafood market
Seafood market
Algarve, Portugal Lonely staircase
Lonely staircase
Algarve, Portugal Beautiful Bougainvillea in Faro
Beautiful Bougainvillea in Faro
Algarve, Portugal Rural scene on the backroads
Rural scene on the backroads
Algarve, Portugal Seafood lunch in Luz
Seafood lunch in Luz

In Faro, we came across a Festival (Festa da Rio Formosa; a celebration of seafood), with lots of eating, drinking and music. Some scenes below

Algarve, Portugal Lots of seafood being consumed at the Seafood Festival Festa da Rio Formosa, Faro
Lots of seafood being consumed at the Seafood Festival Festa da Rio Formosa, Faro
Algarve, Portugal Seafood Paella for sale in large quantities at the Festa da Rio Formosa, Faro
Seafood Paella for sale in large quantities at the Festa da Rio Formosa, Faro
Algarve, Portugal Fresh Seafood everywhere, Festa da Rio Formosa, Faro
Fresh Seafood everywhere, Festa da Rio Formosa, Faro

Everyone enjoying the concert & the seafood

Different entertainment in the old town of Faro

An interesting trip. Food (esp seafood) and service were excellent everywhere. However, this area is quite touristy and so be prepared for that. I normally don’t like to frequent touristy places, but Dilshad wanted to go back and visit the Algarve since neither of us could remember much from our last visit here 30+ years ago.

This entry was posted in Algarve, Europe, Portugal

38 thoughts on “Algarve, Portugal

  • Nailla Devraj December 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm Reply

    Lovely pics. We were there during Diamond Jubilee on an organized trip so couldn’t get off if we found something interesting. But we had lunch in Lagos of a fish cooked wonderfully. I even ate the head. We stayed at a resort in Albuferia. We visited most of the places you mentioned. Also did a boat trip of the coastline. The cliffs were lovely. The minaret chimneys on the houses were interesting. During a time when Muslim settlers were forced to change religion to Catholicism. The put minaret chimneys in their house and prayed at home.

    • Ali Karim December 10, 2019 at 10:24 pm Reply

      Hi Naila, thanks for sharing your experiences. I completely missed the minaret chimneys and will have to keep that in mind if we ever go back again. I don’t think we will go; as my bucket list is still too long 🙂

    • Tamiza Dhanani January 24, 2020 at 11:27 pm Reply

      Sounds like a wonderful trip! Pictures are awesome especially the beaches. I’ve been to the Algarve 20 years ago and I remember its beauty. After reading your blog, I really want to visit the small towns you’ve mentioned.

      • Ali Karim January 24, 2020 at 11:44 pm Reply

        Hi Tamiza, yes it was wonderful and definitely worth it. But try and avoid the high tourist season; else you may only see tourists everywhere 🙂

  • Shama Shams December 11, 2019 at 7:37 pm Reply

    OMG, your blog is awesome as always. Thank you for sharing. Love all the pics…Dilshad looking great!

    • Ali Karim December 12, 2019 at 12:49 am Reply

      Thanks Shama; for the kind feedback. So glad you are enjoying my blogs

  • Aliyah Hirji December 12, 2019 at 12:54 am Reply

    Very nice! Beautiful place. Loving the scenery and the seafood pictures; the food looks delicious!

    • Ali Karim December 12, 2019 at 12:54 am Reply

      THanks Aliyah; so glad you enjoyed my blogpost. Appreciate the feedback.

  • Naznin Meghji December 12, 2019 at 4:14 am Reply

    BEAUTIFUL and very Interesting! Thanks for Sharing. I felt I was there with you guys. 😊

    • Ali Karim December 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm Reply

      Thanks Naz; glad you enjoyed the ride with us 🙂

  • Nick paroo December 12, 2019 at 6:15 am Reply

    Amazing pictures. You are the best. Thanks for sharing

    • Ali Karim December 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm Reply

      Thank you Mr. Nick 🙂

  • Rita D December 12, 2019 at 11:58 am Reply

    We love the Algarve and own a place close to Faro. Have visited in different seasons and it’s beautiful any time of the year. Albufeira and Lagos are more touristy. We like the smaller, quaint towns around Faro and towards the Spanish border. Food is awesome and reasonable everywhere!

    • Ali Karim December 12, 2019 at 6:51 pm Reply

      Wow, seems like you are sold on Faro (literally) 🙂
      I know you guys will enjoy it.

  • Nazmu & Almas Mukhida December 13, 2019 at 11:40 am Reply

    Read your blog and agree how beautiful the Algarve is although I prefer Alentejo and north. Algarve, which we knew long time ago was so beautiful but has been spoilt by tourism.

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 12:18 pm Reply

      HI Nazmu, thanks for the feedback.
      Looks like we will need to extend our Bucket list to include Alentejo 🙂

  • Mahamud Jinnah December 13, 2019 at 11:42 am Reply

    Hi Ali
    As usual,a beautiful summary. I find the fallen roof cave amazing.the festival’s sounded like a lot if fun.

    I love Portugal.

    Take care buddy,
    Mahamud

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm Reply

      Thanks Mahamud; we like Portugal too 🙂

  • Nazneen Adatia December 13, 2019 at 11:47 am Reply

    Hello, beautiful pictures, I love how they put the cloths in the sun. Now they are encouraging us to do that and save energy.

    Sending Lots of Love, Joy and Light your way.

    Naz.

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm Reply

      HI Naz, thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Nick Kanji December 13, 2019 at 11:48 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing your travel experience with us

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm Reply

      THanks Nick

  • Rangina Davlatmirova December 13, 2019 at 11:50 am Reply

    Hello dear Ali,
    I just enjoyed your pics 🙂 and a little bit I envy you 🙂 amazing view amazing place,
    I wish I will visit this place one day InshaAllah

    May whatever you are wishing about will come true!!!

    Best regards

    Rangina

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm Reply

      Hi Rangina, one day, you will definitely visit this place and many others.
      Thanks for your wonderful wishes for us, and for the feedback

  • Shelina Nagji December 13, 2019 at 11:52 am Reply

    Nice Ali!

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm Reply

      🙂 Thanks Shelina

  • Zahir Walji December 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm Reply

    Nice!

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm Reply

      Thanks Zahir

  • Shamim Virji December 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm Reply

    Beautiful pics.. We were in Lisbon during Diamond Jubilee – we really had fun in Lagos street entertainment. I loved the older model fiat. OMG seafood looks so sooo good and also paella. Very interesting and excellent blog.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care.
    Best regards,
    Shamim

    • Ali Karim December 13, 2019 at 2:01 pm Reply

      Thanks Shamim, so glad you enjoyed it.  Thanks so much for the feedback.

  • Zahir Dharsee December 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm Reply

    Hi Ali – As usual I enjoyed the blog. Good write up and description. The pictures brought back memories of Nairobi somehow. The red Fiat in the first picture remined me of the Baby Fiat an aunt of mine drove in Nairobi. The car looks so tiny now!! The voyages planned and done by Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama we studied about in the primary school there. Bougainvillea flowers ‘s were also very common in Nairobi gardens. Anyway thanks for this and take care.

    • Ali Karim December 16, 2019 at 3:26 pm Reply

      HI Zahir, Yes, I can relate to the Nairobi experiences. Glad you enjoyed the blogpost. And thanks for the feedback always

  • Salim A Mawji December 16, 2019 at 4:00 pm Reply

    Brilliant! Ali …THANKS!
    We visited Algarve (unplanned!) last Nov.’19 and it’s fantastic!
    Great weather through the Year and right on our UK door step!
    In fact going over this Xmas time again !
    Must explore more around the Armacao de Pera area
    – Great unspoilt beachs and Alfresco sea food dinning!

    … Cheers! S a M

    • Ali Karim December 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm Reply

      Hi Salim, Glad you like the blog. You guys are lucky lving in the UK, so close to Portugal. I will have to check out the Armacao de Pera area next time around. THanks for the tip and enjoy 🙂

  • Iman Kassam December 26, 2019 at 10:38 am Reply

    Thank you for that informative blog. Had fun reading it.

    • Ali Karim December 26, 2019 at 10:39 am Reply

      Thanks Iman, glad you enjoyed it.

  • Portugalholidays4u February 8, 2020 at 10:09 am Reply

    Your photos are amazing, the seafood festival is on our bucket list for next year. But the fiat 500 really brought back some happy memories, we see so many wonderful cars that still look like new.

    • Ali Karim February 8, 2020 at 7:26 pm Reply

      Thanks so much for your nice comments. I too love those well restored older cars 🙂

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