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

Dont Miss
Dont miss the beautiful landscapes around the area
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.