In 2001 we flew to the Algarve for two weeks.
We picked up a car at Faro airport and had a traffic jam as we approached the resort.
Photos are pre-digital!!
Our first week was spent at Vila Gale in Lagos.
One of the stunning beaches around Lagos, with towering cliffs and hidden coves.
All the towns are very close together and since we had a car we would just head out and stop on a whim.
We met a couple from England, Elaine and Paul. He was a driving instructor and hated driving on holidays! So John did the driving as we explored the area.
We spent about five days with them.
Albufeira is the largest, liveliest and most energetic of all of the resort towns that line southern Portugal’s beautiful Algarve coastline. Albufeira provides stunning beaches, a glorious climate, varied eating and a buzzing nightlife.
Like any good Englishman, Paul was always up for a beer.
Lots of seafood available and some rather odd things.
Praia da Oura, Albuferia.
The Algarve resort of Armação de Pêra is located around 15km to the west of Albufeira. Set in a wide bay you won't be surprised that Armação de Pêra is something of a beach-lovers paradise.
Sagres is primarily a surfing destination, but there are sheltered pristine beaches for relaxing on.
Day-trippers are drawn to Sagres by the Cabo de Sao Vicente, a remote and bleak headland, aptly fitting for the most south-westerly point of mainland Europe.
This was the last piece of home that Portuguese sailors once saw as they launched into the unknown.
A rather steep staircase to the beach!
At the heart of the town is the impressive Praca Marquis of Pombal plaza.
Silves is a historic and delightful town, which was originally the ancient capital of the Algarve. Under the Moors (9-12th century), Silves was a major defensive stronghold and important trading centre, with boats sailing down the Arade River and crossing to North Africa.
Silves is peaceful and unhurried, but remnants of this illustrious past can be seen scattered throughout the town. This includes the imposing red brick castle, the impregnable town walls, and the Gothic cathedral, built on the site of a magnificent mosque.
Carvoeiro (not on my map) is a picturesque and traditional Portuguese resort town, which is situated along a stunning coastline of golden beaches and dramatic natural scenery.
Set in the heart of the Algarve, the tiny fishing town of Olhos de Agua surrounds a sandy cove lapped by the Atlantic Ocean. Despite its proximity to the developed Albufeira resort, Olhos de Agua retains its authentic Mediterranean charm.
Octopus on the beach.
We moved the second week to The Balaia Golf Village.
The Santa María do Castelo Church houses the tombs of 7 knights killed by the Moors.
Vilamoura is a modern and sophisticated holiday destination that is situated on one of the finest beaches of the central Algarve.
At the heart of Vilamoura is the exclusive marina complex, where million-dollar yachts moor, and visitors can dine at gourmet restaurants or socialise in the chic bars.
Although I have no recollection of visiting a cork factory in Sao Bras de Alportel there is a photo.
If there is one thing that characterizes Portugal's southern, sunny Algarve, it is ornamental chimneys. And if the chimneys have anything at all in common, it is that many bring to mind minarets, even miniature mosques.