Portugal’s Algarve, stretches along the bottom portion of the country’s coastline. It’s in the Algarve where most people come to spend their holidays along the soft sandy beaches backed by eroding cliffs with dramatic rock formations.
We spent one week in the Algarve with the town of Albufeira as our base. From here we set out each day to visit the smaller towns surrounding the area. Our first stop was to the Old Center of Albufeira, a beautiful beach city boasting an incredible elevator (see first picture above) leading down to a lovely beach, great restaurants, and decent shopping.
The next day, we set out in search of pottery. We headed to Porches, a village famed for its ceramics and shops selling tiles in various styles, but this ended up being a bust. We still found pottery to buy, just not here.
Next up, we headed inland to the town of Silves, the medieval residence and capital of the Moorish kings of the al-Gharb (Algarve). Here we walked through castle remains and the fortressed walls of a formerly grand place. After a few close calls from driving in extremely tight and scary streets, we headed back to the shore for more comfortable weather and something to eat.
Our last foray into town touring was to the town of Faro. We had a great lunch and walked it off looking for something, anything to buy, but alas, there was nothing. The town is pretty and architecturally interesting, but with little to buy.
We spent our last few days sunning, reading, playing tennis and relaxing, preparing for part II of our vacation in the Loire Valley of France.