Algarve Journals

The Algarve: A Week to the Edge of the World

A February 2003 trip to Algarve by monkeyrob

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: In the London winter of 2003, I did not see the sun for 3 months straight. I had had enough. I ripped out the "weather around Europe", and within an hour I had booked a flight to the warmest location on that map: Faro, Portugal.

The Algarve: A Week to the Edge of the World

Overview

Quote:
I went to the Agarve with a plane ticket, frustration, and a complete lack of plans. I arrived and went west. It was there that I found the sun and really believed, as the explorers of Columbus' age supposed, that this was the edge of the world. To reach the end of the world, I would make unforgettable stops at Lagos, Salema, and Sagres. For those considering a trip to the Algarve, avoid going east. Pack your sense of adventure and wander to the lesser-developed west for the chance to see a Portugal stopped in time. The weather is best described as mild in the winter. When on a beach in the sun, it's quite warm and comfortable, though clouds and rain mean a sweatshirt o...Read More

Hike: Salema to Luz

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

The trail along the sea Photo, Algarve, Portugal
Quote:
This hike is something of an adventure. Its not well marked, but the route is very simple. Follow the alongside the sea until you get to Luz. Luz will be a large town, much bigger and more developed than Salema, where you can grab a drink or bite to eat and head back. Along the way you may encounter "creat your own adventure" areas where a creative path leads you away from private property and small streams (Depending on time of the day and recent rain fall, you may encounter a stream or something a bit more formidable). If there is an obstacle, keep going, keep it fun, but be safe (and do your best to respect private property). A trail begins on the eastern edge of Salema,...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 31, 2006

Step One: Lagos

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
While Faro was the means to my sunny end (by virtue of its airport serviced by cheap low fare airlines from London), it was not my destination. I left with a plane ticket, frustration and a complete lack of plans. I arrived and went west. My goal was to reach the end of the world, or the nearly furthest point west on continental Europe. To get there, a stop in Lagos is inevitable. From Faro the best way to reach Lagos is by train. The train line ends (westward) in Lagos. To points west, you must take a bus. This was my day one stopover. The history and simplicity of Portuguese life is very much evident in a place like Lagos. Your walks and exploration will surely lead you around...Read More

Step Two: Salema

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Salema is off the beaten path. I hear this phrase often when speaking about places, but I found it particularly relevant when describing Salema. While the scene may have changed since 2003, I remember Selama as being a small fishing village with a small but growing tourist industry. The word industry may be slightly misleading. I do not mean that a Hilton hotel is going up next to an older hotel with only one pool. Infact, there may only be one hotel in the entire town. There are really only two or three streets in the village center. The growth of tourism is reflected in the small family homes that form a row paralling the beach. In several of these homes, signs in the window advertise a room ...Read More
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Lodging in this part of the country is easy. If you travel by train it is effortless, though perhaps adventurous. Upon arrival at the train station you will be accosted by older women. Do not fear! They will be offering you a room! If they do not come up to you, pull your best "I look like a tourist" pose and folks will come up to you and ask if you need a room. The rooms will typically be a spare room in a local family's apartment or house. It is a simple way for the locals to take advantage of the growing tourist trade in the region. Prices are negotiable. I would suggest somewhere around 15 euros is reasonable, but it may be a different case when it is the high season. Should ...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
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Salema is amazing. This is particularly true when considering a room next to the sea, with a view can be had for only 15 euros. Its simple to find with out any advance planning. Now, a bit of a warning: my experience was in the low season and may not be the case in the summer (though it works the same way, finding a place might tougher, though I have heard more rooms are available in the summer). That said, here is the simple procedure. After arriving at the bus station, walk into town. Find the road closest to the sea. Take a walk down that road looking for signs in windows that read: "quarto". Knock on the doors and proceed in negotiations. I found a nice older lady who managed...Read More

Step Three: Sagres

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Sagres feels very much like the edge of the world. It is a bit more developed and larger than Salema, but it carries a very distinct historical feel that is evident in even the shortest visit. The town is home to the former navigation school founded by Prince Henry. This school inspired and educated some of the world's most famous explorers. Its grand setting, still remaining on an outcropping of cliffs outside Sagres, is a formidable and awe inspiring site. Venturing to the edges of these cliffs is like truly wandering out to the edge of the world. It is amazing to stand there and realize that centuries ago, beyond that very same horizon was considered the end of the w...Read More