|Subject: Re: Azores, Madeira, Lisbon and the Algarve|
Linda and Don
We took buses from the Spanish border to the west coast of Portugal
over the course of a week. Olhao is the main fishing port of the
Algarve and we settled in there to take day trips east and west -
everything is quite close. There are sandspit islands off of Olhao
where we had fresh fish (as in caught a few hours before we ate
them). The biggest, best tasting sardines I've ever had in my life. A
specatular fresh feast washed down by Portugese wine. Any local
fisherman will take you out on his boat.
Faro, a university town, is the capitol of the Algarve. Lagos is worth a visit. It contains a momunent to Henry the Navigator, who while son of the reigning King, was instrumental in Portugal's entry into world navigation and discovery in the 15th century, sending Portugese explorers down the western coast of Africa. The Portugese are very proud of him. The monument to Henry in Faro is on a piece of land that juts out into the sea and is a spectacular spot.
If you have the time, take a day to just hang around the beach anywhere along the Algarve. Bring a good book, a beach towel and relax for the day. You may, as we did, find yourselves caught in a cove as the tide comes in and will be forced to walk in waist deep water with your belongings over your head to make your way back to dry land.
Lisbon was declared a European cultural capital a few years back. The Alfama is in the old part of the town. Our room was in a small hotel built right into the old city walls. The rest of the city is busy and was quite polluted when we there.
Here's a site to check out http://www.algarvenet.com/default.asp Lucy in Toronto