From Lisbon, we shot down to the Algarve with high hopes that we would fall in love with the area and put it on the short list of places to go next winter. Not knowing much about the region, I secured accommodations in the middle of the southern coast (in Albufeira) with the thought that we could go west about 45 minutes and see the area around Lagos and go east about 45 minutes and experience Faro.
Upon arrival, we both agreed that this area was not for us. Albufeira was an armpit of a town. Overbuilt with now aging apartments, graffiti everywhere, and overrun with red-faced geriatric sun worshippers. The place had no soul. How could developers take such a beautiful area of the world and ruin it so badly? The weather is divine and it could have been so wonderful. But too late now.
Our field trip to Lagos was the only saving grace. We liked this western part much better and found Lagos to be slightly more palatable as a town, but agreed that it wasn’t for us. But as we snaked our way down the coast, passing development after development, we happened upon this great little beach cafe. Had a wonderful lunch and chatted with a couple of gals from the Netherlands. And the views from the cliffs were breathtaking.
Thank goodness the hotel turned out to be very nice, with nightly entertainment in the posh bar. Not to mention that two nights, including breakfast, was only €80 and no parking fees.
We decided the two nights was plenty for us and explored Faro on our way to Spain. It had some ancient buildings in somewhat of a downtown, but was still a real mixed bag. And so, our journey continued to Seville.