We spent last weekend enjoying the sights and sounds of Lisbon. Walking through the narrow streets, the smell of clean laundry on the line, taking in the tiled buildings and views from all corners of the city.
We did our “free” walking tour with a company called Lisbon Chill Out Free Tour. If you are looking for the quintessential walking tour, the one where they take you to every statue and church in the city, this might not be for you. The guide does touch on certain historical landmarks, however, it is more of a relaxed sight seeing experience, as the name suggests.
As our weekend in Lisbon came to a close we realized that we didn’t exactly have much of a plan moving forward. We knew we were going to Carvoeiro (say it with me now… carve / where / o) because we were graciously invited to stay at a friend’s place. We didn’t know how we were getting there, how long we would stay, or where we would go after.
In reviewing trains, planes, and automobiles, we ultimately decided to rent a car and drive through the Algarve. This refers to the southmost coastal region in the country. Carvoeiro itself is an oceanside fishing town, surrounded by picturesque cliffs and stunning beaches, but it is small, so we thought by renting a car we’d have more options during our stay.
We did some extensive car rental research and found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that many have been scammed by certain rental services. Thank you for that information, internet! In the end, Budget provided us with a fancy little four door Fiat and off we went. Zooooom!
Cruising down the Portuguese highways sometimes felt like the autobahn – holy hell people drive fast here. It might be because there is literally no one on the roads. We asked a local why the highway was so deserted and he replied that many people don’t drive, especially on the highway because it is a tollway. This worked just fine for us, smooth sailing all the way to Carvoeiro!
We’ve been here three days now and have thoroughly enjoyed the town. It is not as quiet as we imagined it to be; there are ample bars and restaurants, and quite a few tourists. The weather is warming up over the weekend (~25 degrees) so we expect to see some action on the beaches. I will say, having us here has definitely helped the median age of the town go down – you really get a ‘retirement community’ feel around these parts but that’s just fine with us.
We are looking forward to more day trips in our Fiat, exploring the numerous nearby towns and beaches. There are beautiful caves to explore, and the world’s largest sand sculpture park, apparently. Plans also include heading over to Lagos for an overnight stay, and a day trip to Faro before catching our bus to Spain in about a weeks time. For now, we are enjoying a slower pace of life, the amazing scenery, and each other. Oh, and the sun, warmer weather, beaches, 2 for 1 cocktails…. but I won’t bore you with that stuff 🙂
Have you ever been to the Algarve? What were some of your favourite sights?