Our next stop on the Eurotrip brought us to Faro, in the Algarve, an area known for its beautiful beaches. Coming from Perth it’s a bit hard for other places to compare, but having just endured the cold European winter the warmer weather and sunshine was a welcome change.
Faro is a popular destination in the warmer months, but in the winter it was mostly quiet and peaceful with not many people around. We walked around the almost empty streets and caught a bus out to a nearby beach. Our hostel (pictured below) was a relaxing place with beer on tap (pay for it on the honour system) and the opportunity to sit in for a home-cooked meal, probably the best I had in Portugal. We normally keep to ourselves mostly in hostels, so it was nice to sit around a table with fellow travellers (a fellow Aussie, a Welshman, some sunburnt Belgians and the Portuguese hostel owner) and compare stories.
One of the stranger things we saw was theÂ Capela dos Ossos,Â a chapel decorated with the skeletal remains of over 1,200 former monks. Macabre but fascinating?
From Faro we also did a day trip out to Lagos where we walked along the coast, exploring the cliffs and many little hidden beaches. The dramatic rock formations and stunning sunset over the water made the long walk worthwhile.
In general life in the Algarve seems laid-back, relaxed, friendly and generous compared to the crowds of Lisbon, although that could be due to being the off season. I can definitely see why the area is a favourite winter getaway spot for those living in colder parts of Europe.