For my last couple of days I took the car to explore more of the Algarve. I drove to Portimao but i could see nothing more than a small city without the quaint, attractive streets so I decided to move on to Lagoa. Lagoa seemed to be another city where no one was home so after walking about for over an hour of walking I decided to move on again - I did take a few pictures of Lagoa - see below.
In some areas of the algarve some of the towns may not be as appealing as the beach areas - the algarve had a lovely coastline with beaches, some more secluded than others. I took the opportunity to have a fresh octopus salad at a restaurant overlooking the beach and of course it was delicious.
Next it was off to albuferia a large, popular resort area not as upscale as Vilamoura with its marina but nonetheless a beautiful place with lots of beaches, shopping, restaurants and history. Albuferia was conquered from the Moors and placed under military authority. It was granted independence in 1504 and remained an active fishing village for centuries. In 1986 it was promoted to a town and is an important tourist centre on the Algarve. I spent the afternoon browsing the shops and took time to enjoy a mango smoothie in a cafe before a long walk on the beach.
In the late afternoon I decided to drive to Olhao which is a few kilometers east of Faro (although nothing on the Algarve would be considered any great distance). Olhao is more like a fishing town that has not turned the century yet (in fact they may not have turned the last century either). A great place to observe the local Portuguese but don't count on meeting any - their stares were not exactly friendly even when I smiled!
When in the sunny Algarve, you will see all around you on the Ria Formosa the distinctive rectangular pools from which natural sea salt is collected.
The finest Algarve sea salt known as Flor do Sal has been produced here since Roman times and before.Today the tradition is carried on, most notably by Marisol at Tavira, who use only the traditional methods of production, collection, drying and cleaning before sending their entirely natural product around the world.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Portugal and would definitely consider returning - still a few more places in the world on my bucket list but it is shrinking! Off to England and auntie Joan for 11 days before flying to New York to meet up with my friend Janet then home on July 21st.
Adeus from Portugal!