Roadtrip across Portugal – Part I.

Gallery is at the bottom.

From Faro over Lagos, Lisbon Peniche and Coimbra to Porto.

Dear travel seeker, design engineer, adventurer and poetry slammer AND road trip junkie– Hi EVERYONE,

800km, 6 cities and beautiful landscapes, this was all included in our family trip across western Portugal.

Last year we decided on a road trip for our annual family vacancy. The time frame was one week and as options we had Italy, Spain or Portugal. The decision for a trip across west Portugal was a quick one due to the weather conditions, surf options and Porto as a new city to be discovered. As it was a family trip the budget would also play a role, as Portugal is one of the cheapest countries to travel in Europe, which was another pro on the list.

Algarve.

Another reason why we chose Portugal is, that it has a lot to offer. There must be a good reason why it was rated as THE travel destination 2016 by Travel and Leisure.

Starting off with Faro, the Algarve’s capital which has more to offer than most people passing through appreciate. This has allowed Faro to retain its peaceful ambience and traditional charm that is centred around the pretty walled Old Town. The city has a very distinctive Portuguese feel with a beautiful marina, many parks and plazas as well as a historic old town full of outdoor cafés.

Streets of Faro.

The calm and warm water attracts all kinds of water sports such as windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing, jetski lover, waterski addicts and many more. Faro is situated on the edge of the Ria Formosa national park, a series of saltwater lagoons and mudflats that are a haven for migratory birds and wildlife. Beyond the Ria Formosa national park are the three sandbar islands, which are the location for Faro’s beaches and are some of the least developed in the Algarve.

Top sight tips for Faro:

  1. The lagoons of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa

    Parque Natural da Ria Formosa – Courtesy of Pinterest

  2. Beaches, including the islands of Ilha de Faro to the southwest and Ilha da Barreta (aka Ilha Deserta) to the south, add to Faro’s allure.
  3. Sé Catedral (Kathedrale)
  4. Ermida de Santo António do Alto (Kapelle Santo António do Alto)
  5. Museu Municipal de Faro to be found in Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assunção 
  6. Discover the nightlife, as a city with 8000 students has a strong night theatre life.

Heading further West to Lagos you will pass the famous Praia de Benagil. Benagil is a small Portuguese village on the Atlantic Ocean in Lagoa Municipality and the Freguesia of Carvoeiro. Up to the late 20th century, the village’s economy was based on ocean fishing. However it is most famous for the Cave of Benagil. Most of you have probably seen pictures of it but that it is actually real and possible to visit, only a few people know. This cave is an absolute stunning wonder of nature!

Cave of Benagil – Courtesy of Urlaubsguru.

Sadly we couldn’t take photos ourselves as shortly before our camera was stolen and that meant we first needed to buy a new one, which was not possible prior to the caves :( However, it’s stunning beauty is definitely well worth a second visit!

You will also pass several beautiful beaches such as Praia da Marinha and Praia da Dona Ana are exceptional beautiful.

From there we arrived in Lagos, it lies along the bank of the Rio Bensafrim, with 16th-century walls enclosing the old town’s pretty, cobbled lanes and picturesque piazzas and churches.

Some of many sights are:

  1. Praça Infante Dom Henrique
  2. Church Santo Antonio,
  3. Opposite is the Slave market located
  4. Well worth a visit is also the old town of Lagos and it’s history.

Ponta da Piedade – three windswept kilometres out of town, the point is well worth visiting for its contorted, polychrome sandstone cliffs and towers, complete with lighthouse and, in spring, hundreds of nesting egrets.

Ponta da Piedade – Courtesy of Algarvetips

Before heading towards Lisbon you should definitely head to the furthest west point, the “end of the world”, which they call it – Sagres. It is told, that the greek gods live here and the sun sinks into the ocean. Steep cliffs and a legendary view turn this place into something magic!

Saint Vincent Cape in Sagres – Courtesy of Cabinflooresoterica.

After this breathtaking view we headed towards Lisbon. As the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. Apart from that it has to offer beautfiul views, a lot of history and many other adventures…

Check out the whole gallery on part 1 of this trip below! :)

Also, stay tuned for part 2 of this road trip story with Lisbon, Peniche, Coimbra and Porto still to come! :)

Here is a little preview of what is going to come…

Enjoy the read and stay tuned,

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