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Location - South west Europe; Capital - Lisbon; Population - 10.2 million; Currency - Euro MORE PORTUGAL

I criss-crossed haphazardly across the Algarve, the aim being to stay close to the shortest route back north. So next up were more superb beaches in Lagos to the west, before swinging back east to Faro for the shorter journey north to Evora and the overland trip home - October 2020.


euro1A recent version of the 10 Euro note













portugal1181Great to see the marina and neighbouring cafes on exiting the train station - Lagos


portugal1186If you head in the opposite direction from the train station you'll arrive at the main beach, Meia Praia - Lagos





portugal1190It's a very wide stretch of sand separated from the main resort by the River Bensafrim - Lagos


















portugal1191Street art in the derelict/industrial area between station and beach - Lagos


















portugal1192These two figures are tagged Tona, a Germany-based artist - Lagos


portugal1193Back in the other direction, past the train station and marina again, then over the River Bensafrim to the town centre - Lagos




portugal1196With some superb street art on the way.. - Lagos




















portugal1198Colourful water jets at Praca do Infante Dom Henrique - Lagos



















portugal1205The main tourist drag is the pedestrianised Rua 25 de Abril - Lagos


portugal1202If it wasn't for COVID this would be a lively place, though some bars and restaurants were still doing well. There were enough people around, just too many places to choose from! - Lagos




portugal1206The entrance to The Garden, a bar-restaurant centred around a, erm, a garden of course - Lagos


















portugal1216A lazy Sunday afternoon centred on one of the squares of Lagos



















portugal1212Sao Goncalo Gate is one of the old city gates located next to the castle - Lagos


portugal1213The 17th century Ponta da Bandeira Fort lies next to a small beach which offers kayaks for hire - Lagos




portugal1215Over the break wall from the fort is Praia da Batata, a good central beach - Lagos


















portugal1217But the real beauties are a little further south, particularly this one, Praia de Dona Ana - Lagos




















portugal1228The sandstone cliffs and rocky outcrops give this beach a stunning setting - Lagos


portugal1221Praia de Dona Ana on a hazy, misty morning - Lagos




portugal1230It was popular in October but still with plenty of space - Lagos



















portugal1236rOver another break wall is Baia dos Segredos followed by Praia do Pinhao - Lagos



















portugal1250Head further south via the road or clifftop trail to gorgeous scenery at Praia do Camilo - Lagos


portugal1240Rocky pinnacles prove very popular with the kayak tours - Lagos




portugal1244Not sure if it was high tide but the width of sand didn't lend itself to spacious sunbathing - Lagos


















portugal1245Take a tunnel to another stretch of sand at Praia do Camilo - Lagos



















portugal1247A kayak on calm waters at Praia do Camilo - Lagos


portugal1255Keep heading south to the end of the line at the peninsular Ponta da Piedade - Lagos




portugal1254Spot a photographer waiting for sunset, plus someone's somehow managed to clamber between the two peaks - Lagos


















portugal1261Lone boat on shimmering waters. Plus it's a brilliant view - Lagos



















portugal1264Looking back at the lighthouse (farol) on Ponta da Piedade - Lagos


portugal1266A couple more inviting beaches - the far one, mostly out of picture, is Praia la Luz, while the near one is Praia de Porto de Mos - Lagos




portugal1273A mural on a decaying wall, as I take a wrong turn on the land surrounding Ponta da Piedade - Lagos

















portugal1367All the way back east to Faro, the main city of the Algarve and where international flights arrive


portugal1369Between Faro and the Atlantic Ocean are the protective islands and calm waterways of the Ria Formosa Natural Park - Faro




portugal1370Just out of picture, planes glide over the lagoon as they land at Faro airport - Faro



















portugal1371Characters opposite the train station - Faro



















portugal1379The Capela dos Ossos, or Chapel of Bones, is something I've never come across before - Faro


portugal1378The skulls and bones of over 1,000 monks are embedded in the walls of the 19th century chapel - Faro




portugal1380Spooky, but wait until you see the even spookier one in Evora (further below, on this page) - Faro


















portugal1384I am some art, a slogan repeated more than once in Faro



















portugal1395The pedestrianised centre of Faro offers plenty of dining options coupled with boutique shops


portugal1391The area west of Rua 1 de Maio has several cool bars, though when I was there it was very quiet until the weekend - Faro




portugal1389Another reference to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement - Faro


















portugal1488A pretty run down street in the cidade velha (old town) - Faro


















portugal1487Playing with a porthole. Like it - Faro


portugal1473A storm was in full swing on one of my days in Faro, and I'm amazed more things didn't fly away, as far bigger trees than this one did. At times I just couldn't walk against the gale, seeking refuge behind walls and trees (a good idea?!)



portugal1477At the top of the cidade velha's cathedral - Faro



















portugal1478 Fine views of the Ria Formosa and some of its distant islands - Faro



















portugal1404The following morning was the quiet after the storm on Ria Formosa - Faro


portugal1406I took a boat to Ilha da Barreta in the Ria Formasa Natural Park - Faro




portugal1407The boat leaves behind Faro's old town



















portugal1466The shores of Ilha da Barreta




















portugal1431Speedboats to Ilha da Barreta, also known as Ilha Deserta, only take 15min whereas the ferry takes around 45min


portugal1435The storm of the previous day may have passed but the Atlantic was having other thoughts. A fishing trawler waited as it rode several waves, then went full throttle into dock - Ilha da Barreta




portugal1463The island is about 7km long and the beach pretty much stretches the whole way - Ilha da Barreta



















portugal1459Along the beach is Cabo de Santa Maria, signifying the southernmost point of continental Portugal - Ilha da Barreta





















portugal1454A boardwalk trail covers the eastern section of the narrow barrier island - Ilha da Barreta


portugal1448As you'd expect the island's lagoon-facing coast is tranquil - Ilha da Barreta




portugal1457I'm guessing this guy (left) is one of several cockle pickers along the Ria Formosa - Ilha da Barreta


















portugal1455Aside from O Estamine restaurant and a few fishermen's huts, the island is deserted, hence the alternative name of Ilha Deserta - Ilha da Barreta



















portugal1425However directly opposite, Ilha da Culatra looks quite built up


portugal1424Surfboard in tow, there's definitely waves out there! I could just catch a glimpse of the island's beach which looks impressive - Ilha da Culatra





portugal1491Even though this is called Faro beach it's a taxi ride from the city, past the airport and on to the coast - Faro


















portugal1506The Atlantic waves have serious energy but on the other side is a protected lagoon, I guess another part of Ria Formosa - Faro



















portugal1505Unsurprisingly all the boats are moored on the lagoon rather than the sea - Faro


portugal1502Faro beach is around 10km from Faro itself, and with the Atlantic lined with bars and restaurants it's a popular place to get away from the city - Faro




portugal1512More salt mounds in Ria Formosa - Faro




















portugal1519After an afternoon on Albufeira beach, I returned north to catch the night bus to Madrid from Evora


portugal1520Evora has an inviting central square, Praca do Giraldo, with outdoor drinking and dining




portugal1526Another cathedral where you can climb the tower - Evora


















portugal1530Panoramic views of the lively university town - Evora


















portugal1531Peer down at the cloister from the cathedral roof - Evora


portugal1540On the southern edge of the old town overlooking the walls are the public gardens, which includes an outdoor cafe, these pictured ruins and lots of room for a stroll - Evora




portugal1542Just outside the 14th century walls near the garden is the bullring - Evora


















portugal1549Above the entrance to the Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos) it states 'We bones are here, waiting for yours' - Evora



















portugal1550Not visible but on the far right are two corpses in glass display cases - Evora


portugal1556After the exhumation of bodies from overflowing cemeteries, Franciscan monks used around 5,000 corpses to decorate the walls and pillars of the late 16th century chapel - Evora




portugal1558I hoped these people had chosen this, but alas it sounds not; the monks' thought process was to highlight the transience of life - Evora



















portugal1559Extraordinary and eerie, I'd never seen anything like this until I visited a similar chapel in Faro just a few days earlier - Evora


















portugal1569These keyhole locks were everywhere, inscribed 'servico de aguas' so I guess something to do with domestic water supply - Evora


portugal1570I'd say yes - Evora





portugal1579The quiet old town backstreets - Evora



















portugal1581Must be laundry day at that house - Evora



















portugal1583Just behind Praca do Giraldo is a pedestrian street that comes to life in the evening, awash with outdoor restaurant tables. I say come to life but covid meant it was quieter than normal and drinks were only available with a meal - Evora


portugal1591Homes are built within the arches of the 16th century Agua de Prata Aqueduct, which transferred water to the town - Evora





portugal1598The 1st-3rd century Roman ruins of the Templo Romano is often called the Temple of Diana - Evora




















portugal1604Close to the forum, walk through the Art & Culture Centre to the Casas Pintadas, a set of quirky 16th century paintings - Evora




















portugal1572A COVID-19 State of Calamity notice outside a restaurant - Evora


portugal1607Below Praca do Giraldo is the former Jewish quarter, a series of residential side streets - Evora




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LINKS - a guide to the Algarve - buy train tickets online

Rede Expressos is a nationwide bus company, though as I write their website's not working. Google it - Portugal tourism website


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