Category Archives: Portugal 2016

Four day mini break around the Algarve.

Portugal, the Algarve: Lagos

Lagos
we stayed over night in a hotel in Portimao instead of heading back to Faro so that we could catch an hour long train journey to Lagos. The main reason we wanted to venture here was for the cliff side walk which makes this part of Portugal famous. The coastlines here are breathtaking and another destination to put on your bucket list.
Lagos is probably our favourite place during our stay and we both said we could live here, although we have no idea what the high season is like however it did appear less commercialized than Portimao.

Lagos town has quaint shops and your usual souvenir stores alongside cobbled streets and beautiful architecture, it had a sleepier aura than the high rise resort complexes of Portimao. First we ventured to a local fish market to see the locals doing what they do best. The Portuguese are renowned fishermen throughout history, hence the reason why so much of their murals depict sea goddesses and mermaids on stone walls and I am pretty sure they have their fair share of pirate tales too!
Lagos is a harbour town so there are all kinds of fish on the menus of all restaurants, we stepped into a local fish market and found it intriguing because there was an array of fish, squid, crab and octopus plus this is their livelihood and it’s good to be involved in another culture somehow, it was also great for Jon’s photography, capturing a small glimpse into how people live in a different culture.

visit Lagos

attractions in Lagos

the beauty of Lagos

After a spot of lunch in the town square we ventured to the coastal walk. This walk takes about four hours and takes you along a coastal path to view the beautiful rock formations looking out to sea. Very similar tour to the cave tour in Portimao, only this time it’s on land and on foot.

This walk is great for advanced trekkers and beginners alike, children can do this walk and if you have a dog, bring him along too! I will mention though, sometimes there are steps and uphill walking so if you struggle with leg, knee or back problems do some more research before you decide on this walk. It is reasonably gentle but it does take you away from civilization at times so do carry snacks and water as well as sun lotion. There are pit stops in between where you can buy refreshments or stop at a restaurant for a hearty meal.

things to do in the Algarve

Algarve sight seeing

Algarve holidays

coastal walks in Lagos

rock formations in Lagos


The cliff walk known as the Ponta da Piedade is a must for every visitor of the algarve and one of the most frequented hotspots in this area. the best time to go there is in the early morning or in the late afternoon for the sunset. This is an easy walkable path between the big rocks which bring you down winding pathways to breathtaking coves, grottos and beaches peppered with golden rock formations and the crystal blue sea. The panoramic view is extraordinary so brilliant for photography enthusiasts. This coastline feels very exotic and tropical, you’d think you are in the Maldives. Organised boat trips are available in lagos a few kilometers from Ponte da Piedade, the price depends on the season and the number of people in one boat though. Jon and I did this walk on foot as we are avid walkers anyway, since the weather is glorious it made sense to be in the fresh air and take a leisurely stroll along the footpaths as the sun slowly set.

Portugal

mini break in Portugal

mini break in the Algarve


Even in December this place is stunning, although very early in the morning there was a huge down pour and thunderstorm we very nearly cancelled coming to Lagos because I had accidentally left my rain coat back in the hotel in Faro with my main backpack. After an hour of breakfast and a cup of tea, the storm cleared and by 10am all the clouds disappeared to make way for the sunshine. You wouldn’t think it ever rained would you? Unlike the UK which remains damp hours after a rain storm, the Algarve was warm and dry within an hour.

We walked the entire point along the cliff top paths, including going down to all of the beaches on the east side that we could. One of them (possibly Praia Camilo) has 233 steps down to get to the beach (and 233 steps back up!) At the point itself, go down the stairs to see the rock formations. I think “in season”, there may be boats that load up here to take you on a tour, but in mid-December, it was deserted, with just a few other walkers like us.
On the east side of the point, there are stunning views of the Lagos Bay and as far as the Cape Carvoeiro lighthouse. On the west side, you can see the beach at Porto do Mos, and the cliffs and bays to Praia de Luz and beyond.

coastal walking in the Algarve


As stated earlier, Lagos is a firm favourite and we would venture back here to do the coastal walk again perhaps when the weather is hotter, going to the Algarve in December does have its merits in that we pretty much had most places to ourselves (bar the locals) however we only had some kind of warmth from the sun between 11am and 4pm, sunrise and sunset was a tad chilly, but bearable if you take a jumper and raincoat. I would like to revisit this place during the summer so that I can enjoy walking around in my summer dresses, harem pants and bikini.
There are other parts of the Algarve yet to be explored and it is a destination I do hope to go back to, perhaps run a yoga and belly dance retreat there? Who knows? All I do know is that the Algarve took my breath away!
This concludes my time in the Algarve,
to see the other destinations we visited click on the links below:
One day in Faro & chapel of bones
One day at the Pink Palace
One day in Portimao

Here are a few other destinations you might like to read about:
16 days in Morocco
10 days in Croatia & Montenegro
21 days in Nepal
5 days in Budapest & Vienna

Portugal, the Algarve: Portimão

Portimao
To have a whole day in Portimao (during winter with less hours of sun) we were up very early to catch the first morning train. I think we were up at 6am to be at the station by 6:30am and on the train at 6:45am. We decided to book an overnight stay in an apartment in Portimao since we planned to visit Lagos for our last day and so it saved us from going back to Faro only to board an even longer train journey to Lagos. Getting on a train in Portugal is very easy, much like the UK, you just turn up and buy a ticket.

We arrived in Portimao at about 9am which is perfect timing since all the businesses were getting ready for the day. We opted to find our hotel first in order to leave some of our things in our room. We were a little bit disappointed with the weather because rain was to be expected and I forgot to bring my rain coat. From sunrise until 11am I was cold and felt a bit damp but I didn’t let it bother me too much since how many people have opportunities like this, to travel and enjoy another culture? The weather was expected to clear up later in the day and Jon bought me a breakfast burger to cheer me up!

algarve

Portugal

visit the algarve

visit Portugal

holiday in Portimao

holiday in Portugal

holiday in the Algarve
Walking around the main city centre and the promenade, Portimao felt like a ghost town, not only because of the weather so the locals weren’t out but also because there were no tourists. The shops were geared up for the tourists with souvenirs galore but it was just too blustery and wet to want to sight see. We did venture into a beautiful church, largely to have some warmth but also because in this part of Portimao there isn’t much to do or see.
The main reason why we were in Portimao is for the boat tour to see the caves, so we ventured back to the promenade by 10am and a thought struck me: “Jon, the weather is bad, it’s December, it’s the off season and it’s deserted, do you think maybe tour companies won’t be operating this time of year?” Jon replied “Fuck….We’ve come all this way for nothing, there is literally nothing else to do in Portimao, the caves are the main attraction.”

For some weird reason though, Jon decided this wasn’t it, it can’t be the end! He made me walk along a dirt track route just off the main road to get to another part of Portimao. By this point the rain cleared and it was getting hot so I took my woolly jumper off. After about 45 minutes of walking we came to another dock which looked more glamorous, which included stunning boats and cute cuboid holiday apartments which then opened up to a huge white sand beach, hotel complexes and resorts! Whoa! I was so happy I skipped like a lamb onto the sand. This, is what we wanted to see in Portimao! The typical postcard photo of sun, sand and sea. I was just so happy to feel the warmth on my skin and to play in the sand.

Algarve tours

Algarve holidays

visiting the Algarve

beaches of the Algarve

beaches in Portugal
Nearly all the tour huts were closed up and our hearts sank, however walking closer to them, by some miracle we saw one was open! The owner was nowhere to be seen yet he’d left a leaflet stating his next tour would be in an hour up a river to visit a local village, our hearts sank again because we wanted to see the caves! Jon plucked up the courage to ring the owner to inquire about a cave tour and because we were the only tourists around that day, the captain cancelled the village tour and was willing to take us to the caves! It was our own private tour!

This is probably not the best time to go see the caves, with it being winter over here (although much more pleasant weather than the UK), the sea was very chaotic and we went as the tide was getting higher. It was our only option since rain was expected later in the afternoon. Even though it was a bit choppy, captain Miguel told us it was still safe to visit the caves, however later in the day would have been dangerous. So we took a chance because we might never come back here again. Life jackets on and a safety talk from Miguel and we were off!


Our entire tour took about 3 hours and because we were the only tourists that day he did take us to other caves not usually on the itinerary partially because with only two people on board (and no kids) he could take us where he pleased and partially he probably felt bad for us because of the weather and wanted us to have a special experience regardless. During the summer months the seas are a lot calmer and tour companies offer full day trips with lunch included or afternoon trips that last about 4 hours long so do research what you’d prefer on your tour.

Due to the weather being choppy and high tide approaching, we were unable to go right inside some of the caves as we didnt want our boat to crash into the craggy rocks and there were moments where I wondered if our captain should have taken us out or not since our boat was being thrown from one wave to another, it wasn’t sailing it was bouncing on the rolling water! I thought “Any minute now this boat is going to capsize and I don’t fancy being pulled out to sea!” However the caves we did get to visit were awe inspiring and our captain mentioned how he used to spend evenings in them with his friends when he was a kid, I was envious that he had such a free childhood, all I had was a local park and sofas I’d turn into forts but to live in a place where nature provides havens for children to explore sounds like a dream.


The caves are made of sandstone and are easily corroded by the sea, you can see pockmarks from the salt erosion making the surfaces look like sponge. The rocks also change colour depending on the light. At times they look golden, then brown, grey, orange or slightly red, it really is beautiful to see up close.
There are some caves with small sandy coves on them, tourists are not allowed to leave their boats to venture on the sands for environmental and safety reasons, you have to remain on your boat at all times which is a shame for Jon as he wanted to snap some beautiful photography.

Benagil sea cave exploration is a little hidden gem in the Algarve and also includes a lovely fish restaurant during the high season once your tour has finished which has been highly recommended by other tourists for a spot of lunch.
We’ve never been on a sea cave tour so this was a highlight of our little holiday and we were so glad we were able to do it even though it seemed fate was against us, by some magic we found the main beach and Miguel happened to be working that day. I highly recommend his tours, visit his facebook page here: Allarade
Jon read somewhere that visiting these caves was a top attraction to see before you die so it feels great to actually see and tick it off our bucket list. It really is a magical thing to see, even on a day with changeable weather, the caves were still glorious!


For us, Portimao is not a favourite place in the Algarve because the huge hotel complexes ruin it however it’s stunning beach and cave tours make up for the overt tourism and I do highly recommend you include a cave tour whilst on your holiday in this part of Portugal. I’d say perhaps stay in Faro or Lagos as your main base but head out to Portimao for a day trip if you prefer quieter holidays. We were lucky that we went in the off season because we had the beach (and boat) all to ourselves, but I don’t want to imagine how horrible Portimao looks during peak season with huge herds of sun burnt tourists and their bratty children clogging up the beach but then that might be someone else’s idea of a great holiday? If you like package, all inclusive holidays where you spend your days lounging on the beach every day then Portimao is for you but if you are a culture vulture like me and you happen to be based in Portimao there are hidden gems in neighbouring areas like quaint fishing villages and walking tours available too but we didn’t have time to explore further afield. Portimao can be lovely if you go during the shoulder seasons (late spring or early autumn).

Missed other write ups about the Algarve? Visit them here:
Faro and the chapel of bones
The Pink Palace

If you wish to read about other travel destinations, click on the links below.
Morocco for 16 days
Croatia/Montenegro for 10 days
Hungary/Vienna for 5 days
Nepal for 21 days
The UK wherever whenever day trips.

Portugal: The Algarve, Pousada Palacio de Estoi

the pink palace Estoi
We very nearly didn’t go here because even though it had rave reviews, Jon took one look at the site via google results and thought “why would I want to just see this building and there isn’t much to see in the local village either.” On the second day of Faro we knew we were to spend our third day in Portimao and our fourth day in Lagos but couldn’t really think of anything to do in the present moment. After doing a bit of shopping in Faro for his mum’s birthday present we decided to venture to the Pink Palace in Estoi as something to do and to pass the time. It did not disappoint and in fact surprised us. It is actually a very interesting place to visit and is now one of my top attractions I recommend you see when traveling. The photos on the internet do not do it justice, it’s a really unusual palace now turned hotel and if you are a lover of that Greco-roman mythology and style, then you’ll fall in love with this place because it is swimming in statues of mermaids, goddess depictions and mosaics, it even houses a shrine dedicated to Venus (goddess of love) and Diana (goddess of the moon and hunting). The hotel has one grand room and main garden open to the public, the rest of it’s quarters are private unless you want to pay a fee to stay there.

pink palace, Portugal

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things to see in the Algarve

things to do in the Algarve

Portuguese

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holiday in Portugal

visit the pink palace

Pousada Palacio
We went to the Pink Palace just before sunset, arriving at the main entrance at about 3pm, as tourists we could just walk straight through the main reception, the staff there are pleasant and very helpful. The pink palace was built by an Algarvian Aristocrat in 1840, in Esto which is a small village east of Faro. It takes about 15 minutes by taxi to get here and a little longer by local bus. For ages this beautiful building seemed destined to fall to ruin however in 2009 it was restored to its former glory as a luxury, historical hotel. It is extremely popular for weddings and honeymoons.

I’m not usually a fan of the colour pink however it brings out that romantic, renaissance feeling with this elegant building. It feels like the creator was in touch with their feminine and even spiritual side and perhaps like many world heritage buildings it was built as a dedication to a woman he loves? The soft pink hues, the sensual statues, the curves of building, feels like it was made with love.

beautiful rococo style

goddess Aphrodite

mermaid statues

goddess Venus

erotic art

erotic paintings

Portuguese art

Algarve holiday

mini break in the Algarve

Pousada Palacio de Estoi
The palace was begun in the Rococo style, funded by gold from Brazil – then part of Portugal’s empire. Some of the other rooms were added later, and have a little less elegance (but not a lot less!). During the 18th century it was the summer showpiece palace for the Royal Family, and so was built to impress. Unlike Versailles, it has a lot of the original furniture in suit.

The palace is not well known, but it is a gem. We were here during the off season in December so it was wonderfully deserted with the exception of a few business men. It is free to enter the grounds open to the public and there is also a bar and restaurant if you fancied splashing your cash on lunch and a light beverage.


My favorite part of this place was the secret shrine, hidden slightly underneath the hotel. You have to walk through the main garden, down some steps and walk a little bit down a large drive-way flanked by trees only to turn back to face the hotel to see the shrine being enveloped by the stairs you’ve walked down. It wasn’t something mentioned when we did research on the internet so it was a wonderful to discover this gem as I am really fascinated by the gods and goddesses of ancient mythology. Upon entering you see a water fountain and water pouring out of Pan’s mouth. It feels like a womb space, surrounded by cave-like rock formations, hand painted tiles and statues of Diana and Venus on either side of you. It felt like I had gone back in time and that I had stumbled upon a very mystical place. I dropped a penny in the fountain and made a wish to the universe.
Another favourite part of the pink palace was the little, naughty summer cottage in the far right of the garden. It’s a very bright and airy space possibly used to shade yourself from the midday heat with your love. The paintings on the walls are erotic with humans embracing animals, fauns looking up ladies dresses and couples kissing. Anybody who knows me, knows I adore researching erotica through out history, it was my main theme at university and I love classy, erotic art and photography. It was a lovely little shock to finish the exploration of the Pousada Palacio.


Pousada Palacio is a place of beauty and prestige. It was particularly magnificent during sunset because the orange rays seems to make the pink hues glow with a loving radiance. This palace was definitely a devotion to love and sensuality and it makes sense if it was inspired by Venus (the goddess of love) and also to the wild sensuality of the sea, and with mermaids and fish painted everywhere. I’d visit here again, it took my breath away, I’d get married here!

If you missed my Faro write up, click here.
If you wish to read about other travel destinations, click on the links below.
Morocco for 16 days
Croatia/Montenegro for 10 days
Hungary/Vienna for 5 days
Nepal for 21 days
The UK wherever whenever day trips.

Portugal: The Algarve, Faro

Faro, Portugal
So just before Christmas Jon surprised me with a mini break to the Algarve, Portugal. It has been a place I have been pestering him to go to (as well as Andalusia in Spain) because it is a culture I dearly love and I have just discovered it is part of my DNA, even though my DNA results show I am largely British (Irish & Scottish not English) and Western European (French, Italian, Hungarian and Norwegian) we found out I am also Iberian. The Iberians form a group of people whose culture is mixed, don’t consider themselves Spanish or Portuguese and have a South American heritage mixed with Moroccan. The Iberian Peninsula sits at the bottom of Spain and parts of Portugal (The Algarve) and has had an interesting history of both Christian and Moorish rule-hence their devote Catholic lifestyle surrounded by Moroccan decor and architecture. Knowing what I know now about my genetic ancestry has filled a hole in my personality that felt isolated and “different”. I feel more complete and I understand aspects to me that were once confusing. Like why so many people believed me to be Spanish or half Arab, why I am so drawn to Latin music and darbuka drum as though those sounds stir my blood and why I have jet black curly hair, strong facial features and almond shaped eyes. But more on this in another blog post!

I was so happy when he surprised me because I had just found out I was contracted to work all the Christmas holidays (except Christmas day) and I was feeling super glum. This mini break was an early Christmas present that lifted my spirits!

So, we visited for four days and were primarily situated in Faro. With its international airport, Faro is the main city people fly into to go on holiday in the Algarve. We went in December meaning costs were low and there were little or no tourists about (peace on earth!). We usually prefer to travel during the shoulder or off season to avoid that touristy vibe, trashy merchandise and bratty children. The weather in the Algarve was still very pleasant, with lovely temperatures from 11am until 4:30pm every day, however early mornings and by 5pm temperatures do drop so I’d advise taking a winter coat, scarves and tote socks for the evenings, I carried a woolly jumper with me during the day in case the sea breeze was a bit chilly, however most often than not, I’d have to take it off because it did get quite hot during Mid day!

We stayed in Story Guesthouse which offers free wifi, breakfast included in the price, shared kitchen and small courtyard and communal bathrooms on every floor, the showers have super hot water and simple rooms with balconies. This is a great accommodation for backpackers.

Visit the Algarve

Algarve tourism

mini break to Portugal

Portuguese mini break

things to do in Faro

old town Faro

Visitor information, Faro

Faro old town
Faro is a very pretty and quiet seaside city, with pleasant cobbled streets, an old town and with beautiful churches and chapels throughout. Often over looked or used as a pit-stop for tourists, this place holds a lot of traditional charm and a sweet ambiance. The pleasant shopping area is lined with open air cafes, seafood restaurants and pizzerias and there are tours available offering day excursions to Ria Formsa national park from a small harbour. Often Faro’s beaches are scarce of tourists, meaning in the height of the season you’d be sharing quiet coastal area with locals. It does make for a lovely day excursion if holiday-makers are situated in other parts of the Algarve, there is a bus service and train station nearby and the locals speak very good English.
The thing we loved about Faro is that it is a good central point to be in as a main base if you want to sleep easy somewhere quiet and plan your time in the Algarve to take day trips to places outside of Faro. You can literally hop on a two hour long train journey to spend a day in Portimao or one hour to Albufeira, and it takes just over two hours to get to Lagos, how easy is that! There are also neighbouring towns and villages to visit too if you didn’t want to venture out too far, within 15 minutes you are in the pretty village of Estoi where you can explore the Pink Palace (highly recommended) and you can also visit Loulé which takes 25 minutes or Quarteira in 31 minutes. The inexpensive public transport here means the entire Algarve can be traveled to very easily.

Yoga in Faro

Main square Faro

Faro holiday

holiday in the Algarve

Algarve break

holiday in Portugal

Portugal

Faro things to do


The old town at this time of year was deserted with only the locals dressed in their Sunday best for mass or casually having a coffee in the main square. It is very pretty to visit though and it was great for Jon as a photographer as he didn’t have to wait for bumbling tourists to get out of his shot.You enter through the 18th century Arco da Vila, walk uphill through impeccably cobbled streets framed by elegantly balconied houses and arrive at the Largo da Se where the Municipal Museum stands and off these squares in every direction are little streets and lanes which just beg to be explored. You can walk from one end of the Old Town to the other in about 30 minutes and leave by the other Arch, the Arco da Repouso, emerging by the edge of the water on the Largo da Sao Francisco. For a small price you can enter the church in the main square and venture up to the tower for some splendid views across Faro also.

What’s special about this part of town is that there are no postcards or souvenir shops, just a few bars and sea food restaurants and in parts an almost rural atmosphere. I do appreciate it might look and feel a bit different in the high season however it is a little gem of a place to go on a relaxed walk, a real joy!

Carmo church Faro

Churches in Faro

Bone Chapel Faro


The Église du carmel de Faro Church, or the Carmo Church (which is the same location as the Bone Chapel) is a stunning piece of architecture situated near the market place and post office in Faro. The statues and alter inside take your breath away and there is a beautiful state of calm within. Most tourists do come here to see the chapel of bones built on the side of this church but I do recommend you spend some quality time being dazzled by the decor and high ceilings. A long approach over shallow steps gives it a feeling of grandeur and, upon entering, one is taken aback by the incredibly ornate nave and altar – so much gold carving and statues. Perhaps due to most people coming to see the Chapel of Bones and needing to walk through the main church to access it, this isn’t a place to come for quiet reflection or prayer, but worth a visit just to compare it with other churches in the city. This is well worth a visit because it is cheap to go inside (one Euro each) and it gives you a glimpse into part of Portugal’s rich Catholic lifestyle and history. In the summer, be wary of gypsies begging for money near the entrance though.

explore portugal

travel to portugal

day in Faro

backpacking in the Algarve

Backpacker in Portugal

what to do in the Algarve

why visit Faro?

Faro day trips

day trips around the Algarve

Algarve holiday destination
The Chapel of Bones is what most tourists in Faro come to see. Built on the back side of the Carmo church you have to walk through the church and out through a side door to the right which then takes you into a small dark room full of Christian artifacts and solemn statues before leaving out through another small door into a courtyard of stone graves, cats and plants. It is here that the Chapel of Bones is situated and it is a very small room literally covered in skulls and bones. I have always wanted to see something like this, we did find a church in Cornwall, England that included bones as part of the decor (which is a rarity in the UK) and we had seen documentaries of churches and holy places around the world being decorated with human bones. I personally do not find it macabre as I find different cultures interpretation of death and the afterlife fascinating and I love learning about tribal rites of passage, old fairytales about the life/death cycle and the symbolism of bones. So seeing the chapel of bones was a highlight for me, I’d question why the monks did this? Was it a ritual? Did they believe it kept them close to God? How did they do it? How did they carve out space for each person’s skull every time they died? And Ironically this chapel is next door to a school playground so hearing the cute laughter of children just outside a place dedicated to the afterlife was interesting to say the least!

This place is out of the ordinary so if you like peculiar things or you are a history and culture buff or maybe fancy going for a walk just to see something different on your otherwise beach filled holiday then do go visit this place especially after your calming walk through the old town.
According to wikipedia the bone chapel is known as an Ossuary. An Ossuary is a small box like building used as tombe when burial space was scarce. A body is first buried in a temporary grave, then after some years the skeletal remains are removed and placed in an ossuary. The greatly reduced space taken up by an ossuary means that it is possible to store the remains of many more people in a single tomb than if the original coffins were left as is. Many Ossuaries can be found all over Europe, including Italy, the Czech Republic and the Catacombs of Paris. Ossuaries have been common practice in Greek Orthodox and Jewish tradition for hundreds of years.

chapel of bones, Faro

Bone chapel Faro

Ossuary in Faro


Faro is a perfect destination for visitors who wish to know the “real” side to the Algarve and want more out of their holiday than a week on the beach. Faro offers history, culture, local charm and a peaceful environment. It’s close to the airport to catch your flights in time and offers a wonderful transport system to visit the rest of the Algarve by an independent traveler who stays clear from typical and hectic tourist hotspots. Faro is not geared up for visitors who want the nightlife, clubs or pubs and it is not quite suitable for families (especially families who just want a week on the beach), although it really depends on the family and how you raise your kids. I recommend visitors stay in Faro for two days to really soak in the atmosphere before traveling to your next destination or if you get into the Algarve on a late flight, it is a great location for an over night and day stay before you venture on towards your main holiday destination.

Other places in the Algarve we visited are:
A day in Estoi: The Pink Palace
A day trip to portimao
A day trip to Lagos
If you wish to see other Travel blogs visit them here:
Morocco for 16 days
Croatia/Montenegro for 10 days
Hungary/Vienna for 5 days
Nepal for 21 days
The UK

Surprise! We’re in the Algarve, Portugal!


SURPRISE! We’re in the Algarve, which is the Southern part of Portugal! We decided to go on a last minute, pre-Christmas mini break as a great way to end the year of 2016 and to get away from the chaos of the UK.
We are currently in Faro and have been here since 9:30am this morning. We’ve been site seeing around the old town and took a leisurely stroll around the city centre. The people and way of life here is so much more relaxed than the UK and even though it is middle of December it is still rather warm from 11am until 4pm with beautiful sunshine all day. The mornings and evenings are slightly on the cold side but nothing a light jacket and scarf can’t fix!

We have another three days here before we head back to Plymouth and we plan to go on some day trips to neighbouring towns around the Algarve. Tomorrow morning we are going to see the Bone Chapel which is a small chapel decorated with human bones and a golden skeleton!

So far, our visit to the Algarve has been relaxing and it feels so nice to be away from the Christmas madness back home, the Portuguese people do celebrate Christmas but they seem to be more mellow about it and it feels good to wander about the cobble streets in peace and quiet.