If you are going to visit the Algarve in southern Portugal, you will probably be at least passing through Faro. For his sights alone, it would be a shame not to stop for a while.
All trains from Lisbon and long-distance buses both from Portugal and the neighboring south of Spain travel to Faro. Above all, you will find an international airport that serves the entire region and with one transfer you can also come from Prague, often cheaper than to Lisbon. Before visiting the Algarve I read in several places that there is nothing interesting to see in Faro and I prefer to go elsewhere immediately. Luckily I didn't listen and stayed for a few days. Sure, beaches, parties, cliffs and nature you will definitely find better elsewhere, but thanks to the rich history and culture, but I enjoyed Faro anyway.
The cathedral of St. Mary, the square in front of it and the surrounding historic street. The Lapidarium and the Museum of Archeology are also worth visiting.
The first proven settlement was founded by the ancient Phoenicians in the 4th century BC. Subsequently, in Faro the domination of the Romans, Byzantium, Visigoths and Moorish Empire. Throughout the city was one of the most important centers not only of the Algarve region, but the entire southern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
Since Portugal's independence, Portugal has developed further since the 12th century. And from the time between the 12th and 19th centuries you will find the most interesting sights. In addition to the cathedral, there are several other churches, historic walls, town hall and palaces.
Also unique are the local wetlands, which lie between the town of Faro and its beaches. They mix fresh water with salt and live many species of waterfowl. You can take a boat trip to the wetlands, and a seasonal water taxi to the main beach.
Faro also serves as a base for short trips, such as the nearby town of Olhão. Other parts of the Algarve can be easily reached by public transport.
The Portuguese trip to Santiga de Compostela became important as early as the 12th century, which is a significant century in the history of Portugal because it meant the country's independence. It is not as frequented as the Spanish routes, the more "pilgrimage" you will have.
Fatima is undoubtedly one of the most famous Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world, but it does not mean anything to most Czechs. The Virgin Mary appeared to three children here, and so millions of people come here every year to ask for a miracle.
Incredibly, it is still possible to travel. One of the European countries that can be easily reached without tests from Prague, but also very cheaply from Vienna, is Portugal. Low-cost airlines fly from Vienna to the Portuguese city of Faro, which lies in the beautiful Algarve region. The sandy beaches are lined with beautiful cliffs, the water is crystal clear. From Fara, the train leads to the city of Lagos, which is one of the most beautiful in the Algarve. Then you can continue by bus to the very southern tip to the picturesque town of Sagres.
We have already presented the Algarve region in our series in great detail. We end it with the city of Lagos, which is one of the most popular tourist and serves as a perfect base for exploring. Thanks to the surfers, it also maintained a very relaxing atmosphere.
There is another lighthouse near Sagres. Its current appearance dates back to 1908 and its optical devices are among the 10 largest in the world. The lighthouse can be reached around beautiful cliffs in probably Portugal's most scenic area.
There is a lot to see at the westernmost tip of southern Portugal. Among other things, a large national park, which protects the best preserved part of the coast, as well as the important fortress of Santo António de Belix in Sagres, to which we will now go.
Bright white plaster, color-framed windows and doors, narrow, cobbled streets, screaming seagulls and beautiful atmosphere. Portuguese fishing villages are among my favorites and Ferragudo is one of the most famous. Let's have a look there together.
Not far from Portimão on the south coast of Portugal lies the small town of Carvoeiro. At the same time, it offers beautiful scenery and small beaches protected by majestic cliffs, where you can enjoy some peace and privacy even in the greatest season.
Lisboa is righteously one of the most visited cities in Europe. Yellow trams, hills, cable cars... You can easily get lost in its colorful streets for hours. Washed laundry waves in the wind, you can drink coffee with locals at one of many great cafes and taste local sweet pastry. You can also just set off to the grandiose Ponte 25 de Abril, a red bridge which looks like Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Just 45 minutes by train from the center of Lisbon there is the city of Sintra. It became famous for its castle, palaces, and many beautiful buildings. Moreover, there is a beautiful nature park Sintra-Cascais, unusual mountains which will lure you to make a trip. Let’s see Sintra together.
It is an archipelago and also an island which is located in the Macaronesia region. Only two islands are inhabited as the whole archipelago is a natural reserve. These islands are Madeira and Porto Santo.
Travel to Madeira by plane only. There is probably no other way to travel almost 1000 kilometers from Portugal and 600 kilometers from North Africa. Moreover, sailing on a ship might not be comfortable for everybody.
A 5 thousand meters high massif of lava was created after huge explosion in the Atlantic. Today we can see only a glimpse of it and this glimpse is Madeira. The island is self-reliant. There are couple of power plants (water, wind), fertile soil and sea rich on fish.
Apart from famous Madeira wine (Japan is its largest importer), poncho (a liquor with lemon flavor) is another traditional beverage. You can replace lemon juice with orange or maracuja juice. It is served cold for refreshments. Or it is served also warm as prevention from getting cold. The wine festival takes place end August beginning September.