| Next, Beaches
from the sea the Algarve is not a pretty sight.
Algarve's lack of natural beauty - or perhaps we should say spoilt
natural beauty - once away from the seaside is disappointing. Apart
from the appealingly bleak coast, uncrowded beaches and cute fishing villages in the southwest - such as Olhao, Fuzeta and Sagres,
and the far east section along the Guadiana River, most of the Algarve is a messy, residential wasteland with
scattered, unattractive development - blocky new houses and apartments
replacing the pretty, tiled, dear departed old villas.
Even the reputedly scenic Monchique area is a series of low pine-clad
hills of a not very striking nature bisected by heavy traffic. Lake
District or Alps this is not. Not even close. And Silves, old Moorish
capital of the Algarve? Pah!
beaches are mostly big, soft, clean and well serviced, the
weather is the best in Portugal and if you need vernacular style and
a little culture with your sand and sun, try Lagos or Tavira.
The Algarve from east to west: Downside
| Tavira | Faro
| Albufeira | Portimao
west (Atlantic) coast beaches: Surfing
| Guincho | Ericeira
Pictures: Portugal | Lisbon Guides: Portugal | Lisbon | Map