We took a 3 hour train from Lisbon to Faro in the evening of our 3rd day in Europe, and arrived in Faro in the evening. Unfortunately, as we were walking to our Airbnb from the train station, I tripped and hurt one of my ankles. Fortunately, the next day all we were doing was driving along the coastline! The south coast of Portugal, called the Algarve, is full of beautiful beaches and cliffsides, and that was our plan for the next day.
The Algarve Coast
In the morning, we rented a car in Faro with Europcar and drove along the coast to Lagos, making stops at different picturesque beaches. The spots that we stopped at are shown in the map below.
All of the beaches we stopped at were beautiful, it was a shame that it was still a little too chilly for us to go swimming, in fact I was wearing my down jacket most of the time because of the wind. We made a stop at Benagil beach but unfortunately we didn't book a boat tour ahead of time, so didn't get to see the Benagil caves, which I really want to see some day. We also stopped in Lagos briefly for lunch and ice cream. Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!
The last three beaches were really nice, we parked close to the first one, Pinhao Beach, and then you can walk down to Praia Dona Ana and Camillo Beach. We rested briefly at the final beach, Camillo Beach, before heading off to our final stop to watch the sunset, Ponta da Piedade! We had some fun taking some pictures and climping up to one of the peaks to take some nice pictures. Unfortunately, although we had a fairly clear day for most of the day, clouds started to roll in and it briefly spat a bit, which was fine but the clouds covered the sun where it would set :( We still had a nice view though, and even saw a rainbow after it rained!
We didn't watch the sun set completely as the clouds were in the way, and decided to head back to Faro (around 1 hour on the toll highway), where we cooked dinner to save some money.
On day 5, we explored Faro during the day before our flight to Porto in the evening. Faro is a fairly small town, and honestly it felt a little run down, some of the buildings seemed pretty old and not in great shape. The one attraction we checked out was Carmo Church, which has an interesting bone chapel inside, made of the bones of more than 1000 monks. Quiet eerie, I didn't stay in the chapel too long because I thought it was a little creepy, but it was really interesting. I had so many questions about this place, like did they collect the bones first, or build it as monks died, or what? Anyway, that was cool to see, and then we just wandered about the city a little and had some lunch and ice cream before taking a cab to the airport.