Day 1 – Late night flight from Newcastle,
The flight time is 3 hours and cost £100/pp for a return ticket with Ryanair, use SkySkanner.com for the best deals. There isn’t any time difference between the UK and Portugal.
A taxi into Faro cost us €12, it only took about 10 minutes to get from the airport to our hotel. We spent 2 nights at the Guest House Sao Filipe which cost £30/night. The rooms were basic and small but they were clean and comfortable.
Day 2 – Full day in Faro,
We were lucky enough to be featured as guest writers on http://www.onedayitinerary.com, the article should be published soon, I will link it to our home page as soon as it up.
Day 3 – Travel to Lagos,
Our hotel was about a 5 minute walk to Faro main train station. As all trains in Europe, they cheap and reliable, a one way ticket from Faro to Lagos was only €7.20/pp, travel time is just under 2 hours. Trains aren’t very regular so check out www.algarvebus.info for the latest time tables.
We arrived in Lagos just after mid-day and had a gentle stroll around the marina and town centre until we were allowed to check into our apartment at Via D. Ana at 2pm for 7 nights. We only paid £33/night and had the most amazing view from our balcony. The apartment was clean and had in everything we needed to make ourselves at home for a week.
Day 4 to 7 – Lagos,
Lagos is a really good place for families, couples and also has a fairly big backpacking scene. We spent our days walking, cycling and lying on the beach. At night we explored the old town which had a lively nightlife and loads of restaurants, it was easy to get whatever you fancied, Indian, Italian, English, Japanese, etc. and of course Portuguese!
Check out our blog post for the best things to do in Lagos here.
Day 8 – Day trip to Silves,
The trains were so cheap and reliable that we stayed in Logos for a little bit longer than we had originally planned and just did a couple of day trips, first we went to Silves,
A historic town not far from Lagos and easily accessible on the train. Silves is dominated by a medieval castle and surrounded by beautiful countryside and orange farms. We’ve done a full post on this, click to here to read.
Day 9 – Day trip to Portimao
We spent a full day in Portimao but I wasn’t overly impressed. The beach front is lined with massive hotels and British pubs and it was a lot more crowded than anywhere else we had been. Maybe it was just because we had been spoiled by the amazing scenery and beaches in Lagos and the culture in Faro, but Portimao just didn’t seem very Portuguese.
Day 10 – Travelled home
We had an absolutely amazing time in the Algarve and will certainly return. There are other places in Portugal I want to visit too, like Lisbon. I also want to go back to Porto as a tourist, I’ve only ever been on a business trip but had one night in the town centre which was beautiful.
Other Useful Information:
When to visit: The Algarve is based along the southern coast of Portugal and gets really hot and busy during the summer months. May and September are still sunny but it’s a little cooler and much more comfortable.
Visa: UK Passport holders do not currently need a visa to enter Portugal.
Vaccinations: At the time of writing (May 2017) there are no vaccinations required.
Money: The currency in Portugal is Euro. Exchange rates on 9th May 2017 below:
£1 (GBP) = €1.18 (EUR)
$1 (USD) = €0.92 (EUR)
It was really easy to find a cashpoint (ATM), but it’s worth mentioning that we did notice quite a few signs in café windows etc. that said ‘cash only’.
Food and drink all over the Algarve is very reasonably priced, we spent 10 days here and never spent more than €25 per meal.