Today we took a short day trip from Albufeira to nearby Faro. The city of Faro has an international airport with direct flights to London. It is a large and the most southern city of Portugal. It sits on the coast of a unique lagoon, part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. There are many options for boat tours to take you out to desert islands, bird watching, and searching for sea horses. We left in the morning intending to go on one of these boat tours, but along the way decided to stop at the Praia da Falésia while it wasn’t raining.
Falésia means cliff in Portuguese and this beach is renowned for its brightly colored cliffs that span several km. The colors range from white to red and strikingly contrast with the blue water and green vegetation on the top of the cliffs and into their grooves. The cliffs are made of sand and clay and are slowly eroding away like the badlands we’ve visited in the American West.
Jesse and I walked along the beach past some fishermen and several cafes and resorts. The beach was not very busy today, but since it was a cool, windy and slightly drizzly day that wasn’t too surprising. After a nice walk, we also went to the top of the cliffs to look down at the beach. A word of caution though, there are no guard rails and earth could erode at any time, but the views were stunning and we did find some beautiful wildflowers there as well.
On our way to Faro we also stopped at another beach, Praia de Faro (Mar) which is on a sandbar out past the airport. The beach there is endless and you could spend the whole day walking. There are long boardwalks leading out to houses, and everyone has their own boat to move around more efficiently. Jesse and I found a nice spot on top of the sand bar to sit and each some lunch.
Finally we made it to Faro. We parked in a huge parking area at the end of Largo de São Francisco. This spot was very convenient to walk around the old quarter. We walked along the narrow streets lined with orange trees. There were some beautiful archways, street lights, as well as the Câmara Municipal da Faro, the medieval cathedral and the governor’s palace. We walked to the marina, but by the time we were finally looking for a boat tour it was too late. It would have been great to see the coast here and the National Park, since the landscape here is so different from the rest of what we’ve seen in Portugal. This is always the problem though, so much to see and explore we simply can’t do it all! But maybe next time 😉