Two weeks after setting out from Santander we made it to the Algarve coast. Our first stop was at Altura, where we had stayed last year. The beach here is fantastic and Tim had a go at fishing one afternoon....though he didn't catch anything, just weed.
The weather became showery, but warm for a week and so we continued West to an official Aire at Manta Rota. It's €4.5 to stay, including water and Wifi, but €2.50 extra for electric, which we don't use. Again, lovely beach and a few shops and restaurants.
At Pedras D'el Rei there is a fantastic train, which runs out to an island with an anchor graveyard. 100's of anchors from the old fishing boats, left in the sand dunes, it looks like a modern art installation. Here we coincidentally met up with friends from last year and also new friends who we had first seen 2 weeks ago!
From Pedras D'el Rei we cycled back into Tavira for the day to look around the beautiful old buildings with fantastic doors and meal out, just to sit and watch the world go by.
Once the weather cleared up we went to the campsite at Olhão for 3 nights, €7.60 per night. We had the luxury of a shower before looking around the Moorish architecture of the town. Tim enjoyed acting as tour guide for David and Jean, we had a great day out at the Saturday market, bought fish for tea and then to the 7 Stars bar for tapas and refreshment. Here they sell superb wine in 5 litre containers for either €6.50 or €9 depending on quality and strength!
On the Sunday we all caught the ferry to Culatra, an island made from a sand bar, with a small village and some restaurants. The weather was perfect and so were the shells on the beach. It's part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and there was plenty of photo opportunities.
With all the washing cleaned and dried, we moved off the campsite to Praia de Marinha. Here we had a couple of beach days and a cliff walk to a cafe nestled in a small cove.
Praia da Rocha has a lovely Aire for €2.50, located between a marina complex and this lovely beach. It is a bit more touristy here, but it was nice for a change, we even joined in a stag night with some lads from Manchester. On the Sunday it was even more people around as a large Thompson's cruise ship came in. Lots of the passengers were wandering the streets of Portimão, but we think they would have been better walking a bit further down the river to the beach at Praia da Rocha. We cycled to Portimão to buy some lovely Piri-Piri chicken..yummy!
We then drove about 5 miles along the coast to the pretty fishing village of Altura, because of the Easter weekend and the fantastic weather, we have stayed here for a week on the Aire, €4.
You will be pleased to know that we've had thunder storms today, but we still managed a BBQ at lunch time :o)