My friend Sture's records from our trip to Portugal in 2000.
Portugal revisited 2000
My last trip to Portugal had become a dim, but pleasant memory. Hidden behind the veil of too many years gone past. At last the oportunity to be reaquainted with this friendly country arose.
Together with some friends, we made our base in Lagos, on the western part of Algarve.

View from the Cape outside Lagos

A trip to the spectacular seacaves outside Lagos is really worth while

Arriving in Lissabon Airport endless taxi-lines are waiting for you. We were catching the train down to Algarve. The trainstation Barreiro for the southbound trains are located on the south side of the Lissabon bay. The taxidrivers are quick to take advantage of you. Going there by car, you have a 60 km. drive all across the new Da Gama-bridge and around the bay. Instead you could have a quick and cheap access from the airport to the center of Lissabon were the ferries are running non-stop directly to the trainstation.
Make sure you have the timetables at hand before catching the ferry, as the trainstation-area offers no restaurants, and is a rather drab place to be waiting for hours...
The train-ride to Lagos is cheap (ab. 2000 esc), and if you make sure you catch an intercity connection, it takes about four hours to Lagos. You have to change trains in Tunes.

Lagos is a typical middlesized Mediterainian city. Inside the old city-walls, you find lots of narrow walk-about-alleys with a wide variety of shops, bars and restaurants. The atmosphere is rather laid-back.
Lagos used to have lots of backpackers and windsurfers, but the development seems to have driven most of them elsewhere. It is easy to rent appartments, houses or rooms if you go there in June, before the season really begins. (July/August) We rented a large house just outside the old city-walls with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, fully furnished with TV's, washingmachine,- all the works for 2500 esc. each pr. night (7 persons). In August the price trebles. This is the de-luxe approach to travelling.
To top it off, we rented a car (25000 esc -7 days). This, or bikes, are necessary if you want to see what's worthwhile in the region. And it's plenty!
The beaches all around the township are very nice. From the large Meia Praia, to the cliff-walled Dona Ana or Praia Camilho. Around the Cape westwards, you also have Praia do Moz. There are also many beautiful, spectacular deserted coves accessible by steep cliff-trails.

The coastline around Lagos is the most spectacular in all of the Algarve with it's cliff-caves and peaked spectacular skerries.
From several beaches you can go by boat to see the caves. It's worth the money. If you go all the way to the lighthouse on the Cape, there are steep stairs going down to one of the startingpoints. Very beautiful!

The weather in June is relatively stable, but not blistering hot. More like a nice Scandinavian summerdays. Evenings and nights can be rather chilly, in fact. The water is rather cold. (ab. 20-23 degrees) It gets colder the farther west you go.

Portugal is not famous for it's food. There are some places, though, that can give you a pleasant surprise. If you go a bit outside the beaten track on the outskirts of the city walls, there are some nice places. The prices are relatively cheap. Dinner with wine and espresso with snaps or portwine after, should keep you around 2000 esc.

This is the main area we covered on this trip. West from Lagos towards Sagres and north along the coast as far as Sines. Lagos/Sines is about 150 km.
The Corrida do Torros is next stop

Pages to visit from this trip:
Corrida do Torros | Burgau/Salimas
Sagres/Cabo Sao Vicente | Aljezur/Odeceixe
Porto Covo/Vila Nuevo Milfontes | Lissabon
Sagres Festival