Posted by: Marco | March 17, 2011

We “heart” Portugal

This is our last day in the Algarve, the southern province in Portugal. We head north from here to Lisbon for a couple of days and then we swing back south and head into Spain by bus. We have enjoyed the Algarve very much. It is a wonderful place that has seen some hard times recently due to the worldwide recession. It’s a place worthy of your tourist dollars. Here are some of the reasons why we love Portugal.

Owen and cousin Blake making orange juice


  1. Delicious oranges: For only 1€, we can buy a 3 kilo bag of the juiciest, most delicious oranges we have ever eaten. Freshly squeezed OJ every morning is a perfect start to the day! Lemonade, made from lemons picked on our property, is a good thing, too!
  2. Inexpensive (and delicious) bread: Bakeries aren’t as prevalent as in France, but the bread is delicious and really affordable (50% of the cost of French bread).
  3. Gorgeous coastline: if you have seen our pictures of the Algarve coast, you understand the breathtaking beauty of this rugged and highly eroded stretch of coast.
  4. Friendly people: Portuguese folk are good-natured, welcoming people who love to chat, even if they can’t speak English.
  5. Laid-back atmosphere: Portugal is a relaxed and easy-going place. The pace of life is slow.
  6. No dog poop on the sidewalks: dogs run free everywhere in Portugal. Consequently, they do their business privately and not on the sidewalks. It’s a nice change from the ubiquitous merde on French sidewalks.
  7. Perfect  beaches: the beaches of the Algarve are picture perfect. The sand, the surf, the sun are truly spectacular.
  8. Free (and clean) public bathrooms: no charge for clean WCs with toilet paper, paper towels, and no attendant waiting for 50₵. Also no graffiti or vandalism. Italy, are you listening?
  9. Portuguese roads: Like the people, Portuguese roads are unpretentious and fun. They’re sometimes narrow and twisty, never straight (the roads, that is). They aren’t in the best shape but they are always entertaining (the roads!!).
  10. Friendly Post Office workers! Even at the end of the work day, these public servants are cheerful and friendly.


Anique picking a lemon from lemonade

So, if you are hankering for a little cultural change of pace, beautiful coastline, a low-cost of living, friendly people and great fresh food, book the next Air Transat flight to Faro, Portugal. You won’t be disappointed.


Carpe annum,


P.S. For our photos of this lovely, and often overlooked, part of Europe….CLICK HERE.


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