We stopped in Faro overnight. It's the capital city of the Algarve, Portugal's southern coast. This is the harbour.
Faro is mainly a jumping-off point for the Algarve coast. There isn’t much to see or do there, and we’re glad we didn’t stay that long. We had hoped to see a bit of the coast, but the views from Faro weren’t those you’ve seen of the Algarve. We’ll have to make it back there some day – hopefully in better weather!
A street sign in the historic district. Tiles are everywhere in Portugal
We were rudely greeted by the hotel owner in Faro. We’d had difficulty booking the room from Spain (Despite speaking French, English, and Spanish we still couldn’t communicate well – apparently Portuguese was her only language, despite being right next to Spain in a touristy area!). She denied we’d made a reservation (this turned out to be a common theme in Portugal), and said all the rooms were full. It was late in the evening by this time, and we didn’t feel like going out and looking for another hotel. After 5 minutes of "discussion" suddenly she found us a spotless room, and it turns out most of the hotel was empty, too. While we were in there "sorting out" the problem, another man came in, had the same problem, gave up, and left.
The downtown area is paved with cool cobblestones.
The downtown area of Faro is very cute, with beautiful tiled pedestrian streets. We wandered around in the morning (confused about the time change, we’d gotten up one hour too early), avoiding the wild dogs which we saw everywhere in Portugal. Nothing much to see that early in the day. Probably on a nicer day we would have really enjoyed wandering around.