From the town of Faro, we then proceeded to drive to Albufeira, about 30 minutes away and check in at our hotel, the Oura view beach hotel, overlooking the coast, with beautiful beaches at the doorstep. After getting refreshed at the hotel, that evening, we drove out to the town of Silves, to see the cathedral and the castle there atop the hill. Silves was also about 40 minutes drive from Albufeira. It was quite a pretty sight however as we were quite late in the day, it was already sunset so we missed out on seeing the cathedral. Also, aside from our GPS, it wasn't that easy to find signposts around the towns indicating the tourist spots so we decided to head back to the hotel and check out the entertainment offered there such as a private saxophone concert and have dinner at an Indian restaurant, named the Clay Oven which was actually quite nice with tasty dishes.
The next morning, which was a Saturday, we made a quick breakfast in our apartment as we had the kitchen facilities available and had purchased a few basic things from the supermarket the night before, just for convenience mostly. Having seen posters and flyers for the sweet potato festival hosted at a town named Aljezur, on the west coast of The Algarve, we thought why not take a look. That took us just over an hour from our hotel and we got there just in time for lunch. Atop a hill, there was the sweet potato exhibition with white tents, and many local families gathered here. There were many varieties of sweet potato dishes available to sample along with displays, demonstrations etc. the festival was running over three days and other local restaurants were also participating by serving special menus with sweet potato items. We found this was an interesting insight into the rural Portugal lifestyle.
After this, not feeling very full yet, we drove to another nearby town named Monchique, about 15 minutes away, where we grabbed a quick bite at the town square. Luckily, there was a tourist office very close by, where the lady was able to give us some pointers as to what there was to do here. Monchique is known for its viewing point atop a hill, the highest point in the Algarve, where one can appreciate views of the Algarve on all sides. We took some pictures here and of the fountain, the church, grabbed a coffee and decided to head back to the hotel by sunset. We spent that evening relaxing and exploring the night life nearby in Albufeira.
Unfortunately, as it was off peak, there were hardly any tourists at all even on a Saturday night and often we were the only people at a bar or club. Most of the tourists that were around at this time seemed to be older couples that were there to play golf, or relax at a resort and experience the warmer weather. It was easy to see why the Algarve might be a popular destination during the summer months however as drinks were cheap and I'm sure young people especially would love the opportunity to party by the beach. Overall for us, it was a relaxing weekend in the Algarve.