Faro, Portugal, Part II

Last week I wrote about our time in Faro, you can read that post here. This week I’ll follow up with more about our time in the Algarve. One of the highlights of our time there was a bird watching tour in Ria Formosa Nature Park along the coast of the Algarve. This 44,000 acre park is considered one of Portugal’s seven natural wonders, and includes four islands, wetlands, tidal flats, dunes, and is an important breeding and feeding ground for a wide variety of birds. We also learned that the area has the largest population of seahorses in the world.

Ria Formosa Nature Park in the distance.

Oyster beds with flamingos in the distance.

There are many companies offering a variety of boat tours, but we went with Formosamar. There are several different tour options available depending on your interest, including sunset and island tours. Our skipper was an experienced nature guide and provided much information about the varieties and habits of the different species. We saw Little Egret, Spoonbill, Oyster Catcher, Grey Heron, and many more. The highlight though was seeing flamingos; wow! Balancing gracefully on one leg, like prima ballerinas or accomplished yogis, their colors were magnificent. It was an absolute treat to see them.

View of old town from the boat.

Sadly, due to a camera malfunction, most of my photos are gone. I got a few with my phone, but they’re not very good. Argh…

About 45 minutes up the coast from Faro is Quarteira, a lovely town with a long promenade, beautiful beaches, a wide variety of water sports, restaurants, shops, and much more. Here we had a delicious lunch and watched the activity on the beach.

Faro has some great restaurants and we enjoyed many good meals. Old Tavern serves delicious food in a fun, lively atmosphere. One of the owners told us this: “we are two sons and one mama”; that warmed my heart. Terry had roasted, grilled sausage and a cod salad, I had the fresh cheese salad; everything was delicious. At the end of our meal, the outgoing, friendly waiter brought out a bottle and three shot glasses, and we each downed a shot for camaraderie. As we were leaving, I wondered how many customers he shares a shot with each day…hmm.

Roast grilled sausage, unlike any I’ve seen before.

Cozinha das Ilhas is a great spot for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or a drink. The pastries are delicious and the owners are amazingly friendly and welcoming!

Restaurante Adega Dois Irmãos, serves some of the best meals we had in Faro. We even went back a second time and enjoyed lunch on their beautiful patio, where another customer’s dog was quite interested in our meals.

On our first visit I had shrimp risotto and Terry had lamb stew. On our second visit we shared grilled shrimp and some delicious sea bass.

Ostraria Lodo, also has delicious seafood, and an amazing attention to detail. This white tablecloth restaurant will not disappoint.

We flew back to Paris last Friday to spend the weekend before heading home on Monday. As you have probably seen in the news, there are massive protests going on around France at the moment as the retirement age has been raised from 62 to 64. We considered heading home a few days early to avoid the protests, but we’re glad we stayed. It seemed pretty much business as usual other than huge piles of garbage along the streets in some neighborhoods.

We visited the Rodin Museum (more on that in a future post), on Sunday had lunch with dear friends, and afterwards took a long, leisurely stroll through the streets of Paris.

Musée Rodin

We became friends with Pascal, Florence, and their darling son, about five years ago when Pascal and I worked at the same company in Seattle. Even with the age difference (we’re the same age as their parents) we became good friends and for several years we would get together once a month, along with other friends, for Sunday lunch, a long standing tradition in France, which we adopted many years ago. They moved back to France at the beginning of COVID, and now that we live here too, it’s even easier to keep in touch.

Sunday lunch at our place in Mukilteo, a few years ago.

So all in all, except for my camera malfunction, it was a great getaway where we enjoyed sun, warmth, food, and best of all, time with friends.

All the best,


32 thoughts on “Faro, Portugal, Part II

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  1. Oh no, camera malfunctions are the worst! I hate feeling like I can’t capture a moment that I want to. The picture from your phone though are really lovely. That food looks amazing and is making my mouth water. I’m really glad to know that the protests in Paris are not as wild as they are being made out to be in the media. We’re starting to make plans to rebook our trip there this fall but there has been some hesitation about it. I have loved following along on your visit to Faro 🙂

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  2. Rio Formosa looks unmissable, Tricia. This is definitely on our list now. Flamingos! How awful about the camera mess up, I’d have been inconsolable. Though I think the phone photos aren’t too bad. Quarteira looks gorgeous too and, oh lord, that food!!!! We don’t eat meat that much these days but when we do it feels like such a treat. I’m sure I would slip into a food coma after that sausage. What a way to pass out 😉 Paris…. the garbage situation is pretty bad and protests… ugh. I recently saw some heavy protests while I was in Athens and they literally kept me awake until 3 in the morning. It’s understandable though.

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    1. Yeah, I was pretty upset about my photos, damn. It’s a perfect location to rest and relax, particularly in the off season. I forgot to mention how affordable it is too; we had a beautiful new, one bedroom apartment for just €750 for one week. I’m not much of a meat eater either, but the seafood was delicious. That’s unfortunate about the situation in Athens. I understand the situation here in France; c’est difficule. Thanks Leighton, for your comments.

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  3. While you may have had a camera malfunction (same gremlin that attacked Terry’s pen…?!) and lost some photos, but based the gorgeous ones in this post you didn’t lose all the best ones. Loved the water shots–some are SO artistic. And the cafe and tavern and food shots. Wow. (Wow also to the Paris garbage shots which are also strangely artistic!) It’s wonderful you recently spent some time in Paris with ‘old’ French friends from Seattle. The last picture on your blog surprised us with familiar faces. Friendships are a gift, aren’t they….!

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  4. What a beautiful spot! Beaches, birdwatching, and that food! Looks so delicious and the flaming sausage is something that I don’t think I’ve seen before either.

    I love Paris. Too bad about all the garbage, but the rising retirement age is something that many countries are confronting. Great that you have a friendship with someone much younger. My husband and I also have a friend who’s young enough to be our son. Loved your post and your pictures aren’t as bad as you think. 🙂 Cheers.

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    1. Faro is so lovely; we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. It feels surreal to be able to visit Paris so frequently. We never feel rushed to see all the highlights since we can easily visit again. Thank you for your kind words; the camera malfunction was a huge disappointment. Take care!


  5. You take the best photographs of food, Tricia. They make me want to eat everything I see! And what a delicious French-style lunch you and The Travel Sketcher created when Tim and I visited Mulkilteo. I miss those days…

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  6. Wow Tricia, you are not wrong when you say you had delicious meals! Your food looks absolutely delicious! Sorry about the camera, but you definitely made up for it with the rest of your photos – you captured so much beautiful detail! And I even see Terry has his “own” cafe 😉.

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  7. I love your photos from Ria Formosa – it is such a beautiful and fertile breeding ground for many coastal birds. I would love to visit Algarve’s lagoons and wetland systems to see flamingos. From what I’ve heard, if you fly into Faro Airport, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the lagoon from a plane window, how amazing is that? I am sorry to hear about your camera malfunction; things can often go wrong when we travel, but the camera and all the precious memories that might have been captured always sting. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get a chance to visit someday, it’s a lovely place. Yes, you can see a lot from the plane; I was glued to the window. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comments. I hope you have a good weekend!


  8. Faro is one place I haven’t been to in Portugal, but wow, what a stunner! That coastline is the stuff dreams are made of, and I wouldn’t mind biting into some of that fresh seafood you had! One of these days, I’ll have to go back! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  9. It’s great to see such a variety of bird-watching tours available in Portugal! We went with Formosamar and learned about some of the most interesting species of birds in the area, including flamingos and seahorses. It’s definitely a must-do destination if you’re in the area!

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  10. This makes me wish I had spent more time in Faro because I feel like I definitely didn’t spend enough time there! It’s great that you got to stay in Paris for a bit, and I love the Rodin museum, so I hope you loved it too! Looking forward to reading about it!

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      1. In our work, we regularly nurse sea turtles eggs until they hatch and release them back into the ocean. This is why I am fascinated by sea horses, too. Would be really cool to come across them one day.

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