Review with a Car-less perspective

We had decided to holiday without a car and were looking forward to a week of quiet, stress free living, something that was delivered in abundance.

We arrived by taxi from Faro and initially our Taxi driver found it very difficult to locate the property, however Martin was extremely helpful and after a few wrong turns we arrived safely. Our experience taught us to ask the taxi driver for Bias Football Club and then direct from there.

The walk through the lagoons provided an opportunity to swim in splendid isolation with only the occasional fisherman, birds and fish for company! The lagoon water is warm and clean, be careful as the tide comes in as an ankle deep walk out can quite quickly turn into a near chest high walk/swim back.

After a couple of days we decided to test the local transport – mainly to stock up on essential provisions as the local shops are very basic. The buses into Olhao run hourly and are clean and fast, with fares coming in at less that 4 Euros return. Sticking to buses enabled us to see far more of the local area and was surprisingly easy with Olhao being only a 20 minute ride away with a modern shopping centre and restaurants and bars along the car free beach road. We found getting a taxi back from Olhao a little difficult as there is only one taxi rank but we persevered. Slightly further afield is Faro old town which takes about 40 minutes. Away from the package hotels is the wonderful Faro old town complete with a stunning cathedral. 

The walk across the rail track and down to the nearest town from our accommodation (Fuseta) is a must with wonderful birdlife and quiet isolated tracks. The walk takes about 40 minutes at a gentle pace and the restaurants in Fuseta are more than adequate with the atmosphere in the old town square adding a very local feel to meals. Staying late isn’t a problem as most restaurants will arrange for a taxi back to the property (approx cost of 7 Euros) – the octopus salad and sea bass with red risotto at Restaurante La Plage are our own personal recommendations.

A water taxi from the quayside in Fuseta will take you out to isolated and very clean beaches at a cost of 20 Euros return for two passengers, we avoided the larger local ferry preferring to rely on the friendly water taxi drivers to seek out their own favourite spots – they drop you off and then return at a pre-booked time of your choosing, the sign said open 24 hours however we didn’t test the late night claim. On each occasion the water taxi was waiting for us within 5 minutes of our stated return time.

To be truthful we could’ve simply stayed around the property, swimming, sun bathing and watching the storks and still had a great break -  the private roof terrace was wonderful. Martin and his family were always on hand to answer any questions and bicycles were available to hire. 

The very local shops are basic but will provide; bread, fruit, milk etc. Two local café bars cater for locals and serve beers, coffee and pastries (one is within the petrol station and the other is opposite the pottery shop – both on the main road and within 15 minutes walk).

To ensure that you get the best of a car free stay we would highly recommend that you stock up on essentials on your journey from the airport.  Tea, coffee and food to see you through your first day are the minimum.

Would we visit again without a car? Definitely and would recommend it to others looking for that quiet downtime in great, peaceful surroundings.  However, I think that families with young children would probably struggle without transport.