Jo’s Monday walk : Praia de Faro

Now that summer’s over, it’s the perfect time to incorporate a beach into a walk, and I know just the one. Praia de Faro sits right alongside the airport, and as you land and taxi down the runway you will already have glimpsed this stretch of golden sand. Not much of a recommendation, I expect you’re thinking. But Praia de Faro has a laidback charm all its own. You reach it via a narrow causeway, on which traffic lights operate. Beware you don’t get stuck there! I recall an infamous afternoon on which we were collecting our daughter from the airport. We seemed to have lots of time in hand and I suggested a stroll on the beach first. Alas, I wasn’t the only one to have this thought. On Sunday teatime you are almost guaranteed to queue, and there is no easy escape route. By the time we made it onto the island we had to about face and join the queue to come back. My highly exasperated husband was unamused, and I was merely thankful we made it to the airport in time…just!

But don’t let this put you off. The walk I’m suggesting doesn’t require you to drive across the causeway. There is a car park before you approach the causeway, and opposite this a walking and cycle path which takes you through the salt marshes.

Proximity to the airport does, of course, mean that you can count aircraft along the way. The particular Monday on which I did this walk was in the half term holiday, soon after flight restrictions to the UK had eased. The resulting air traffic was considerable.

But it didn’t seem to perturb the waders in the least. Their focus was solely directed at the food content of the saline waters. I couldn’t help but think that the smart new bird hide was wasted effort, but it obviously complimented the extensive new boardwalk.

I had to smile at the bird keeping lookout atop the post, and his companion chameleon, but the signboards gave useful pointers as to which birds you might expect to see. In the background, the footbridge which crosses the lagoon, to access the beach.

For the moment we’ll ignore it, but if you wanted a shorter walk then this is the route to take. The footpath continues on past the golf course, bypassing the exclusive Vale de Lobo resort with its private lake and imported beach.

There is no restriction, however, on the surrounding beauty and you can pause here for as long as you like to observe the pecking and poking of the waterfowl. The path continues on for some distance around the coast, but we chose to turn inland through the landscaped gardens and unaffordable villas to rejoin the footpath and return to the bridge. Time to investigate the beach.

You can, in fact, walk the length of the beach until you find a restaurant that appeals, or spread a towel and watch the Atlantic pound to shore. It’s more boisterous here than the sheltered eastern shoreline. The damp, compacted sand is easy enough to walk on but the beach slopes away and can become hard work. The boardwalk will lead you into the heart of the community. Simple shacks with wellies by the door, each with a barbecue and many with a scooter. It’s a long ‘island’ and errands are frequently conducted this way, a bag of buns balanced on the handlebars. As the sea sparkles beneath the blue sky you can see the idyll, but the reality is much harsher. Making a living from the sea is seldom easy. Meanwhile, aircraft lower their wheels for landing as small boats zip across the water.

My fondest memory of Praia de Faro is sitting at that beachfront restaurant, while my son smiled lazily back at me. It was his last day here and I was happy to be able to grant his wish to sit beside the sea, beer in hand, and ‘chill’. But we must return to the start of our walk, crossing over the causeway on foot and along the boardwalk to our car.

The airport bus, from Faro, can also bring you out to the beach, or you can spend a pleasant afternoon ‘birding’ by the shore.

walking logo

Also in seaside mode, Sarah shares a birthday jaunt to Lyme Regis :

Gallery : not just any day!

While freedom beckons Teresa, at long last! Don’t miss walking that ‘extra’ mile with her :

Last Sunday

Walking the Royal Mile

Drake has a long-standing love affair with Paris :

Autumn the Parisian way

Self-selling neighbourhood

Nothing beats a good garden, and there’s nobody better to show you around than Jude :

Garden Portrait: Hestercombe Landscape Garden Walk

You will be blown away by this one. I was! Thanks, darlin’ :

Garden Portrait: Hestercombe Edwardian Formal Garden

Take a look at the Thames Barrier with Margaret? And a ‘not quite’ sunrise :

Just one day along the Thames

A walk in the grey dawn

What does Verona mean to you? For me it’s Dire Straits ‘Romeo and Juliet’, played hauntingly as we walked the streets :

Italy: Bella Verona

Say a wistful farewell to Autumn with Ann-Christine

Thursday Thoughts – The last forest beauty

Or wander the canal paths with Helen :

Wiltshire Walks: Pewsey Wharf

Thanks for all your kind wishes. The family are almost back to good health. Time to start making plans? Apologies for my somewhat haphazard approach to blogging these days. The walks are fortnightly and anything else happens when I can squeeze it in. I do, though, visit you all frequently. Take good care till the next time.

94 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Praia de Faro

  1. This looks a beautiful spot for a walk Jo despite the proximity of the airport! Boardwalks are always a good idea – it’s lovely to be able to get so close to the wildlife in their natural habitat. I always love the change from summer to autumn here -it’s my favoruite time of the year! We’ve suddenly gone from an unusually cold and wet start to spring band into summer in the space of a few days. I’m still adjusting but mustn’t complain! xx

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      • I actually like winter walks here Jo (unlike many Perthlings who hibernate!). I love winter clothes, jackets, beanies, scarves and boots so I just rug up. I guess being brought up in Europe and visiting regularly until the pandemic hit means I’m used to colder weather. It’s invigorating as long as you’re well wrapped up. The gales and storms do howl in from the south west in the winter months. Hope you had a lovely walk with your friends xx

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  3. I so enjoyed this walk today, Jo, thank you. The numerous waders and big expanse of marsh makes this a wonderful place to observe birds. Thanks for taking us along, and I am happy your family members are recovering. Gorgeous photos, brilliant colors, and a good rendering of what’s here.

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    • It’s a wonderful part of the world for bird spotting, Jet. Almost always flamingos, heron, egrets… And many more that I’m not knowledgeable enough to name. It’s a fabulous backdrop and after a while you hardly notice the planes. Many thanks to you!

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  4. Jo, what a lovely place for an airport and for an outing! I love that you could satisfy your son’s requests – bet he was relaxed and chilled as he boarded the plane! Phew, glad you made it on time for your daughter’s flight. I love seeing the ocean, beach, blue skies and a place I’d like to visit sometime. It must be strange to see so many planes again – still a heady sight for us. Thirty miles from the airport we used to see many a day still only one or two! I’m sorry to see your family have not been well and glad things are looking better. hugs xx

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    • It was a full day, that last one with James, Annika. We carried on from there to a friend’s house for a get together and then supper in Tavira. He was flying next morning and determined to make the most of every last minute. They are all well again, thanks, and back to house hunting and Christmas shopping! We have the very briefest of visits planned at Christmas. Thanks, darlin, and hugs back to you.

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    • Emma, I almost stood on a real one (chameleon) recently. It was disguised in brown stripes and had me well fooled. Just back from a wonderful hill walk this morning, but driving down again the heavens opened. Much needed, but torrential πŸ€—β˜”πŸ’•

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  5. That hide has been there a long time, and you’d be right in your comment about it. Such a daft position when there are no fences either side of it to shield the path from the birds!! We’ve never used it as the best birding spots are elsewhere, still looks good πŸ™‚

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  6. Excellent work, really pearls on string. Starts already with the bike waiting disappointingly because it may not get in the water. The aircrafts “without” runway. The bird that “wonders” looking at its own reflection in the shallow water – etc etc. πŸ™‚

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  8. I would love to take that walk! Surrounded by such lovely blue and sunshine–a perfect day! I haven’t been to too many seaside restaurants since last year, and I’m sure looking forward to a return. Until then, beautiful photos do stir my imagination! πŸ™‚

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  9. Spectacular walk, Jo. A little bit of something for everyone. I love coastal areas where there’s a good beach with water behind it, where it’s great for the birds. There’s a beach park here, Kekaha Kai, that’s under the airport approach, but the aircraft just become part of the scenery after a while.

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    • Whenever we approach the airport I look wistfully at the turn off for Praia de Faro, Carol. It’s such an appealing stretch of road. We did once make it down there when we had a flight delay due to snow and ice in the UK. Hopefully that won’t happen this Christmas.

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  10. Hi Jo, a little late, but I’m walking with you today! I must say, your pictures remind me so much of places I’ve seen and visited in San Diego, California, where I grew up and visit often. One of your gallery shots looked just like Southern California! Probably a similar latitude. Your sunny beach walk was refreshing on this cold blustery day here in Washington. Here is my link to the walk. Thank you and have a wonderful week! https://secondwindleisure.com/2021/11/14/sunday-stills-leaves-have-fallen-from-the-trees/

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  11. Pingback: Sunday Stills: #Leaves have Fallen from the #Trees – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

  12. A lovely walk Jo, it was nice to tag along πŸ™‚ Great photos too and impossible to choose a favourite. My recent walk did have blue skies but unfortunately not a beach in sight 😦

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  13. Oooh, most excellent! You’ve got a planespotting beach!! If you read my recent airport post, you know how much I love doing it. I’d be kept nicely busy there with the planes alone! And how cool that the little birds are not afraid of the big birds. And that chameleon? Just for show or you really have them there?

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    • Always playing catch up, Margaret. I have at least 3 walks that need sharing before the season turns. But then, apart from roast chestnut vendors and cooler evenings, not much changes. Glad to share in your dreich! Have a great week, whatever!

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