Yours truly just came back from a week with family in Algarve, most precisely from Vilamoura. A place which I found, to be blunt, of pseudo-glamorous landscaped oppression for the nouveaux riche. Most tellingly were the demographics of the place, with a notorious gap from the age of the teenage patrons of expensive clubs to the age of their golf/yachting/casino-going parents. Surely most of the people of my own age/status I met were the attendants in the local commerce. I found myself with not much left to do except for eating icecream while reading newspapers about arson and looting.
My mood improved quite a lot on outings, though. Next to Vilamoura is the ugly and unfashionable Quarteira, but which at least feels like a real place, not like an open air shopping mall. It is a heartwarming and organic relic of 1980s mass tourism — and with an actually nicer beach to boot. I regret not having taken enough photos there. I also recommend a trip to Faro, the region’s capital, which not only is an old place with assorted monuments and whatnot, but also a rather good place to wander around. Photos coming soon.