Beauty Which Stops You in Your Tracks – The Coast of The Algarve
Portugal stunned us…it is a country which has so many layers, so many reasons to visit, so much to explore and discover, a travellers dream. Lisbon is a hot destination at the moment, a great city destination, we visited magical Sintra, a fairy tale town in the hills to the west of the capital overlooked by a spectacular unique palace and fortress, the rugged wild west Atlantic coast, and the incredible beauty of the beaches and coastline of the Algarve.
So the beaches of the Algarve, Portugal are just holiday maker havens lined with tower block hotels right? That is what a lot of people seem to think…oh boy they are so so wrong! These beaches and the coastline are some of the most beautiful in the world…the most beautiful I have ever seen. Such stunning views you’ll think your eyes are deceiving you, dotted with caves, coves, hidden beaches, this coastline is an awesome work of art, something which only mother nature could create.
Hiring a car is the best way to get around this area of Portugal unless you’ve got a longer period in the area then exploring under your own steam maybe by pedal power would be a fantastic way of taking it all in. We spent a day exploring the coast of the Lagoa region on the south of The Algarve west of Albufeira. Our base for our time in The Algavre was Lagos, a pretty little walled fishing town with its own marina, it was perfect for exploring this amazing area.
We started by heading to Benagil, we were desperate to explore the caves here, Benagil cave is spectacular, accessible only by sea check out Instagram for some incredible pictures of this huge cave with a gaping hole in the roof looking up at the sky. Unfortunately for us the conditions at sea were too rough to make the trip but you can book a tour through TripAdvisor here. Even though we couldn’t head into the caves the views from the coastal path looking out from the cliffs are breathtaking.
There is a great coastal path here along the top of the cliffs and from Benagil we went east to Praia de Corredoura. The hidden beach here was totally cut off by the sea, sea birds were the only sunbathers here!
As we passed round the coast looking back there were some amazing views of the sea caves and waves crashing against the cliffs. It’s a dramatic coastline and one of those places where you just want to see what the view is like round that one last corner…a walk here takes longer than you might think due to this!
As well as walks taking longer…make sure you have plenty of space left on your memory card…I could not stop taking photographs here, round every corner there was another cove, another cave, another dramatic scene waves crashing against the limestone, the scenery here is jaw dropping. Since I’ve been posting pictures on Instagram of the views I’ve had many comments from people telling me how the scenery reminds them of the Great Ocean Road, Australia!
After exploring this area we stopped for a drink at a little beach bar at Praia De Benagil, just behind the beach, they were busy cooking up fresh sea food…not many better settings!
We then moved on a little further east and parked at Praia da Marinha…this is a beach with real wow factor…had we been suddenly transported to Thailand? This is a special place, a beach littered with standing rocks, huge lumps of limestone rising from the ocean, natural bridges leaning out onto the beach, boulders from rock falls…WOW!
There’s a time and a place for lying on a sun lounger on a beach with other people, beach bars, water sports, music and entertainment…and it can be great fun…I love Nissi Beach in Cyprus for example…but there is something special about places like this. The view from the top was not enough here, we had to climb down and relax on this golden sand and just let where we were sink in!
There is a fairly easy staircase from the car park at the top of the beach which leads you down, there is a little beach bar there at the foot of the stairs which wasn’t open yet when we visited. I imagine that still during peak seasons this beach could become a little crowded, we visited in mid April and the weather was a little hit and miss still in the mid 20’s…but head out in May-June or Mid September then you should be more lucky with the weather and conditions and still avoid the main rush of holiday makers during the school holidays.
This may have been the most spectacular snooze I have ever had! What a place to recharge the batteries! We eventually dragged ourselves away from this incredible place and headed back up to the tp of the cliffs and went for another short stroll along the top of the cliffs west two Praia da Mesquita. This is where the picture at the top of the post was taken of the double limestone archway jutting out into the ocean.
In calmer conditions you are able to take boat rides, kayak and paddle board around this beauty. We had a trip arranged with Algarve SUP (stand up paddle boarding) and Nick who owns the company was really helpful in arranging the trip, you can book through their website by clicking the link.
I think it will take a long time for me to find a coastline as dramatic as this!
Flights to Faro in The Algarve, Portugal are so affordable from the UK. Both Easyjet and Ryanair fly there, we flew with Ryanair from Birmingham Airport for under £100 per person return with our seats selected but no checked luggage. Very often you can find return flights for even cheaper than this…check out TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Opodo to compare flights.
In the press recently The Algarve has been named as the most affordable holiday destination in Europe for families, with beauty this accessible…it’s got to be done!
We stayed at the Tivoli Lagos Hotel…find out more, compare prices and book on TripAdvisor. I’ll be posting about our stay here and our time in Lagos soon. It was a great base to explore the area though with good food and car parking which was convenient as well.
Look out for my upcoming posts about Lagos, Lisbon, Sintra and the wild west Atlantic Coast of Portugal coming soon!
Thanks for reading…Happy Travels!!!