And we’re onto the final part of my road trip down the beautiful coast of Algarve that proved to be just as beautiful as expected. On the last post I told you about the first couple of stops around Lagos, where the sun was heating up the beaches, the tourists were still a mirage and the sea breeze was just a bliss.
About 40 minutes by car from Praia da Dona Ana, Lagos, there’s Albufeira, which if you’ve ever googled “Algarve” or “Portugal beaches” you have probably seen and read about it numerous times.
Insider Tip (sounds good, right?): Remember to set your GPS to avoid toll roads if you’d rather enjoy the less travelled road and spend that money on a 2Kg bag of fresh oranges sold by the local farmers on little stands on the side of the road. Some even sell strawberries, and for just €1,50 I think it’d be a crime not to buy some!
Unlike all the pictures you might have already seen, I’m here to show you what the beaches of Albufeira look like in the middle of winter. Pretty empty, right?
But for as empty and quiet the beach was, I didn’t mind it at all. Walking along the town’s beachfront while the sun is going down and just a few tourists and locals are enjoying a casual beer, the ambiance was all but disappointing. I could have stayed there, sitting on a bench with the few grandpas just relaxing and enjoying the sweet view until the sun disappeared.
One of the things I found interesting was the fact that most cafes advertise English breakfasts and Sunday roasts more than their own delicacies. It makes sense when you realize that Albufeira is very popular among the Brits as a holiday and retirement destination, but I still find it sad that people travel hundreds or even thousands of kilometers for a casual getaway and won’t even try the local cuisine. Be adventurous! You can have all the pasta and gravy you want when you get home!
Yep, I get very passionate about it as you can tell…food is just that important to me! – said she, while indulging on bananas and a peanut butter tub larger than her head. Because #YOLO, that’s why.
Anyway, back to Algarve. As the sun began to leave the party, it was time to hit the road once again and head straight to Benagil. You might or might not have seen the picture of a beautiful cave going around Pinterest and Instagram that looks like this:
That cave is indeed in Benagil. So the idea was to enjoy the sunset on the beach inside the cave and shoot away dozens of pictures until I got a decent one and the sun disappeared. That plan failed. Turns out, you can only access that cave by boat, after you pay the owner of the boat/tour guide his €17. Considering there were no more tours on that day and the sky was already turning pink, a couple of pictures on the little beach had to satisfy my broken heart.
Unable to give up on that place, a little tour around the hills and cliffs on the side was in order.
The surprise was far from disappointing, as Portugal gifted us with another incredible spot to observe another stunning sunset. I mean, look at that place and that hidden beach. Look at those colours!
Algarve is full of surprises hidden behind every other corner. From unusual and beautiful landscapes to cheap as chips juicy fruits, you will find it hard not to love it. And what a better way to discover it than embarking in a long and sweet road trip all around it?
Now tell me, have you ever been to Portugal or Algarve in specific? What was your favourite place?