I spent 4 days in Algarve and it’s the south western coastal part of Portugal which means it’s sunny and beaches galore. The water is very cold though because it’s the Atlantic Ocean but that just means I have to take dips and enjoy the sun on the warm sand. Traveling in September also means that the crowds are less because summer is technically over and the temperatures are comfortable enough for me to wander around in summer clothing. The only time when it cold is when the wind is blowing and you’re in the shade and in the evenings.
I spent my first day on the western side and I went to 4 beaches. Zambujeira Do Mar is an amazing cliff beach that is just Breathtaking. It looks different when you’re on the beach and when you’re looking at it from the top. The beach is not too crowded and the sand is soft and nice to walk in.
Next, I went to the town of Aljezur. Aljezur has a castle you can climb up to for amazing views. Then you have to drive to the 2 beaches that’s near it. Both are crowded as there are many surf schools for you to learn surfing so it’s like surfers paradise. The waves are not that big so great for learning. It’s pretty crowded when I was there even when it was cloudy! Praia Do Monte Clerigo is the nearer one to the town and it’s crowded with sun tanners and surfers and the sand is powder soft. I didn’t get a chance to head down to the actual beach of Praia de Arrifana as it started to rain when I was there. So I took the view from the car park and left. .
Oh! I had delicious vegetarian food in a cafe called Moagem which is housed in the historic mill of Aljezur and the food was delicious. Aljezur is famous for their sweet potatoes so be sure to try some where you’re there. They’re very sweet, like the Japanese types, but it’s Portuguese 😂
My favourite beach for day 1 was Praia Da Bordeira. It’s near the town of Carrapateira and not the town of Bordeira so don’t turn into the wrong one like me. The beach is famous for being one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal and it’s rather secluded because you have to park on the cliffs, walk across green, walk across shallow waters, walk across a lot of sand before you see the beach. It’s surrounded by cliffs so the view is just stunning! Even on a cloudy day. It’s also a 3km length of continuous beach and the sand is powder soft to walk on. The views as you walk changes so it’s an amazing time just walking to the end and back to the car. You can also hike on the cliffs. The sunset there should be amazing because it’s on the west side. I didn’t stay for the sunset as i had to drive to my BnB in Amancil, near Vale De Lobo which is apparently where Madonna hangs out when she’s here.
Day 2 was spent driving to see rock formations and it was the reason why I came to the Algarve, I saw photos of Capo De Sao Vicente and I know I needed to get there.
I made my stop at Ponte Da Piedade first as it it is a bigger town and thus, more choices for brunch. The rock formation is stunning too, it’s very crowded as a lot of tour buses still come here but it’s easy to see why as it’s so beautiful. You can walk around the surroundings and walking on the rocks feels like having a a foot massage. Follow the signs for the boats down the stairs as the view there is great too. You can also take a boat ride to see the grottos up close for 15 euros. But I didn’t as they prefer groups to single travelers and I didn’t wanna wait.
Lunch I chanced upon a very crowded bakery called Padaria Central in Lagos town so I had their croquettes and their Nata was AMAZING too! It’s a close second to the original in Belem.
From Lagos, follow signs for Sagres and once you’re in Sagres, you will see signs for Capo de S Vicente. When I drove there, I was driving into the clouds. A fellow traveler told me he came 3 hours ago and it was all foggy, so I was lucky I went after lunch as at least the left side was clear. After I walked around the whole area, the fog soon cleared completely and the views are breathtaking. It’s better then what I’ve seen in the photos. I must say it is true my majestic and it’s truly worth the drive. Go there on a sunny day as it’s cold when it’s windy, and you don’t want the fog around such a magnificent wonder of nature.
After seeing all the sea and not being able to dip in it, I headed to Lagoa, specifically for Praia de Marinha, which is voted 1/100 most beautiful beaches in the world. It has rock formations on the beach, it’s turquoise blue and it’s a sandy beach that pretty crowded because it’s so beautiful. You have to walk down quite a lot of steps to get down so bring less things! It’s a sunny beach and not too windy so it’s a wonderful time to spend the late afternoon and the sunset is gorgeous! You can also take the boat to explore the caves. And tip! Wait till low tide, towards the evening and you can walk to the extreme end of the beach to catch all the rocks. You can also snorkel but it was too cold for me to spend that long a time in water without a wet suit.
On my last 2 days in Algarve, I spent a day driving up to the highest point called Foia and then going to the spa nearby in Mochique. Its a Roman bath known for its healing properties. Do book a treatment or just pay 20 euros for the circuit and you can spend time in the indoor pool, steam room and sauna. I had the hydro exfoliation and that felt awesome. The mud treatment has the therapist placing hot mud on you while you just lie there. After that, your muscles feel all relaxed. The damage? About 78 euros and I spent 3 hours there.
I spent the final day visiting the best of algarve for me. I went to Lagos again to eat because I love the Nata and opposite the shop, there is a mariscara which is a seafood specialty place and the seafood is fresh and affordable. Super yum. Closed on Mondays, open for lunch and dinner.
I also managed to find the kayaks that go around Ponte Da Piedade. It’s from Batata beach in Lagos town at the marina. For 30 euros, you spend 2 hours on a kayak and the views are spectacular from below. It’s a guide tour so they pull you back on the speed boat. I was freezing as we went back at 6pm when the sun was setting so Do bring a windbreaker if you can. They give you a dry bag so you can keep it inside. It’s the coolest thing I’ve done so far.
I then tried to catch the sunset at Capo D Sao Vicente as it was in the south west. It was a mistake because the whole place was misty by the one I went. But I had dinner in the nearby town in Bispo and the Seafood was also affordable and delicious. I love the Sole. I wanted to eat Percebes but it was only available 5 days in September. Somehow I have to get the season right as I saw it being sold in Porto in the market last week and then the lady in Lagos told me it’s available in December. Hmmmmm. Good luck sorting that out if you love his dinosaur claw of a shellfish that’s delicious.
Algarve makes the last leg of my European leg! To South America I go. Hello RIO!
Where ever you’re are in the world, wishing you all the luck and blessings.
People say if you see the cactus flower, it’s good luck so here it is.