Portugal, Day 7: The Algarve

In spite of a fair amount of driving, it was a slow down kind of day.

The Algarve is full of beautiful sights, and if you tried to jam them all in for the sake of it, you’d kind of be missing the point. Even though it’s March, and the water was too cold to jump into and enjoy, the sand, sun and sights still make for several beautiful ways to take in your day.

We woke up in Sagres and grabbed ourselves some breakfast at the Espresso shop before checking out the beach in the middle of town, the first of several that featured massive cliffs jutting up to either side and some of the most unspoiled sand I’ve come across. The tides were pretty rough, perfect for surfers, maybe not so much for swimmers, compounded by the fact that the water itself didn’t come anywhere close to the 21 C air temperature. Still, nice stroll before we headed to the first “sight” of the day.

Cape Saint Vincent represents the southwesternmost point of Portugal and Western Europe and makes for a great place to put a lighthouse. This was our first real chance to see how far the blue waters of the Algarve stretched, as well as see some of the caves that seem to be cut out of the rocks. You’re literally coming to have a look at the lighthouse, but the views are great.

From here, we drove to the nearby Praia do Beliche, once more filled with surfers and SUP riders taking in the waves, but also more people chilling near the beach, with a couple of brave souls venturing in to the (still cold) water. There are lots of beautiful caves and small arches further back of the tide here, making for some neat hiding places where you can tuck yourself away, and more beautiful beach walking.

From here, we decided we wanted to start making our way towards our final destination for the day, Albufeira, but wanted to make one more scenic stop for the day. We picked a doozy with Lagos’ Ponta de Piedade, a series of rock formations and arches right off the coast that invite exploration, boat tours and photography. More blue water, big waves and beautiful rocks to end off the sightseeing portion of the day.

Albufeira itself is more of a resort town, but it’s down season, so that meant a cheap hotel room at a nice resort and drinks by a freezing-cold pool instead of a freezing-cold ocean. With the trip drawing to a close tomorrow, not a bad way to end things off.

Tomorrow, a drive back to Lisbon, a couple of stops, and then back to reality.

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