Seven Steps To Heaven In The Algarve

ON THE BEACHES STARING AT THE PEACHES

  • The beach of Dona Ana, near to Lagos, has clear water, stupendous cliffs, made up of real picture postcard stuff. 160m long there is the opportunity to snorkel to see the fauna and flora. It should be noted the chilly waters take a bit to get used to.
  • For Praia do Camilo take an inland boat trip to view the amazing rock formations or an excursion to the caves and grottoes that have been formed naturally.
  • In Portimão is Praia do Vau, again with epic views of astounding cliff faces and with quite a night life too. Rock pools will keep the kids amused for hours and they can explore secret caves full of mystery and magic. And dine out at Vau Steakhouse, Jacaranda Restaurante & Bar, or O Rebelo.

DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY AT ALBUFEIRA

  • In for me, in for me, in for me, Albufeira has its infamy as the party centre of the Algarve. At its heart is The Strip in the Montechero part of town where the clubs and bard line up in competition for revellers. The place is rammed with rowdy celebrants downing drinks like there was no tomorrow (in reality a hangover at their hotel!) There are a plethora of locations to sup at including:
  • Matt’s Bar, Wild & Co. or Sunset on the Strip.
  • And when closing time comes it is on to the many nightclubs such as Club Heaven, Club Vida and Liberto’s “Lounge Club”.
  • Things are a tad slower in Old Town so if you are worried you cannot take the pace venture there.

A DAY TRIP TO FERRAGUDO AND CARVOEIRO

  • Following a cliff walk at Algar Seco you can take Carvoeiro’s Land Train to nearby town of Ferragudo. This allows a tour of the coast then a few hours in Ferragudo.
  • After exploring the coastal cliffs of Algar Seco, S and I decided that we wanted to explore further afoot and so we hopped on Carvoeiro’s Land Train to see what lay waiting for us in the nearby town of Ferragudo.
  • Here you can take kayaks, a catamaran or a private boat to Benagil Caves (see below).
  • There are also pottery shops to discover and some serious wine tasting too.

Dine Out at Carvoeiro

  • There are at least five Asian and Indian restaurants to sample including.
  • Gurkha Kitchen, Paradise Indian Restaurant, Pashmina, and Haweli.
  • Or there is Pistache Pizza & Pasta, Le Cro Portugal with Mediterranean fayre and Fabrica Velha for a local dish.
  • Seafood can be found at Restaurante Jardim do Farol and Jota Lita Restaurant.

BENAGIL CAVES

Cave of Benagil (Gruta de Benagil) is an incredible rock formation, sometimes dubbed the area’s Cathedral due to its splendid arches. Inside it feels palatial with its wondrous spirals in orange, yellow and white, a real work of art by Mother Nature herself.

SURF’S UP IN ALGARVE

  • From southeastern Faro to southwestern Arrifana you will find a variety of opportunity to find a surfer’s paradise.
  • One such is Arrifana Beach on the western Sagres & Vicentina coast.
  • Or stay in Lagos and take a daily trip to Amado Beach which has great surfing conditions all year round.
  • Castelejo Beachis ideally remote, some 12km north of Sagres and an ideal spot for beginner’s to gain confidence riding the westfacing waves.
  • While intermediate and advanced surfers may prefer Beliche Beach north of Sagres best before and after summer.
  • The winter swells at Tonel near Sagres Town Centre are to be seen to be believed with the convenience of the bars and restaurants just a stone’s throw away.
  • To the east of Sagres Zavial provides small swells ideal for beginners and intermediates plus just being able to chill out with a laid back swim when the waves die down.

THE ROCK FORMATIONS OF PONTA DA PIEDADE

Paradisical natural beauty is to be found in Ponta da Piedade with rocks formed by thousands of years of erosion. The rocks are so artful they have been named by local fishermen:

  • The elephant
  • The kissing couple
  • Camel head
  • The submarine
  • The cathedral
  • The kitchen
  • The chimney
  • The sphinx

These can best be explored by kayaking allowing you to follow your fancy as the almost hallucinatory shapes appear one by one.

SAGRES – THE END OF THE WORLD

Go southwest as far as the car will take you and you will find Sagres looking out to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean as far as the eye can see. The waters here are a tad below what you would really hope for so pack a wet suit if you want to avoid the chill.

Faro airport to Sagres is approximately 90 minutes in your rented car which will also allow you to explore nearby towns too. If staying at the Pousada de Sagres hotel you will find:

  • Praia De Mareta your local beach, most peaceful at sunrise for a yogic meditation or early bird quaff of Sagres beer.
  • Praia De Martinhal boasts lilly-white sand and the most sublime combination of turquoise and blue clear waters. Windsurfing is popular but so is just laying out soaking up the rays for days at a time.
  • Praia Do Tonel is top notch territory for surfers but a tad windy for setting up on the beach.
  • Praia De Beliche is simply stunning and superb for leisurely loafing.
  • Telheiro Do Infante – seafood for taking in the sunset highly recommended.
  • A Tasca – Looking out over Porto da Baleeira the food is traditional Portuguese.