After an incredible few days in Lisbon we set out for the south of Portugal, our final destination was Carvoeiro, a small town in the Algarve. There are various routes to choose from, but given the chance Tim will always choose the road closest to the ocean. I’m the navigator which makes it my job to research what interesting sights there are along the way. Everyone’s happy!
Though not exactly on the way to our destination, (okay, not even close) I had read about Cape St. Vincent, the Southwest most point of the European continent, a place that was at one time considered to be the end of the world. This seemed like a place worth going out of the way for! We were not disappointed!
Along The Way
Our route took us through the Alentejo region a sparsely populated area that is known for its wine, cork and other agricultural crops. We passed through a number of small towns and were fascinated by the fact that many of the buildings, even the bus stops, were painted white with a blue border. We later learned that this is to ward off evil spirits.
Praia do Beliche
Just before arriving at the Cape we discovered Praia do Beliche, a remote and lovely little beach! The climb down is quite steep, but the perfect sand, fabulous views and tranquil setting make it worth the effort! Standing there looking out on the Atlantic I felt just how far from home we really were.
There is a small bar/restaurant, but I’d suggest bringing your own snacks if you plan to stay awhile. I did notice a few nude sunbathers, but apparently the kids weren’t aware and its pretty much the norm there.
Cape St. Vincent
Standing atop the windswept cliffs of Cape St. Vincent It’s easy to understand how ancient people might have believed they’d come to the end of the world. I spent some time looking around and there is a small museum and a lighthouse, but beyond that there really isn’t anything else, adding to the feeling of what it must have been like to come upon this desolate place in another time. Now this area is a busy shipping lane and the lighthouse is one of the most powerful in Europe. It’s lighting can be seen as far as 60 kilometers away.
These days everyone knows the world isn’t flat, that the sun isn’t boiling the sea each night when it sets and that we won’t fall off the edge if we sail too far, but there was still something so intriguing about road tripping to what was once considered to be The End Of The World!