Boasting some of Europe’s best beaches the Algarve Region of Portugal was on my list of must see places. After reading about the area’s amazing cave formations, crystal blue waters and year-round perfect weather this was the leg of our Portugal trip I was most excited for. The boys and I love to swim and Tim loves all things ocean, so a win for everyone.
Hitting It Out Of The park
the Algar Seco rock formations were located just steps from the resort where we were staying. There is an elevated cliff walk and upon further exploration we discovered that there are also stairways and paths which have been carved directly into the rocks.
At first my internal mom voice was absolutely freaking out. Okay, who was I kidding, it wasn’t just internal, but I begrudgingly let Tim take Simon to check it out. Elliot and I waited close to the stairs and enjoyed the view. I must have told him to sit down about 1000 times!
After a while Tim came back and reported that it would be safe for Elliot and I to go a little further. By this time the incredible beauty of the place coupled with the knowledge that this was a once in a lifetime experience won out over my fears. It didn’t hurt that an older couple complete with poodle appeared in the doorway a moment later! If it was safe for them it was safe for us, right?
We had arrived just before sunset and the timing couldn’t have been better! I wish I could describe to you the way it felt standing there on those rocks at the edge of the Atlantic as the sun was setting. Breathtaking, amazing, and spectacular are just a few of the words which came to mind.
Feeling Out Of This World…
The Restaurante Boneca Bar, nestled right into the side of the Algar Seco rock formation, has an almost otherworldly feel. The area’s beautiful weather lends itself to this being an all outdoor restaurant with 5 star views. We liked it so much we went back for lunch the next day.
At the edge of the restaurant’s terrace there are steps which lead down to a small passageway. At the end there is a tiny cave with “windows” which look out onto the ocean and there are benches carved into the walls making this a lovely little spot to watch the sun go down or steal a moment.
The Algar Seco Parque Resort
The Algarve is a very popular tourist destination and finding somewhere to stay off the beaten path was difficult. We found some of what we were looking for in Carvoeiro, a smaller town located between Lagos and Faro.
We choose the Algar Seco Parque resort, which was located just across the street from those spectacular cliffs I mentioned above and within walking distance to many beaches and restaurants. The accommodations were great, very affordable and we would definitely stay there again.
Praia da Marinha
First on my list was a beach that the Michelin Guide listed as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Europe and as one of the one hundred most beautiful beaches in the world. Not only that, it’s on just about every other beach list too.
It did not disappoint. The Praia da Marinha was stunning, and the entire time we were there I kept thinking how amazing it was and that this couldn’t be real. There were high winds and surf that day, so swimming wasn’t permitted, but we relaxed on the sand, dipped our toes in the surf and took many photos.
The tide was coming in, so after a light snack at the beach bar we went on a portion of The Seven Hanging Valleys Walk, a signposted trail high above the beaches. Again the views are so stunning it was a pinch me is this real moment.
PRAIA DOS PESCADORES
Located 30 minutes down the road in Albufeira we arrived at Praia Dos Pescadores just in time for another jaw dropping sunset. The town of Albufeira is extremely touristy and after a quick look around we decided to head back to Carvoeiro for dinner.
Benagil Sea Cave
Unfortunately the same high winds that prevented swimming also foiled my plans to see the famous Benagil Sea Cave. I won’t lie, I was pretty disappointed, but part of traveling is understanding that things might not always work out exactly as planned. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
The Super Moon Eclipse
Prior to the trip I purchased a long range lens and a tripod with the hopes of taking a few night photos. The Super Moon Eclipse was the perfect excuse! Although we had to set our alarm for a brutal 2:00 am, the clear star filled skies, remote location and the company of my son made for excellent viewing and a very worthwhile experience!
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