Cape St. Vincent is a necessary must-stop during your trip through Southern Portugal and the Algarve. The closet town is Sagres (also home to Portugal's most delicious beer, "Sagres"), and you'll probably want to take a car even though there is a bus. Trouble with the bus is that it has set running times which aren't always the most convenient. Anyways, Cape St. Vincent is impressive for one reason: the views. The cliffs are absolutely massive and jut out into the ocean like knives. You can explore the paths curving off the main road at your leisure and encounter all kinds of great view points. As usual, I suggest loading up on some local cheese, chorizo, fruit, and fresh bread at a grocery in Sagres and have your lunch on the edge of the Earth.
Skip the lighthouse. Drink in the sun, waves, and views.
Getting up before the sun requires a lot of willpower but if ever you do in the vicinity of Lagos, in Portugal, you will enjoy one of the best sunrises you´ve ever seen. The red cliffs are highlighted with the orange sun. Leaving the car next to the lighthouse, you can take routes that will let you discover amazing cliffs. You should take appropriate shoes and precautions about where you step, though, so be careful.
The first surprise is that it seems that there is nothing there: the same citrus orchards (with orange trees, I think), the same sunburnt hills ... And some vegetation on the right-hand side. If not for the wooden stairs, like the kind that are placed on beaches and parks, and for the number of parked cars, I could pass by this place completely unaware. The only vegetation is the Ribeira da Asseca, which is what brings the water to the waterfall. Apparently, the rocks through which the water flows are really old, which explains that the brook runs through a sort of miniature canyon, several meters below the level of the surrounding terrain. The fall is not very high, but quite spectacular due to the shape of the rocks, which have been worn down after millions of years of patient erosion. Http :/ / lugaresadescubrir.Blogspot.Com/2009/07/pego-do-inferno.Html
Doña Ana beach (Praia Doña Ana in Portuguese) is, in my opinion, the most picturesque, gorgeous beach in all of Europe. It's about a 20min. walk or 5min. drive from downtown Lagos, and is a little slice of paradise. The sand is a perfect gold and the water emerald green, but the cliffs and rock formations that surround the beach are what really give you a sense of the exotic. It's Atlantic water, not Mediterranean, so it's chilly year-round, but on a nice sunny day in the south of Portugal the water feels great! I recommend heading to Doña Ana early, say 10am, to get a good spot before all the German tourists from the nearby hotel stagger down there. Around 1pm it starts filling up, but you can just grab your things and take a 10 minute walk along the cliff-top path and you're at Pinhao beach, another spectacular beach nestled between the cliffs (and less crowded).
I'm not a lover of the beach because I do not like it, but this particular one has intrigued me. This is the third year that I have visited this beach at Christmas time. We are lucky enough to go there to spend Christmas Eve in one of the resorts on the Algarve through the exchange of a timeshare. Located in the town of Portimao in the Algarve, the adjectives to describe this place are so many that I can think of only one right now: SUBLIME and, given the sunsets, even this has fallen short.
This beach is situated on one end of the city, on a cove which is accessed by a staircase running down the hill. Apparently it is most famous for being part of a tour that departs from the marina of Lagos by boat and shows visitors the beach and many rock formations. As in almost all the Algarve beaches, there are clear waters and clean, white, pristine sand ... Almost like the Caribbean!
Beliche Praia is a beach located in Sagres. I found it by accident and I'm really glad I did. It's not ideal for surfing, which was initially what we were looking for but it is a lovely beach. It's huge, fine sand, and oh the freezing water. You feel like you're in paradise and disconnected from everything. Just find a beach bar! I loved it!
Although I was not able to actually step on the sand, due to its difficult accessibility, I was able to take several photos from the cliff at dawn. The tone attached to the red rocks of the early morning shows me that this is one of the most unique places in the world. Apparently it is best accessed by sea. We will have to try ...
About 15 Km from the apartment along the coastal road we found the turnoff to this miniature village. No one seems to live here. Cacela Velha: 2 or 3 restaurants and a rented house, in a small town of no more than 20 typical Algarve houses that can be found near the apartment. It's perfectly preserved, both in state and in aesthetics. We couldn't stop looking at the landscape. We took a picture and looked at the view on the balcony of the church. In the background, we can just start to see the sand formations that make up hundreds of islands in Ria Formosa that reach almost 100 km beyond the Algarve Coast. Below we can see, the pier Praia de Fabrica: A small but not unsightly parking area, with 4 large homes and 4 fishermen's cottages, next to a restaurant with a decked terrace at the edge of a mini pier. It is flooded or empty depending on the tide. This is the first we found in this place. In the background is an sand island, that can only be reached in a small boat which take you for € 1. For us, this might be the best beach close to our apartment in Vila Real de Santo Antonio.
Tavira Island is an awesome place with miles of pristine beaches, with golden sand dunes and good waves for surfing. Boats leave for Tavira every half hour throughout the day, the last returns at 12. The price is 3 € for a round trip. However, there is no parking for cars. The boat stops at the Ria Formosa, where there is a quiet beach, with trees that provide some shade. If you follow the road, you will see a few fishermen's houses, some shops (souvenir shops and restaurants) and camp sites. Then you get to the beach. What caught our attention was the fact that there is no area for umbrellas and towels. It is very busy when you first walk onto the beach. But if you keep walking, is much quieter, less crowded and you can find people sunbathing nude and fishing. It is a stunning place
I think it's one of the most stunning beaches where you can watch the sunset. It has two parts, one with sand where you can play sports and another more natural offering rocks and cliffs. You have your beachfront bars to eat and drink, I recommend the Mojito ... delicious. They are very clean and not overcrowded. It is one of the most spectacular beaches I have ever visited in Portugal, it has everything, quiet areas with sand like flour, and areas between the rocks and nature, beach front and and luxury bars, but the best thing are the stunning sunsets that you can enjoy, a must see.
In Tavira, it is as though time stops completely. When you fall asleep on the beach it seems like it´s been hours, when it´s only been 20 minutes. It is a unique place, generally hidden and overpopulated with mosquitoes. Peace and tranquility overcome anyone traveling here.
Although I'd already been to the Praia de Benagil, I didn't get a chance to explore its caves until this past summer. During that trip, I had the chance to explore the "Sistine Chapel of the Algarve." Known locally as "Algar de Benagil," this is a massive coastal cave which hides a sheltered beach. You can only reach it by boat (in our case, we took a tourist boat) or swimming around 150 yards down the coastline. The second I set foot upon the sand and see the sunlight pouring in through the hole in the domed rook is a moment I'll never forget. I couldn't recommend it more. If you're going to visit, try to visit around mid-day when the sun shines through and make sure to go during low tide.
I have the great luck to have visited many beaches along the Algarve coast, and this one beats them all as it is so beautiful and very long. It stretches from the town of Portimao to Lagos (Meia Praia). Once at the beach the You are first overwhelmed to see the rock formation characteristic of this area. Next, you notice the incredible cliffs, and these are even more beautiful when the tide rises and some of the rocks are covered by water with a green color and more to a background of a blue tone. The Alvor beach is characterized by very fine white sand and the longest, along with Praia da Rocha in Portimao, which is about 3 kilometers. You are always relaxed here because there are never too many people. It's a place to enjoy the warm waters that invite you to swim at any time of year.
Algarve in Arabic means "the land where the sun sets" and this place has become a tourist attraction for its beaches and low prices for the Portuguese people as well as foreigners. The boat ride there was the best experience of the whole weekend. Finally, the watery sky gave us a chance to enjoy the sea, the beach and the sea cliffs. We enjoyed the caves created with nothing more than the natural pick and shovel of erosion of the sea's waves, which made us sway on the boat. We joked with the boatman and even forgot that the rain had started on us. You have to go to Lagos and take a ride from the port to the coves and caves , if you don't it would be a crime. Also, if the boatman is sympathetic he'll tell you what each of the rocks look like, and it will be difficult not to let him. The hand of God sometimes seems to play with coincidence.
This is a small village that's in the Portuguese Algarve and just kilometers away from Lagoa. We always go around Christmas time and we have been for the last five years, but I imagine this area of Portugal is insufferable in the summer. Way too hot! However, in winter, it's charming. The other people in the area is known for its cliffs and secluded coves, but if doubt is the beauty of its small beach at sunset. There have undoubtedly been one of the best times of our trips. We were fortunate to attend an impressive and unforgettable sunset that I will try to show in photographs taken in 2005 and 2006. We confirmed our support to pass near here on Christmas Eve 2008.
Just a 5min. walk from the famous Doña Ana Beach you can find the less-crowded but just-as-stunning Camilo Beach. I suggest hitting it up once Doña Ana gets too packed. The sunburnt masses will start heading to Doña Ana around noon, so pick up your stuff and take the cliff-top path to Pinhao Beach.
Pinhao Beach is cleaved in two parts by a cliff jutting out into the middle of it. When the high tide comes it, it reaches the cliff in the middle and basically creates two separate beaches. It's pretty cool to have your own little beach shared with only a handful of others, but be careful because there is no stairwell exit for the second beach, and the water gets knee-to-waist deep getting back around the the first one. There are also lots of boats here that'll take to to visit the famous grottos and Ponta da Piedade (absolutely spectacular) and will run for around 10 euros/person, which is a pretty fair deal.
I'd also recommend just exploring the paths which spider-web around the cliff tops between Ponta de Piedade and Doña Ana Beach. This path offers some of the most spectacular views of the the area, and you'll have them all to yourself. Every 50ft. or so there's a small gorge dropping down to the sea, usually ending in a tiny beach. Some of these have ropes to help you climb down and find your own private beach.
We left the car in a car park in front of the harbor. It was very good, 5 euros for a day and protected from all dangers. We enjoyed a very good experience, we loved the island, it is very quiet, with some restaurants on the port and several houses on the small island, we stayed at the bungalows that are there, and we were on the beach all day, and in the evening we went for dinner and drinks.