Escape To Algarve PART 2
We're heading back to Portugal with Maïlys from Wanderlust Mango for the second part of her trip through Algarve. This time she is taking us South to experience some amazing views from of the cliff, the city life, a beautiful fishing port and more.
With our minds fully fueled with inspiration from the wild West Coast, it was time to move to the more touristic, yet no less beautiful, side of the Algarve.
From Sagres, we drove 30 kilometers southeast to explore Lagos, a popular tourist destination. We found a pretty cute town and an abundance of glorious beaches. The people there were very welcoming and always ready to help you find your way. We spent the afternoon walking around the charming, historic center of town, which has retained its unique character over the centuries.
Lagos is a perfect mix of traditional Portuguese culture and a range of heavenly beaches. Additionally, in the Lagos region you can choose any physical activity of any description. Be it jet skiing, paddleboarding, sailing, surfing, hiking trails and hitting the water parks, it really is an adventure playground.
The next morning we woke up very early, excited as kids on Christmas about the prospect of discovering the Ponta da Piedade, or The Point of Piety.
Ponta da Piedade is a series of high and colorful sandstone cliffs and rocks in the ocean. It’s definitely a must see in Lagos. While you can view this beautiful natural gift from the cliff top, we decided to explore it further by walking down the cliff to try to find hidden caves.
When we reached the very bottom we found a small group of old men with welcoming smiles on their faces. After a five-minute chat, one of them took us on his boat and showed us the many secret grottos and caves. He told us so many good stories as we sailed on the clear, turquoise water. The views were just stunning and I have no words to describe the feelings I had on that short, but memorable, journey. We totally switched off our minds to all but the stories being told and the outstanding natural scenery. Mother Nature is one big powerful Mama!
Unfortunately every great experience has to come to an end so after a 30 minutes sail, it was time for us to say goodbye to our new fisherman friend, Pedro, and hike the cliff trail back. The effort it takes to get back to the top is handsomely rewarded - the seaview is just breathtaking.
We decided to sit and take in the view for a few more minutes. It felt like we were the only humans to have found this amazing spot. We left before the tourist buses arrived. If you yearn to feel that great solitary feeling, I would highly recommend doing your exploring of the cliff before 10am.
Just a few minutes from Ponta de Piedade you will find the Camilo Beach (Praia Don Camilo).
And if you keep going down the hill you will ended up to Ana Beach (Praia Dona Ana).
Unfortunately for us, time was slipping away so we headed back to our car for the next city, Portimão, for a walk. We then got back to cruising under the scorching sun, passing through countless oranges sellers by the side of the road. We decided to stop in Silves, a quiet, inland city. As the region is famous for their citrus fruit, we enjoyed a fresh orange juice in the shade before exploring the traditional streets of the city.
The huge red brick castle and an old, white cathedral dominate the historic city skyline. It’s a fascinating destination for those interested in the early history of the region.
We decided to spend the night in the famous Faro so we could also discover the city life of the Algarve. We stopped at The Woods for a healthy snack and fresh juice on the rooftop with a great view before having a local evening dish in one of the many fantastic restaurants in the city.
The next morning we drove to Faro beach (Praia do Faro), where you will find lots of little beach shelters in which to enjoy your breakfast and soak up even more sun.
10km from Faro is Olhão, the area's biggest fishing port, which has a very attractive waterfront. Since leaving the West Coast this was the place I felt the most relaxed. You can’t stop here without trying one of the fresh fish of the day. Every Saturday morning you will find a typical Portuguese market where you can chat with local farmers about the local products. The opportunity to pick their brain and find the most delicious fresh seafood is priceless.
After one of the best dishes of the road trip we drove through Tavira. Along the way we stopped to discover the famous saltpans. Our trip along the coast ended in Cacela Velha, where we enjoyed our last Portuguese ocean view as we walked around the small blue houses and the white church.
This road trip was a truly special experience and one that I recommend to everybody. I hope you enjoyed traveling with me!
Follow Maïlys on Instagram on @wanderlust_mango