Splurging in natural beauty, the Algarve coast in Portugal sees millions of tourists every year! The rugged coastline showcasing incredible rock formations that meet spectacular beaches, some that you can only reach by boat, kayak or paddle board. Millions of years of rough waves smashing towards the eroding limestone has created uncountable caves along the sun kissed coast. The Algarve coast is a popular winter retreat for the elderly from colder European countries, while young surfers hunt the waves in their camper vans all year round. Let’s look at 5 spots NOT to miss in the Algarve.
Ponta da Piedade
Just out of Lagos, you’ll find one of the most spectacular cliff formations on the entire Algarve coast in Portugal. Ponta da Piedade is a popular tourist spot which usually fills up, especially in the summer months. It only takes a moment to see why. The rugged cliffs stand out, towering over the Atlantic Ocean and creating massive arches. Here you can get a boat ride with local fisher men who will point out different rock formations that look like animals or famous monuments.
Pro tip: Get there early in the morning or at sunset to avoid the crowds. In the winter months it’s less crowded.
Carvoeiro is a cute little village east of Lagos. Here you will find shops and restaurant for all likings. You can also take a stroll along the Carvoeiro boardwalk that stretches all the way to Algar Seco, another impressive natural point where you can go swimming in a natural pool. Make sure you look up for the strong current beneath the surface! The more adventurous can even do the Seven Hanging Valleys trail that goes along the cliffs and ends at Praia da Marinha.
Praia da Marinha
Praia da Marinha has been nominated one of the best beaches in the world multiple times. The golden beach is spotted by limestone cliffs and is an incredible beach to chill at. You have to walk down a 10-minute walkway before you reach the beach that is equipped with a beach bar that sells some food and drinks and has a toilet.
Pro tip: Once you get down to the beach, walk through the tunnel to your left and you will find a beautiful, tiny, hidden beach.
Benagil Cave is the most famous on the Algarve Coast, and the one you will see on all postcards and tourist banners in Portugal. With a large hole in the cave ceiling letting the sunlight through to the paradisiac beach inside, this is a true natural wonder. This cave is only reached from the ocean. Only a few meters away from Benagil beach, you can easily get there by kayak or stand-up paddle board. It is not recommended to swim because the current can get nasty. The best time of day is to go there early in the morning, though the kayak rental places usually don’t open until 9. There are also boat tours that takes you to several caves, including the Benagil Cave, but you are not allowed to get off the boat, thus you cannot enter the cave.
Lagos is the largest town in the west side of the Algarve and has its own vibe. Here you will find some of the most beautiful beaches on the coast. It is a good place to stay while visiting the above places. The vibrant town is full of restaurants and bars, while still maintaining a chill atmosphere. For the adventurer, there are surfing classes and scuba diving that can be organized from Lagos.