Where – When – Why ?
Portugal is a beautiful country at the border of the Atlantic Ocean. Its location make is a perfect place to visit all year long.
Country: Portugal / Capital: Lisbon
This is not my first time in Portugal but my first road trip down to the Algarve.
The goal was to visit the beautiful Southern coast of Portugal but also some interesting places on the West coast.
- Santa Luzia
- Lighthouse of Cabo De Sao Vincente
- Zambujeira do Mar
Very nice little town in front of the sea. Typical architecture, good vibes. There are plenty of cute restaurants around. It is possible to take the boat to go to some islands nearby. There are not a lot of tourists so perfect to have a quiet stay in Algarve.
Cute fisherman town in front of the sea, only 30min away from Faro. Its speciality is the octopus. The architecture is typical with white houses and some colorful ones.
From Santa Luzia you can reach Praia do Barril (see section below).
Beautiful white town with a lot of history. There are quite a few nice things to see: a little castle from where you will have a beautiful view of the entire city; several churches, a nice bridge and cute streets.
It is only 30min drive from Faro.
Very cool town in front of the sea.
This place has a lot to offer. So close to amazing beaches and several nice restaurants.
This is a great place to stay a few days and visit Algarve and the West coast.
Another charming town with white buildings. I was surprised with the number of beautiful street arts we could find a bit everywhere. The town is facing the sea and it is quite nice to walk along the port. This place is apparently famous for the fish in restaurant, and I can only agree as fish is fresh and tasty!
From this place you will find several tour operators going to different islands nearby.
We did a tour going to Culatra island (20 euros, 2h30min). To be honest this tour was not really interesting as we only stayed 40min on the island and if you want to see the beach, if the boat stops at the port, then you definitely don’t have enough time. If you are a bit in a rush, I would advise you not to go as it is not that interesting.
Pretty little fisherman town you can see from Portimao on the other side of the river.
It is in a hill with white houses. You can easily spend one hour walking around and get lost in the small streets.
Nice city on the top of a hill. The center is not well indicated but to find the best part you just have to walk up.
There is a nice church and some ruines of a castle.
Get lost in the streets because you may find some nice surprises. From the road the town looks white but there are some pretty old houses with different colors making the city even more charming.
This town has basically all you want for surfing but to be honest it is not interesting.
There is a fortress that seems to be interesting but once inside there is no explanation of what happened there and nothing about the constructions. So if you do not have time just visit something different.
There are a lot a beaches nearby with very big waves.
Beautiful lighthouse at the top western part of Portugal.
The view is amazing and the coast is completely different from the one near Lagos.
Do not miss it!
Little town in front of the ocean. White houses and beautiful view from the main square.
What is the most interesting there is that you have nice paths all along the coast from where you can have incredible views. This part is also interesting for the different birds you can encounter and the landscapes with special trees.
Beautiful town on a hill. As all the other towns, there is not much to do there but walking around is nice as you can meet old smiley people smoking pipes or cigarettes with their little hat; looks like a postcard from 50 years ago.
There is a wind wheel that is cute on the top on the village. The view from there is really nice and you can see the little white houses facing a beautiful green landscape.
Not far from the center there is a nice beach.
Beautiful town, on a hill again! There is a fortress on the top that is quite interesting if you like History. From there you will have a nice view of the valley.
The town itself is very nice and there again you will have to walk around and get lost to see all the different cute streets.
Nice little village on a hill with its white houses and its school on a top of another hill.
The sunset there is beautiful; it gives amazing colors to the houses.
You will meet smily old people there.
Beaches are not far from there either.
- Praia da Marinha
- Praia de Benagil
- Praia de Vale Centeanes
- Algar Seco
- Ponta da Piedale
- Pinhao Beach
- Praia do Camilo
- Praia da Mareta
- Praia do Beliche
- Zambujeira do Mar
- Praia de Bordeira
- Albandeira Beach
- Praia de Vale Figueiras
- Porto de Mos Beach
- Praia do Barril
Stunning beach. We can reach it vi a long stair case. There are a few parking places on the top.
From the parking you already have a beautiful view.
The beach is quite long so you you do not feel like everybody is touching you (I went there in October so may be different in the Summer time).
The sand is not that thin but still very pretty and the sea has a greenish color. You are also facing some beautiful rocky formations that make this beach so particular.
Pretty little beach with yellow sand and green water.
From there you can find a tour to visit some caves. We used the company TARUGA. They are good and it was about 25 euros per person for 1h15min boat tour. To be honest this tour is worth it! From the boat you see amazing cave formations you would never reach swimming, paddling or walking. And you also see all the lost beautiful beaches and creeks from the boat, so you do not have to stop to all of them to have a look later. This gives you a beautiful and other view of the coast that is quite impressive. I highly recommend this tour!
Not a lot of space to park but once you do you will find a nice little creek on the left and a bigger beach on the right side.
Both are very pretty and the green color of the water is stunning. These two places could be a good alternative if you cannot find some quiet places elsewhere.
There are toilets and a bar at the entrance.
Very interesting rocky formation. The rock is basically moving to the sea and this gives a particular shape to the coast.
You can walk around it is interesting and your will also have another view from the coast.
There is a bar but it is quite expensive.
To be honest, the city itself is not interesting but the beach is beautiful.
I think this is a good place for families.
It is super long and there are many restaurants and places where you can relax.
Shame you can see horrible buildings behind.
The sand is white and really thin.
Stunning view especially during the sunrise.
Only 5min away from Lagos.
The rocky formation is beautiful. There are stairs to go to the beach.
If you go see the sunrise keep in mind you may not be alone there.
Nice little beach with green water. This place can be reach via a staircase.
This beach is very nice but to reach it you will need to walk down a looooong staircase. But it is worse it!
It is super close from Lagos and there are two parts linked by a little tunnel.
Very nice beach with big waves, place for surfers.
There is a café and a restaurant.
The place to be if you are a surfer. Waves are nice but the place is quite small.
There were a lot of people surfing there. Waves are quite nice. Sand is beautiful.
Easily accessible to everyone and quite large.
If you want to go there plan at least 15min to reach the beach walking from the parking.
This beach is huge!
Beautiful creek along the coast. Do not miss it.
To get there it will take a lot of efforts and a good car…the road is not great. But it is worth it! This creek is hidden at the end of the World and you will have an amazing view of the coast from there.
This place seems to be the little secret of surfers. Waves are very nice.
We went during sunset time, the sun gave a beautiful color to the Beach and to the landscape around.
This beach is 5min drive from Lagos and is very nice.
Large and accessible beach. The water is super clear.
Beautiful 10km white sand beach on an island between Tavira and Faro.
You can reach it walking through a small bridge in Santa Luzia, then walk about 15min or take a cute old train (1,50 euros one way, no need to book, runs until 7.30pm). This old train was used to carry the merchandises and the fish between the fisherman and the village called Pears D’el Red.
There is a museum, some places to have a drink that were old fisherman houses, and also a famous for its ”Cemitério de Ancoras” which is a monument symbolizing the old traditional way of fishing tuna.
This island in located in the natural park Rio Formosa. This park is preserved as it is the home of a lot of birds migrating.
In Algarve and on the Ouest coast there are plenty of nice beaches to go surfing; the area is quite famous for this sport.
If you enjoy hiking there are more then 230km walking path all around the coast and it is very well integrated to the landscape. This allows you to discover all the beauty of the natural parks, the coast and some very pretty villages.
I booked accommodations on AirBnb. Here are the one we chose.
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Very nice apartment, 10min walk from the Port and nice restaurants.
Here is the link:
The place I rent in Lagos was just perfect.
5min walk from the old town, 5min drive from some beautiful beaches and from Ponte da Piedale.
Sara the owner is very kind and prepared a book with some places to visits and restaurants. She also offered us a bottle of whine and some typical cookies.
Here is the link: https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/20758324?euid=a078efef-d0cd-414a-f9f4-fd04786fbbdd
We took some taxis in Lisbon they were a bit expensive. Otherwise we rent a car for several days. There are not a lot of buses going to the South, renting a car seems to be the best option in my opinion.
– Accommodation: It is not that cheap for an apartment in the end but you can still find good values.
– Meals: It is cheap and very good. Fresh seafood guaranteed.
– Rental car: We paid 250 euros for 11 days with SIXT.
– Gas: as in France.
Restaurant A Casa : fresh sea food and for sure fresh octopus served in front of the sea. The food is cheap and delicious. They also offer typical Portuguese deserts.
Restaurant Saudade Em Português : fresh and original tapas. They have several choices perfect for sharing. The restaurant is cute and the waitresses very friendly.
The restaurant Ha do Amador is facing the port and serves very good fresh seafood, and cheap! Deserts are also nice and you can find typical Portuguese ones.
Taruga Benagil Tour to explore the caves and see beautiful beaches and rocky formations from a speed boat. Costs 25 euros per person for 1h15min tour but they have different tours.
Do Not Miss
Tours: Do not miss a cave tour in Benagil. I really enjoyed it and it allows you to see more than you would have seen just walking around.
Car: Read the conditions well as we had unnecessary fees, take pictures and videos of the car before leaving the agency and before returning it, to avoid unpleasant surprises.