PORTUGAL Road Trip: ALGARVE ~ Beach Hopping

May 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, Portugal


Blessed with a beautiful 200-kilometre coastline, Portugal's Algarve has probably the most stunning beaches I've ever seen. These praias vary from broad endless stretches to small sheltered coves and every single one of them is gorgeous.

Well, that's what I hear anyway. With over 150 named beaches, obviously didn't hit all of them.... we hit about 7 .... and each one of those.... WOW.

 


PRAIA DO BELICHE


We were actually driving to Cabo de São Vicente (southwesternmost tip of Europe), and we saw quite a few cars parked here, so we stopped. Blew our little minds. Beautiful beach and cliffs, insanely beautiful views from the top. Getting down to the beach is another story – definitely not for the faint of heart as you'll have to make your way down a 140-step very steep and uneven staircase... then of course, make your way back up said stairs. Combine that with the mass of surfers carrying their boards up and down the stairs (the beach is popular with surfers) and the descent and ascent can be a bit challenging. That being said, this beach is the stuff that postcards are made of.

 

Map showing where Praia do Beliche is – about an hour's drive from AlbufeiraPraia do BelichePraia do Beliche – about an hour's drive from Albufeira Praia do Beliche – about an hour's drive from Albufeira


Cliffs....water....stunning views! at Praia do Beliche, Algarve, PortugalPraia do BelicheCliffs....water....stunning views! Cliffs....water....stunning views!


Renting is probably better than lugging your equipment up and down those steps - Praia do BelicheRenting is probably better than lugging your equipment up and down those steps Renting is probably better than lugging your equipment up and down those steps


Bet these folks were wishing they'd rented instead of bringing their boards down  Praia do BelicheBet these folks were wishing they'd rented instead of bringing their boards down Bet these folks were wishing they'd rented instead of bringing their boards down 


Incredible views.... Praia do BelicheIncredible views.... Incredible views....


Only made it about half way down the steps, far enough for a decent selfie Praia do BelicheOnly made it about half way down the steps, far enough for a decent selfie Only made it about half way down the steps, far enough for a decent selfie


Taking in the view before heading back up those damn stepsTaking in the view before heading back up those damn steps Taking in the view before heading back up those damn steps

 


CABO DE SÃO VICENTE


Known to some as the "end of the world", and you can definitely see why it's called that once there, Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St. Vincent) is a must. The views of the surrounding coastline are stunning, and I think best visited when it's windy to see the sea crashing against the rocks. A great place for amazing views of the ocean and cliffs, and watching dudes fishing off the rock face is quite unbelievable. 

 

From Praia do Beliche to Cabo de São Vicente, it's only about a 5-minute driveFrom Praia do Beliche to Cabo de São Vicente, it's only about a 5-minute drive From Praia do Beliche to Cabo de São Vicente, it's only about a 5-minute drive


People standing on Portugal's southern tipPeople standing on Portugal's southern tip People standing on Portugal's southern tip


Lighthouse at Cabo de São VicenteLighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente Lighthouse at Cabo de São Vicente


This view.....!This view.....! This view.....!


How in the world is this guy fishing.......How in the world is this guy fishing....... How in the world is this guy fishing....


... from here! (look closely!)... from here! (look closely!) ... from here! (look closely!)


I could definitely stay here a whileI could definitely stay here a while I could definitely stay here a while

 


FORTALEZA DO BELICHE


A fort built way back when (original construction dates are unknown, and range from 1587 to 1632), the Beliche Fort was reconstructed in 1960 and I hear was actually a hotel for a while. Now, you can't go inside, but you can go through the walkways to the other side of the walls to get pretty amazing views of the sea.

 

2-minute drive from the cape to Fortaleza de Belixe2-minute drive from the cape to Fortaleza de Belixe 2-minute drive from the cape to Fortaleza do Beliche


More amazing views from Fortaleza de BelixeMore amazing views from Fortaleza de Belixe Views from Fortaleza do Beliche


More amazing views from Fortaleza de BelixeMore amazing views from Fortaleza de Belixe More amazing views from Fortaleza do Beliche


Looking downLooking down Looking down


Making my way around the fortressMaking my way around the fortress Making my way around the fortress


Nice view of the Cabo lighthouse from hereNice view of the Cabo lighthouse from here Nice view of the Cabo lighthouse from here

 


PRAIA DA MARETA


The largest beach area close to Sagres, Praia da Mareta is fairly remote and quiet, offering a peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. Never overly crowded, this 750-metre long beach has quaint shops and restos that where you can sit and view the beach while sampling the Algarve's famous local bread Pasteis de Nata.

 

From Fortaleza de Belixe, it's only an 8-minute drive to Praia da MaretaFrom Fortaleza de Belixe, it's only an 8-minute drive to Praia da Mareta From Fortaleza de Belixe, it's only an 8-minute drive to Praia da Mareta


Views at Praia da MaretaViews at Praia da Mareta Views at Praia da Mareta


Much less crowded beach, with views of Fortaleza de SagresMuch less crowded beach, with views of Fortaleza de Sagres Much less crowded beach, with views of Fortaleza de Sagres

 


PRAIA DO CAMILO


During high season, this place is waaaaay overcrowded, but you can see why... a stunning beach in a sheltered cove with clear waters and surrounded by gorgeous limestone cliffs and caves.... just beautiful! The views from the top are stunning, and long wooden stairs will take you down to this cozy beach that has all the characteristics of the perfect Algarve beach. 

 

From Praia da Mareta, 45-minute drive to Praia do CamiloFrom Praia da Mareta, 45-minute drive to Praia do Camilo From Praia da Mareta, 45-minute drive to Praia do Camilo


Ok....so this is the spot that the Algarve's postcards are literally made from Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalOk....so this is the spot that the Algarve's postcards are literally made from Ok....so this is the spot that the Algarve's postcards are literally made from


Look to your right, and you get this picture-perfect viewLook to your right, and you get this picture-perfect view Look to your right, and you get this picture-perfect view


Boat rides are offered in and out of all these rock formations hereAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalBoat rides are offered in and out of all these rock formations here Boat rides are offered in and out of all these rock formations here


Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalLook to the left, and you get this view Look to the left, and you get this view


Look straight down for this viewAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalLook straight down for this view Look straight down for this view

 


PRAIA DA ROCHA


One of the Algarve's popular tourist spots, Praia da Rocha is located just 2 kilometres south of Portimão and is probably one of those spots that you'll see in every postcard from the Algarve. I personally prefer the hidden cove beaches, but this is the spot for plenty of entertainment, restaurants, bars, shopping.... you name it. 

 

35-minute drive from Praia do Camilo to Praia da Rocha35-minute drive from Praia do Camilo to Praia da Rocha 35-minute drive from Praia do Camilo to Praia da Rocha


Beautiful Praia da RochaAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalBeautiful Praia da Rocha Beautiful Praia da Rocha


Not so hidden, and packed with peopleAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalNot so hidden, and packed with people Not so hidden, and packed with people


But beautiful all the sameAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalBut beautiful all the same But beautiful all the same

 


PRAIA DE CARVOEIRO


I know I keep saying that each of these praias is the perfect picture postcard spot, but every time I think I've seen the most amazing view, there's always one more.... and Praia de Carvoeiro has the most amazing cliffs and views. The actual town of Carvoeiro is about 10-minute walk from this gorgeous beach that is lined with lost of shops, bars and restaurants. But what you really want to do is walk the paths about 200-feet above the beach and take in the fantastic views

 

25-minute drive from Praia da Rocha to Praia de Carvoeiro25-minute drive from Praia da Rocha to Praia de Carvoeiro 25-minute drive from Praia da Rocha to Praia de Carvoeiro


Another of those picture-postcard spotsAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalAnother of those picture-postcard spots Another of those picture-postcard spots


Gorgeous Praia de CarvoeiroAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalGorgeous Praia de Carvoeiro Gorgeous Praia de Carvoeiro


Absolutely stunningAlbufeira, Algarve, PortugalAbsolutely stunning Absolutely stunning


That water looks divine!Albufeira, Algarve, PortugalThat water looks divine! That water looks divine!

 


PRAIA DOS PESCADORES & PRAIA DO INATEL


These two beaches are right by Old Town Albufeira, and while they don't have the most spectacular scenery, they were super convenient for us as we were staying about a 10-minute walk from here. I know I've barely scratched the surface of all the beaches that the Algarve has.....maybe another road trip is due soon!

 

RIght by Albufeira's Old Town, the beaches of Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Inatel kind of smoosh togetherRIght by Albufeira's Old Town, the beaches of Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Inatel kind of smoosh together Right by Albufeira's Old Town, the beaches of Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Inatel kind of smoosh together


Praia dos Pescaderos, right by Old Town AlbufeiraPraia dos Pescaderos, right by Old Town Albufeira Praia dos Pescaderos, right by Old Town Albufeira


Plenty of palapas for shadePlenty of palapas for shade Plenty of palapas for shade - Praia dos Pescadores


Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePortugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraia do Inatel Praia do Inatel


This turned out to be our chill out spot, since it's only a 10-minute walk from the apartmentPortugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThis turned out to be our chill out spot, since it's only a 10-minute walk from the apartment This turned out to be our chill out spot, since it's only a 10-minute walk from the apartment


Always with a pitcher of sangria close byPortugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneAlways with a pitcher of sangria close by Always with a pitcher of sangria close by


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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