Thursday, 28 January 2016

Amazing Beaches Of The Algarve

The drive to the Algarve from Lisbon was unmemorable. The destination, however, was spectacular.

I hired the worst car I’ve ever driven in my life in Lisbon. Hell knows how it took my other half and I half way down the country and back, but it did. Its exhaust was hanging off, the gearbox was jamming and the steering column was loose. But nevertheless, we were short of options: we either took the Shittest Car In The World, or we wouldn’t see the Algarve. We did get it cheaply, so that may be a clue as to the car’s condition.

We were desperate to get to the beach, so knew we’d have to drive away from Lisbon to the Algarve. It was worth the trip. The drive from Lisbon to the coast, through a desert landscape I can only describe as dry and uninhabited. The motorways were great and easy to drive on, and there were virtually no cars on the roads at all. I only saw a handful of other cars that passed me going – I’m not joking – over 150kph.

We aimed for Carvoeiro and would hit the beaches around there. The town is a good place to be based and I’m not at all surprised so many people make it as a base for their holidays. Plenty of good bars around this place, and we also ate an incredible fish dinner.

We had around 12 hours to find the best Algarve beaches and these were our findings:

1       - Praia de Benagil. The location of a stunning sea cave by a similar name, this beach is not for weak swimmers when the surf’s up like it was on the day we arrived. The beach itself is golden and beautiful, and the clifftop walks are quite breathtaking. There is a small cafĂ© here and you can take a boat ride to the nearby caves.

- Praia do Carvalho. This was my favourite beach. It involves a climb through a small tunnel to get there, but it’s worth it. It’s quite sheltered for swimming, and the cliffs make for a stunning backdrop.  This is a great photography location.

- Praia da Marinha. This was the biggest of the beaches we visited, and probably the most beautiful. The full force of the southern Atlantic hits this beach, so again it's one to take caution on when there’s a wave on. I’d love to come back when the waters are calmer. This beach is amazing, but does involve a fair walk down from the car park.

The Algarve is such a beautiful place to visit and I was sad to go back to Lisbon, but also glad we got to visit these amazing beaches. If you’re ever in the area, go to the three mentioned above and take some time out in Carvoeiro. You won't regret it. If you’re staying in Lisbon, hire a car and take the drive for a day. It’ll take around 3 or 4 hours and renting a car is cheap, although the car you receive could be questionable at best.


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