Ah, the Algarve. Portugal's famous coastal beachy escape, where people flock to take in the sun year round, enjoy the fresh Atlantic ocean, and generally fall in love with the stunning views offered for miles and miles. The final two weeks of my time in Portugal were spent on the coast, wandering the raw beauty, taking in as many sunsets as possible, running barefoot across the beaches, jumping in the icy Atlantic in December, absorbing the final golden touches of the year and appreciating the blue skies every single glorious day.
Here's what I got up to during my two weeks based out of Lagos (check out the wonderful AirBnB I stayed in here) in the Algarve:
Ponta da Atalaia
The Algarve coastline is world famous - epic stretches of billowing beaches line the coast for miles and stunning rock formations and cliff jut out all the way down, making for beautiful scenes. This secluded spot at the end of a dirt road offers a windy viewpoint over the ocean and Praia do Medo da Fonte Santa.
Pontal da Carrapateira
With all the winding boardwalks out to stunning viewpoints, this might be one of the best spots to catch a sunset in the Algarve as you can take in the view from all directions of the wild windy land.
Cabo de São Vicente
The southwesterly most point of Europe is here on the Algarve coastline and is home to a lighthouse with wonderful views from the tip of the country.
Fort of Santo António de Belixe
This delightful fort sits quietly near the southwestern tip of Europe yet somehow the wind does not whip so viciously here and you can sit a while and enjoy the view in peace. There's a nice walk that goes all the way down the waterfront as well.
Praia do Beliche
This beautiful beach is a hugely popular spot for swimming and surfing all year round thanks to its safe protected cove and golden sand. Delightful.
While Sagres itself is not a very big town, there is a prominent old fortress with ocean views on three sides to visit, plus some epic coastline for sunset watching.
While visiting the Algarve, I was based in Lagos for the two weeks. A touristy little city, there's always something going on here. Situated on a gorgeous part of the coastline, there are so many beaches right in town and a nice waterfont walkway (great for a run!).
Praia do Pinhão
Praia do Pinhão is a small secluded beach that, unless you go looking for, you wouldn't know it's there. Neighbouring Praia de Dona Ana, this place is so beautiful and calm and offers a peaceful escape.
Praia de Dona Ana
Praia de Dona Ana was one of my favourite beaches to visit in Lagos, particularly thanks to the jutting out view point high above that made for really lovely photography angles. There are little trails running across the cliffs from where you can get amazing sunset views, too.
Ponta de Piedade
One of the most iconic spots in the Algarve, the rock clusters at Ponta de Piedade are so intricate to look at. You can wander the various trails and viewpoints at leisure, snapping photos at every turn.
Praia do Camilo
Perhaps the most famous shot of the Algarve is the wonderful set of wooden steps leading down to this secluded and beautiful beach. A little tunnel leads to an even more beautiful secret spot.
Praia dos Estudantes
Home to an iconic stone bridge between the beautiful scattered rock formations, this place is right in the town of Lagos and a delightful spot for sunrise.
Praia da Marinha
Considered one of the top 100 most beautiful beaches in the world, and by far one of the most exquisite, this jewel of the Algarve sits on the coast east of Lagos and offers surreal views that make you feel like you're living in a magazine. I went for an icy ocean dip here and it was simply wonderful. I can't imagine a better way to spend a weekend in Portgual in December...