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PORTUGAL


Location - South west Europe; Capital - Lisbon; Population - 10.2 million; Currency - Euro MORE PORTUGAL

I took the train south from Lisbon to the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, starting with the resort biggie Albufeira. The train station is over 10km from Albufeira so take a cab/Uber or hang around for a bus - October 2020.

 

euro1A recent version of the 10 Euro note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal741Not a bad view from the hotel grounds - Albufeira

 

portugal745Check in at reception included a protection kit complete with face mask, hand gel and gloves - Albufeira

 

 

 

portugal790The hotel was located close to The Strip, a road full of bars and clubs, though in end-of-season COVID October it was quiet, with many closing at the end of the month - Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal750The small beach close to The Strip is Praia de Aveiros - Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal793 A few hundred metres to the east is Praia da Oura, which has hotels, a few shops, bars and restaurants - Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal752The main beach is Praia de Albufeira - Albufeira

 

portugal753The long beach morphs into Praia dos Alemaes and then Praia dos Pescadores at the base of the town itself - Albufeira

 

 

 

portugal766A tunnel links Praia dos Pescadores to the old town - Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal763Restaurants and souvenir shops populate the old town - Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal757Electricity boxes are given a bright makeover - Albufeira

 

 

portugal764And it looks like this cat is proud of this portrait. Next to here is a viewpoint where work being done to help street cats is highlighted - Albufeira

 

 

 

portugal761A sweeping stretch of sand backed by whitewashed buildings - Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal774Sunset over Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermen's Beach) - Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal770On the western edge is the brightly coloured marina, which is also home to several bars, restaurants and a children's play area - Albufeira

 

 

portugal782Past the marina and over a ridge is the lovely beach of Praia de Sao Rafael, punctuated by rocky outcrops, a sight that becomes very familiar on the Algarve - Albufeira

 

 

 

portugal1343A cool and dreary day at Portimao, a town further west on the way to Lagos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal1336In 2020 and for the first time, Portimao hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal1345Street art on the quiet road to Praia da Rocha - Portimao

 

portugal1360Overlooking the beach and marina is Santa Catarina Fort - Portimao

 

 

 

portugal1350Praia da Rocha is a very wide stretch of beach, fringed by cafes and restaurants - Portimao

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal1356Though very nice, it lacks the charm and beauty of the rocky beaches along the Algarve coast - Portimao

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal1349This one looks better, Praia dos Castelos, which is separated from Praia da Rocha by a rocky peninsula, though an ugly cafe-restaurant gets in the way a bit (out of picture, of course, bottom right) - Portimao

 

 

 

portugal794Still based in Albufeira, I made a day-trip to the gorgeous coastline around Carvoeiro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal799Walk up the road to the left of the beach and turn left, then follow the Algar Seco boardwalk, which after a couple of km joins a clifftop trail along the superb coastline - Carvoeiro, Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal802The Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos translates to Seven Hanging Valleys, a 5.7km clifftop trail that starts shortly after the Algar Seco boardwalk at Praia do Vale de Centeanes, and finishes at Praia da Marinha, taking in dramatic coastline and several beautiful beaches along the way

 

portugal806What a view! A great place for al fresco dining, perched high above Praia do Vale de Centeanes - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

portugal810Praia do Vale de Centeanes as seen from the other side - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal811Desoite the face mask, this cactus says life is beautiful - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal816Bring decent footwear, and bear in mind there's quite a few steep climbs and drops as the trail connects clifftops to beaches. Water is an essential, though the Benagil mid-point offers the chance to rehydrate - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

portugal829The trail went AWOL at Alfanzina lighthouse but just head through the bush and slightly inland, around the fenced off lighthouse, and you'll come across the trail again - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

portugal833Another superb beach, this time the secluded Praia do Carvalho - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal835Praia do Carvalho's sheltered bay - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal836Beautifully clear turquoise waters - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

portugal841Never accessed a beach via a tunnel of steps! - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

portugal845And hey presto I'm walking along Praia do Carvalho's sand - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal847Besides abseiling off the cliffs, the only alternative method of reaching the beach is by canoe - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal850Goodbye to Praia do Carvalho and on to the next gorgeous beach - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

portugal837The walk takes around 3hrs but it's well worth taking time to check out the beaches, have a drink, rest and take in the views - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

portugal852There's also plenty of time to admire the Mediterranean on this walk - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal853Surprise surprise, another perfectly located beach sheltered by cliffs in its very own bay, this being Praia Benagil - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal855I didn't try canoeing but it looks a cool way to spend a half-day/day along the coast - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

portugal858Benagil Cave is one of the most popular sights for canoeists, a cave you can paddle into and see from inside, which looks amazing - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

portugal859This looks brilliant, and I think the only way to reach it is by boat, or canoe of course - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal860The same beach, which I can't find a name for, but it's the first stretch of sand after Benagil Cave heading east - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal865Not a bad place to moor your boat - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

portugal870The clifftop trail finishes at this stunning beach, Praia da Marinha - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

portugal869Praia da Marinha has to be one of my favourite beaches of many on the Algarve, along with Praia da Dona Ana in Lagos. But Praia do Carvalho's superb as well.. - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal881Sheer cliffs back on to Praia da Marinha - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal879My first two photos of the beach were taken from this headland, but when I look at this I think jeez, did I really walk along that dodgy looking precipice?! It doesn't feel as iffy as it looks - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

portugal887I thoroughly recommend taking this walk if you're able to, and what a place to finish up at, Praia da Marinha, where there's a beach bar to kick back in - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

 

 

 

portugal893I grabbed an Uber for the short distance from Praia da Marinha to Sand City, on the outskirts of Lagoa towards Porches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal902The 2020 Sand City theme wasn't viruses but Around the World, coupled with Fantastic Cinema. I think this photo has something to do with Norse mythology - Lagoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal904Ocean Myths features a mermaid and Neptune, Roman god of the sea - Lagoa

 

portugal908A scary looking ant - Lagoa

 

 

 

 

portugal916Arizona shows cowboy Clint Eastwood standing outside a saloon bar - Sete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal925My favourite sculpture was Gulliver's Travels, depicting a giant Gulliver tied down with rope by the Lilliputians - Lagoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal927The ever smiling Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th and current Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism - Lagoa

 

portugal938Asterix and his companion Obelix. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars also featured - Lagoa

 

 

 

portugal950Angkor Temples represent the magnificent ancient Khmer temples in present day Cambodia - Lagoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal953A depiction of the Sun Temple, a Hindu temple in Orissa, India - Lagoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal968A Tuareg woman offering tea to visitors - Lagoa

 

portugal944Japan is depicted by a Sumo wrestler - Lagoa

 

 

 

portugal942 I love my grand sculptures, be it sand, snow, ice, oranges, lemons or something more ordinary, and Sand City doesn't disappoint, except for its location next to a roundabout on the outskirts of town, but it's better than Blankenberge's industrial estate-feel in Belgium (though latter's sculptures just as good if not better) - Lagoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal960The comedic-looking Photographic Safaris - Lagoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal958The Laughing Buddha is said to be a Chinese monk who lived in the 10th century - Lagoa

 

portugal982Love this one of Pope Francis riding a Vespa. Of course he does! - Lagoa

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2021 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.algarve-tourist.com - a guide to the Algarve

www.cp.pt - Portuguese trains, buy tickets online

Rede Expressos is a nationwide bus company, though as I write their website's not working. Google it

www.visitportugal.com - Portugal tourism website

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

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