Algarve: beach and sea at its best

20-24 august 2016 

Are you looking for a beach holiday in Portugal? Much of Portugal has large sandy beaches set in beautiful seascapes, however, along the south coast of the country, the Algarve region offers a more pleasant water temperature, a much calmer sea and a fantastic landscapes dominated by eroded cliffs.

Praia da Rocha Praia da Rocha beach
Beach in Portimao Beach in Algarve
Algarve beach
If you are looking for a beautiful sea in Portugal, the Algarve coast might be the one for you. The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal, with the coastline extending east-west for about 200 kilometers and dominated by extraordinary cliffs and huge beaches of fine golden sand. The Algarve is about 3 hours drive from Lisbon, while Faro, its capital, has an international airport with direct flights onto major European hubs. From Faro airport, visitors may rent a car to visit freely the endless bays that follow one after another, among charming villages and characteristic old towns. In these photos we can admire Praia da Rocha, one of the most famous beaches of Portugal, near Portimao, about 80 kilometers from Faro airport.
Algarve cliffs
The beaches of Algarve are often found at the foot of steep cliffs and the access is granted through long stairways that connect them to the streets and to the hotels.
Beach in Portugal Beaches in Algarve
Algarve beaches
Southern Portugal
Beach Alvor beach
Pictures of Algarve near Portimao, in southern Portugal. The immense beaches offer the opportunity to take long walks on the golden sand, discovering hidden bays and picturesque cliffs. Unlike the western beaches of Portugal, the southern beaches of the Algarve offer a much more pleasant water temperature, generally around 23 degrees in summer (but sometimes rising up to 28 degrees centigrades). The sea is also on usually calmer, with funny shallow waves that do not compromise the safety (in any case, before entering the water it is always essential to observe the flags and evaluate the conditions).
Cliffs in Algarve
Cliff in Algarve Praia do Vau
Praia do Vau beach
The Algarve cliffs are spectacular and create one of the most beautiful seascape in Europe. The rocks date back to the Mesozoic and consist of limestone based agglomerates enriched with minerals that give it the typical color. Being very friable, they are particularly subject to erosion and it is not rare to find natural arches, small caves, pinnacles and other curious formations created by the action of water and wind.
Algarve sedimentary rocks
The "Balconies on the Sea" is a beautiful trail along the Algarve coast, where visitors can hike among a spectacular set. The trail starts at Praia do Vau, a beach east of Portimao city and ends at Praia do Alvor, another huge beach of fine golden sand. Along the approximately 5 kilometers, the path crosses a fresh pine forest on top of the cliff, among colored sedimentary rocks with curious shapes, like the 30 meters deep pit in the first picture.
Beach of Praia do Vau Algarve - Portugal
Secluded beach Deserted beach
Bay in Algarve
Algarve coast Algarve
Sea in Portugal Algarve sea
The panorama visible from the cliff-top between Portimao and Alvor, opens on extraordinary deserted bays accessible only by sea or by treks along steep trails that are not always easy to hike.
A beach accessible from the trail between Portimao and Alvor, almost always deserted and also suitable for nudists. The path is quite steep, but you can walk pretty well even wearing simple flip-flops (we recommend however to wear sandals that can be firmly fixed to the foot).
Rocky stacks
Algarve stacks

The trail ends along the eastern end of Alvor beach, where there are a series of picturesque cliffs rising from a tropical colored sea.
Carvoeiro beach Benagil beach
Marinha beach
Cave in Algarve
Algarve caves
During a holiday in the Algarve, you should not miss a boat trip, either to have a view of the landscape also observing it from the ocean, either to reach places where you can not get to on foot or by car. This excursion aboard a motorboat departs hourly from the small beach of Benagil and lasts about an hour. In addition to deserted beaches accessible only from the sea, the excursion offers the opportunity to visit numerous caves that have been created by the strong erosion.
Benagil cave Benagil caves - Algarve
Particularly interesting is the Benagil cave, also accessible by swimming from the homonymous beach (although you need to be a good swimmer). A large hole on the roof of the cave allows the sun's rays to enter during some hours of the day. In high tourist season (especially in July and August) it is advisable to arrive at Benagil beach no later than 9am, avoiding the weekends, to have more chances of being able to board one of the motorboats.
Portimao Portimao - Portugal
Hotel Algarve Casino Hotel in Portimao
Where to stay in Algarve? For our stay in the Algarve we have chosen the small town of Portimao, more or less in the middle of the coast itself and therefore in a strategic position to quickly reach by car both the most eastern and the western beaches. For the overnight stay in Portimao, we chose the Hotel Casino Algarve, a rather large tourist facility, but in a great location (and with a nice view) on Praia da Rocha.

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