Tuesday 28 February 2023


 Another day, another town in Algarve. We caught two buses and one taxi today to take us down the coast to Albufeira.

Another absolutely magnificent beach, and out of the blue it has some beautiful waves that stretch right down along the length of the beach.

However, not we are not quite so keen on this place, although it is big and pretty. Somehow it seems more anonymous and a bit down market in comparison to our other stops.

It does have a lovely marina though with pastel painted buildings.

We had a nice wander around and a fancy Magnum and then strolled along the beach to our hotel.

Monday 27 February 2023

Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is supposed to be one of the most beautiful trails in Portugal, and possibly the world!

It is an incredible route and we were told that it took six hours to walk it, out and back. However, we had on our jogging gear, and super new tiny rucksacks, so we thought that we would be quicker.

We also had to run an extra 5k to get to the starting point and back.
 There was a lot of walking and climbing going on, but the views were incredible.

There is a section at a place called Benagil where dozens of speed boats and canoes were heading in to the caves from the sea, and is supposed to be amazing. It can't be seen from the shore so instead we stopped for a quick coffee and yet another pastel de nata.

All along the cliffs are huge sink holes where the rock has been worn away and sometimes you can see down to the bottom and the waves below. Most of them just look like scary wells but fortunately they are all fenced off so we couldn't fall in to them.

This is the turnaround point of the route and this beach is classed as one of the top 100 in the world, although to me all of the beaches in the Algarve have been as good.

Every single one has been really clean, beautiful sand, often lots of shells and lovely waves.

Sunday 26 February 2023

Limestone cliffs

 The cliffs in this area are made of limestone that is around 20 million years old. The limestone has lots of fossilised marine invertebrates (I think that means shells, as you can see them all sticking out of the rocks) in it, and it is easily carved away by sea water.

It has made the incredible cliffs, caves and holes that we have been admiring recently.

These rocks are at Algar Seco, and we spent quite a while clambering all over them.

Our latest hotel is about a mile away from them in a lovely little town called Carvoeiro, although we have no idea how to pronounce it. 

The tide is out in this photo, but Darren has splashed out on our hotel and we have a fantastic sea view.

It's such a nice room that we are going to have wine and peanuts in it for our dinner, but we have just realised that the bottle doesn't have a screw top and we don't have a bottle opener.
Darren is just using his shoe as a hammer at this moment, so fingers crossed that he succeeds.

Saturday 25 February 2023

Burgau to Lagos

This morning we caught a bus to Burgau and got off at this very comfy bus stop.

We walked down to the beach and took a quick photo of the approaching storm, set up our Garmins and started our run/walk/climb back to Lagos.

We headed straight up a steep hill and on to the cliffs, just as the rain started to gently fall.

The route was undulating and beautiful, and after a few kilometres we dropped down into Praia de Luz where we stopped to dry out and drink coffee.

We needed it because then we took on the biggest climb of the day up the cliffs on the other side.

Once at the top the views were spectacular and the rain stopped.

The final section was a repeat of our lovely walk yesterday and then the rain came down properly so we got back to the hotel as quickly as I could make it.

Friday 24 February 2023

Ponta de Piedade

Early start this morning to catch the slow train from Tavira to Lagos. It was only 100 kms but it was from almost the east of the Algarve to almost the west.

Coffee and Portuguese tart at the station café. I have made it my mission to eat at least one tart per day on this holiday and I haven't missed yet.

We arrived at Lagos, checked in to our hotel and then had the afternoon free for a walk to the headland.

We walked to the furthest point and then made our way back along the coast.

I had seen some photos of rocks with holes in them, but couldn't believe how beautiful they were in real life.

We walked down a lot of steps to get to this viewpoint, and Darren is just ahead of me on this bit.

There was a new boardwalk to follow, although we did climb through it to get some better photos. Unfortunately my backpack turned me in to a sort of turtle shape and I had to crawl very ungainly through the gap.

It was getting quite late by the time we reached the end of the route and we were among the last people to walk down to the wonderful almost deserted beach.

And it had a tunnel through the rock to another even more secret beach.

Then back up on the cliff for one final view before we were back in Lagos.

Thursday 23 February 2023

Tavira to the Anchor graveyard

Another sunny day as we set off on a jog to test out our new running backpacks. I spent ages trying to work out how to set up the water bag and drinking pipe, but after checking the internet I got it sorted in the end.

It was surprisingly comfortable to wear and it was such a luxury to drink on the go, and also carry my phone, energy bar, spare teeshirt, keys and money.

The route was great and mostly off road.

Then we crossed a bridge on to the offshore island.

On the other side of the bridge was a petite train that ran along its own little track.

We followed the train line that ended just before a beautiful boardwalk to the sea.

Just to the side was the Anchor Graveyard - a collection of about 200 anchors that were used for tuna fishing, but are now all together on the dunes.

Once again the beach was absolutely superb and ran for miles in both directions.

We then turned around and headed back via the little town of Santa Luzia and through more salt pans, but no flamingos in sight today.

Just under 14 Kms, and I was pretty tired by the end.

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Faro to Tavira

This morning we paid 3.25 euros each and caught the train east to Tavira. This is an attractive town that is similar in layout to Faro, but they have dressed up some of their trees.

I am very impressed with this idea and can't help but think that if I had done the same then maybe not so many of my plants would have died of cold over the winter.

Tavira also has a nice mini amphitheatre (it is a Roman town), and Darren is today sitting in it modelling some lovely yellow trainers.

This afternoon, in common with yesterday, we caught a ferry to the beach, and on the way through the salt flats we actually saw a huge flock of flamingoes.

Sorry for the blurry photo, but at least they all have florescent pink legs.

The beach was good and had thousands of shells all along the shore. I spent ages picking up my favourites, but then Darren turned up with a huge one that was better than all of mine so I threw them back in the water.

We are off for a pizza tonight, its not very Portuguese, but I am a bit scared of all of the octopuses that they have on their menus.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Faro, Algarve

We caught a flight to Faro in the Algarve yesterday and arrived after dark, so today we set out to explore.

It turns out that Faro is a lovely little town and our first stop was coffee and and a pastel de nata - the fantastic Portuguese tart. 

Then we took a walk around the town and found that lots of storks had made the rooftops their home.

There was even a stork nesting on the top of the lamppost in the middle of a roundabout in the centre of town.

There is no beach in town as it is surrounded by marsh and salt flats, so we took a little ferry across to the sandy beach that faces the Atlantic Ocean.

The beach was gorgeous and the sea was warmish. Darren had worked out a really long walk and at least one mile of the route was paddling along the shore line.

I was in heaven, although it has to be said that walking on the sand was quite hard work. Eventually we met up with the boardwalk from the opposite end of the beach and put our shoes and socks back on.

The boardwalk ran backwards across the sand dunes and then over a tidal lake, and then back towards the town.

The views were lovely and we followed the boardwalk for a while before taking a detour out on to the salt flats. We wondered if they were still used to produce salt, and then around a corner we found our answer.

It was an incredibly long detour and we had our eyes peeled looking out for flamingos. I thought that I saw one in the distance so took a photo and carried on walking. When we got back to our hotel I zoomed in and really cropped it, and here we are - one not pink flamingo.

Not much to show for all of our efforts, and I think that the flamingo needs to eat a lot of prawn sandwiches to bring its colour out.

Brilliant day out though and we walked more than 30,000 steps each, which is the most I have done for quite a few years.