Portugal Praia (beach)

I haven’t been to the French Rivera. I haven’t been to the cliffs of Amalfi. I have driven, toured and run the soft sparkly sand through my fingers at the Algarve. The Algarve is Praia eo Camilo (Lagos)150 kilometers/90 miles of coastline.

We drove to S. Vicente, the Cape Cod of Portugal, the most southern point, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

It isn’t true if you’ve seen one beach, you’ve seen them all. They are all so different.

The Hawaiian personality of the thatched umbrellas was at the Falesia Praia, the picture below, and at no other.

 

We discovered all the beaches are topless, but not all the women were. No, you can’t see the ones that were topless. I don’t have them to share.

The path begins at the Nossa Senhora da Encarnação fort (GPS 37.09474, -8.46976), which is at the top of the steep hill leading to the left (east) side of the beach. The boardwalk extends for 570m to the car park at the top of the Algar Seco cliff (GPS 37.09332, -8.46556). A typical walk takes around 10 minutes but often takes much longer as the beautiful scenery is admired. The wooden path means that it is suitable for all and is perfect for less mobile visitors or families. At the base of the Algar, Seco cliffs is the Boneca Bar, a great setting for drinks and light meals.

Do note: The Carvoeiro Boardwalk does not extend down to the Algar Seco and to reach the base of the cliff a long flight of steps needs to be descended.

The town of Carvoeiro, where the stars reside, is a town known for entertaining kings and queens. You can find cafes at every turn. There were so many cafes,  it was hard to choose.

carvoeiro-boardwalk-walk

 

Cafe Pine Cliffs Hotel, Algarve

We didn’t see any famous stars. The praia (the beach) was the star, with hills, cliffs, houses in the cliffs, sheer dropoffs, eloquent seascapes. Fishing boats right next to beach umbrellas, people at rest, children at play.

Custard tarts & and coffee (those tarts are outrageous) This pastéis de nata recipe makes as-close-to-authentic Portuguese custard tarts with a rich egg custard nestled in shatteringly crisp pastry. Tastes like home, even if you’re not from Portugal. If you live in Connecticut, buy these at Chaves Bakery in Bridgeport on Madison Ave. 

 

Portuguese sundae, yum (atypical)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee (above) is serious business in Portugal. Usually, espresso is served after every meal. After lunch at one of the cafes in Carvoeiro, we indulged. Decaf, brewed of course. We were horrified at our Tivoli Hotel in Villamoura, where they served Nescafe, a decaf espresso, not brewed. It wasn’t too bad. And that’s only b/c it was Nescafe. I tried another brand, not brewed, it tasted like bug spray smells.
Plowing through all these places gave us both infinite pleasure. Not once did we see rain.

Alfama, Portugal is Lisbon’s oldest district made famous for its tight winding corridors and for having been one of the few neighborhoods to survive the devastating earthquake of 1755. Photo by Laura Pastores from Westminster College. – See more at: http://www.semesteratsea.org/2013/10/14/student-photo-gallery-portugal-and-spain/#sthash.Fr8RfmW1.dpuf

The white sand beach and cliffs of the beach of Praia da Rocha soft and reflective. The waves broke against the rocks and splashed up sizzling in the sunlight with colors of the rainbow.

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