Algarve Coast, Portugal

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Lagos was hot. So hot that I wanted to take off my skin. Good thing this pretty little town is full of idyllic beaches to cool us off! After our visit to Lisbon, Marc and I headed south to the sunny Algarve region where the days are long, beach-hopping is mandatory and beautiful limestone rocks shelter sandy coves and beaches. Yep, it’s picture perfect.

After exploring several beaches, Praia do Camilo quickly became my favourite. Even before getting to the beach, you are treated with this view…

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I remember being in complete awe when I saw it – a small sandy cove protected between orange-coloured cliffs and the coolest rock formations. I kept taking pictures every five steps down the wooden stairs while Marc hurried me along so he could swim. The transparent blue water was clear, a little fresh in the morning but warmed up quickly as the sun got progressively stronger. We made sure to always get there early in the morning, so that we could be surrounded by nothing but the sound of the waves crashing into limestones and the occasional sighs from Marc exclaiming “Ahh…This is the life…”

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Praia Dona Ana and Pinhão Beach were bigger beaches, also very beautiful. Check out those seashells!

Praia Dona Ana and Pinhão Beach were bigger beaches nearby, also very beautiful.

Ponta da Piedade is another favourite spot of mine. It’s not a beach but rather a stunning viewpoint from clifftops. Descending a series of long stairs will take you to water level where boats are available for hire to explore grottos and sea caves – you can even cave dive! When we spotted people navigating the waters on paddleboards, we knew we had to try it.

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Paddleboarding

We signed up for an 8am SUP (stand up paddleboard) excursion to explore the Algarve coast from up close. It was our first time SUP’ing and to be honest, I was a little nervous since I’m not a strong swimmer. Thankfully, it wasn’t difficult to maneuver the board at all and I’m proud to say that I never fell in the water! Marc however, didn’t fall in once but TWICE! Haha! (Ok, so he did take more risks than me, like not crouching down during strong waves but I still get bragging rights 😛 )

This photo makes me laugh. Marc on the far left and me on the far right, taken not long after we left the beach, just before Marc fell in while attempting to correct his footwork.

This photo makes me laugh. Marc on the far left and me on the far right; taken not long after we left the beach, just before Marc fell in while attempting to correct his footwork.

I loved seeing the rocks from up close. Since there were no one around that early, we had the whole coast to ourselves. Going through the big holes through the rocks was super cool; the small ones, even cooler! One time, we had to lower our heads to go through a tiny hole and I almost touched some tiny crabs living in the rocks.

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What a cool way to explore the Algarve coastline! This was definitely our favourite experience in Portugal – I highly recommend it. Now I just need to find a way to SUP in Canada!

Have you been to the Algarve region? Do you have a favourite memory? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Thanks for reading et à la prochaine!

xo

Mary

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