Where do I even begin? I will be amazed if I get 13 things out of this place because I spent most of the trip relaxing on the beach and soaking up the sun I was in desperate need of.
(1) Do try and take a road trip through Portugal, the landscape was gorgeous. We flew into Lisbon and then took a bus south to Lagos. However, renting a car is probably your best bet because you can see more of the coast once you reach the Algarves. Our Airbnb host was nice enough to drive us down the coast a bit.
(2) We stayed in the town Armação de Pera. Our Airbnb was a beautiful white cave house… walking around the neighborhood I was surrounded by these white homes that give off the impression you are on a Greek island.
(3) In Armação you HAVE to go to L’Oasis Italiana Pizzeria, no exceptions. The owners are Italian born and moved to Portugal. They still ship in their ingredients straight from Italy. It was absolutely scrumptious.
(4) There was another dinner place, I can’t remember the name, but it was at the end of town right before the roundabout… you can see the fish freshly caught that you are about to eat. Definitely eat outside next to the sand with a view of all the fishing boats lined up on the beach.
(5) Take a drive down the coast. These towns are beautiful and you’ll pass some extravagant vacation homes of the rich and famous.
(6) When you are heading around the coast visit an abandoned church called Nossa Senhora Da Rocha. It overlooks two cove beaches you can head down to afterwards.
(7) Take a boat tour to the caves and along the coast. We tried to do this all 4 days we were here, but each day it was too choppy. If the water is rough you aren’t able to get into the caves for safety reasons.
(8) Sangria served with your toes in the sand… these beach bars are dotted along the shore. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
(9) Take the time to go beach hopping throughout the day. There are plenty of different beaches that all give off different vibes, there are luxury/ private beaches to the crowded and busy beaches like the one nicknamed Student Beach.
(10) If you don’t get to do the boat tour you may want to join the many surfers you can see around the morning or afternoon. If you are not up for a surf though, there are plenty of paddleboard and kayak rentals, which is another great way to see the Algarves on the water.
(11) Mercado Municipal is a great market to wander around and pick up some fresh produce along your stroll.
(12) There are plenty of beach bars and night life once the tourist season hits. It’s more of a laid back environment, but I promise you’ll manage to have some fun.
(13) And for dinner try and find one of the many restaurants with a terrace and view of the beautiful sunsets.
by Ashton Anderson, Guest Contributor