When I planned my visit to the Algarve, on top of my to-see-list was the rocky coastline. Strangely enough my lonely planet focused on which towns to see, which routes to drive and which highlights to visit. But I missed information about which beaches would be most spectacular.
Luckily the best beaches and rock formations were all close together. So if you’re short on time, it’s easy to scramble these all in just one day. And when you’ve got all the time in the world, all the better to really enjoy each.
Praia de Albandeira
A lesser known small beach in between the rocks. What I liked about Praia de Albandeira is that it’s more secluded and you will not find swarms of people here. Perfect to just relax in the sand, go for a swim without too much of a crowd. Plus it’s just pretty too!
Praia da Marinha
This place is definitely more known, with a larger parking lot and a good paved road to come down here. But it’s just picture-perfect. Just wander around and you can take so many photos from all the different angles and places. You can also go down to the beach, but this is the place just to really take in nature’s beauty.
Benagil caves is definitely the highlight of my trip to the Algarve. Many tour operators offer boat trips to the cave. But all these boats stop for about a minute in the opening of the cave, but you can’t really get inside or get off the boat. That’s not what I wanted! I wanted to actually experience the cave from the inside, the only way to do that is to swim there from the nearby Benagil beach. The boat operators will advice against it. It’s only a 100 meter swim from the beach (just around the first corner). I was here mid October and the water wasn’t cold at all! The waves were strong though! We brought a life jacket from home which made us feel at ease in the water, but I saw others just swim there naturally.
Because you actually have to make an effort to get inside the cave, there won’t be a lot of people. A few others, but we’re only high-fiving each other for making it.
Ponta da Piedade
These rock formations are next to the town Lagos, it’s actually similar to Praia da Marinha, but still different. Walk around the area to get some nice views of all the rocks. The best view for me was when I climbed a path next to the stairs, there I didn’t go up the hill/rock, but to the left around it. Another picture-perfect view!