Portugal is an unusual "space" beaches in the Algarve
The Algarve region begins from the town of Albufeira. As they say, here the fairy tale begins) We settled in the town of Armação di Pera. From here starts a trail for hiking along the magical Portuguese coast. There are many beautiful beaches, but there are TOP beaches and we visited them all - more on that below. There are no mountains on the waterfront in Portugal, but the precipitous coastline is as much a delight as the mountains)
From the beach "Praia do Vale do Olival" (Armação di Pera settlement) to the beach "Praia da Cova Redonda" - there is a footpath along the beach itself. Walking time one way is 30 minutes, about 2.5 km. This section is beautiful, but without wow effects. You can skip it if you want... Then there is a small section without a path along the water. The next hiking route starts from the beach "Praia Nova". From here you can walk for a long time) We passed the legendary beaches of Marina and Benagil. There is a free parking at Nova beach, from here to Benagil beach it takes about 6 km, about 3 hours. There is free parking here too. We called an Uber cab and walked back to the Nova Beach parking lot. This walk is a must even for seasoned travelers! The views are gorgeous, the road is easy, the atmosphere is relaxing!!! But, note, there are warning signs, signs and fences all along the shore - don't neglect them! The shore is crumbling... All along the route there are a lot of gravestones ( it looks like those who did not take care of themselves ...).
If you have no desire or time to walk for a long time, you must visit the beach Marina - here the best views of Portugal))) Also Benagil Cave is interesting. Someone advises to go there by boat, but no special desire, because the top is very well crumbling. Yes top look so...palms wet) Below a lot of rocks, which seems to have recently fallen down... But the cave is really beautiful and unique! You can drive up to Marina beach, there is free parking. From Benagil Beach or Marina, you can walk to Benagil Cave - about the same distance. There are a lot of caves and beaches along the way. Praia da Malhada do Baraço is a particularly beautiful beach - you want to sit and stare at it for hours).
Do not expect from this region the classic beaches, here everything is unusual, as in a fairy tale! But as a result, there is no accommodation close to the water. With the exception of Benagil, there is no accommodation by the water.
Algarve, what to see - the beach Marina (Marinha) and the cave Benagil (Benagil Algar). You can stay in the village of Armação de Pêra.
If on an abbreviated program, you can walk only from Benagil beach to Praia da Malhada do Baraço beach. This route will include Benagil Cave and Marinha Beach, the most beautiful places of the Algarve! Visiting time is 2 days and it's better to have 2 overnight stays.
On the map below is route number 1 and number 2. If you look at both, only in this order, but in no way the other way around No. 2, and then No. 1. They are laid out in order of increasing beauty of scenery. The route can be extended two more times exactly. Beyond Benagil beach (towards the city of Portimão) the hiking trail continues along the coast for about 7 km more!
- Behind Benajil Beach, the trail continues on foot. We did not go through it all, but visited only some parts of it. After Marinha Beach and Benagil Cave, the rest pales into insignificance).
- Algar Seco - the tourist attraction is located in the middle between Arman di Pera. You must walk from the beach Praia de Carvoeiro to the Seco Cave. It's a nice path for mini hiking. We happened to get here at sunset!!! Photo below)
- Praia da Rocha is considered a famous beach, but in terms of beauty it does not stand out. Near the town of Portimão, it looks like a nice cozy fishing village)
- Algar Seco and Praia da Rocha are not required.
- Lagos is another Algarve city to explore the "space" shores.
- Praia de Dona Ana - beautiful views, convenient, though not much parking, there are paths to walk along the water on both sides of the beach. But there is no WOW effect, not a must-visit. From there, you can probably walk to Praia do Camilo.
- Praia do Camilo is a beautiful beach with steps down. Walk if you are in the area.
Ponta da Piedade is the best point of interest in the Lagos region.
It is essentially a promontory with a lighthouse. If you face the water, there is a path along the shore to the right with beautiful views! This is the second place, after Marina Beach, that is a must-see for travelers. There is a large parking lot near the promontory that is free. But during the season you should not hope for places) Visiting time from 1 hour or more.
Lisbon is the metropolis of Portugal
We were passing through, stopping on the way to the famous "restaurant" Ramiro. This restaurant has 12 thousand reviews! This is not a small number for a restaurant... But the truth is that the evaluation leaves a lot to be desired - 4.4 at the beginning of 2022. Our opinion the restaurant deserves only a grade of 3!!! In the photo below, the ambiance of the establishment is a canteen, a diner, not something else. We were out of line since it was out of season, but the place was fully booked. In the summer season people stand in line for 1.5 hours just to get an order... This place is not worth waiting in line like that!!! About the quality of the food now in more detail. This place specializes only in dishes like, shrimp, lobster, crab, etc. There are no other dishes. The question is why? Yes, because even the described "dishes" are just boiled and grilled sea "creepers". In other words, the restaurant just boils or grills them, not cooks them! Instead of sauce, they serve regular mayonnaise from the supermarket. If you analyze - lobster can be boiled and at home, it will cost cheaper, in a restaurant there are no conditions for a good time ... What is the point of visiting such a place? For us the crab and the lobster came out 100 euros. In general, we don't recommend to visit this place.
Porto is a beautiful Portuguese city!
What to see:
- Cais de Ribeira promenade (Ribeira do Porto)
- Miradouro da Serra do Pilar lookout
The first thing to do in Porto is to go to the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar lookout point. There is a military unit nearby, so don't be surprised) There is free and paid parking nearby - indicated on the map. From this vantage point you will explore the whole area! The view opens to the Ribeira do Porto promenade, to the Luís Bridge (Ponti di Don Luís I). The bridge can be reached by metro or on foot. You can park near the lookout point, walk across the bridge, go down to the promenade, walk along it and return. Or, after the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar lookout, take a detour to the other side of the Douro River and park. From there, take the steps down to the waterfront. We had 1 hour to visit, but you should allow 2 or more hours to walk both banks, walk across the bridge, and ride the cable cars. It's true the funiculars are more for kids as an attraction, adults have nothing to do on them) The promenade is very beautiful and cozy!!! Must visit for travelers).
The region of Duero or mountain Portugal is a beauty beyond compare!
The Douro River (Duero) flows and winds picturesquely among the mountain hills. Without visiting this region, you can say that you have not seen Portugal))) We drove from Porto. It took us 3 hours to get here and see the two viewpoints. We were out of season, so it took us another 1.5 hours to get to the nearest accommodation. But in season, there will be plenty of options for overnight stays with gorgeous views! This is all the more wine region!!! You can go here for a couple of days and make an itinerary of tastings, combining it with sightseeing. From Porto to the first viewpoint, the road is pretty ordinary. But between the first and second sites - a magical fairy tale from my childhood! The road goes then through the forest, then through the village, then through the precipices... There will still be a couple of intermediate lookout points along the way!
The best viewpoints are:
- Miradouro de São Leonardo da Galafura - a must-see. The driveway from 1 to 2 is a sight in itself!!!
- Miradouro de Casal de Loivos - a must visit
- Miradouro de São Salvador do Mundo
Portugal is one of those countries that should be visited by travelers who like to drive. The country is not big, but the views are contrasting and colorful! The price level here is more like Montenegro and Greece than Italy or France) Portugal is the home of Port wine and Madeira - these drinks for true connoisseurs of taste!