We only visited 2 new countries (Spain and Portugal) on this leg of our trip, but we fell in love with both of them! Portugal is beautiful and the Algarve region and beaches are so unique.
The Algarve is not talked about much in the US, but it is the southern most part of Portugal. It is right on the Atlantic Ocean, but in a protected area between the north of Africa and the southern Iberian peninsula.
We flew from Barcelona through Madrid, to Faro. Our flights were easy and smooth. We had a quick layover in Madrid, just enough time to walk from gate to gate before boarding again!
When we landed in Faro, the airport reminded me of the Cancun airport. It's very touristy, with lots of people advertising tours and meeting up with groups to take them to resorts. We called a car through an app called "FreeNow" and headed toward Ferragudo.
Once we got there and dropped our bags off at the Airbnb, Brennan headed out to explore. I was tired and hot, so I spent a little time in the air conditioned bedroom at the apartment before I walked to the beach to meet him. We hung out at this beach bar for awhile before walking on the beach, then heading back to the apartment for the night.
Our two days here looked mostly the same for me. We woke up, went and got coffee and pastries at this small cafe a 5 minute walk down the road from the apartment....
...laid at the beach and read a book/listened to podcasts (renting 2 beach chairs and an umbrella for the day was only €13!) (we bought a chocolate filled donut from this guy who was singing and selling donuts down the beach)....
....and ending the day with drinks/dinner at a restaurant with a view of the sunset. It was perfect.
The second night we ate at a place in town called O Velho Novo. Brennan said it was one of his favorite places we ate over the entire summer! I had a kebab with chicken and Brennan had steak.
On Saturday, Brennan went for a long hike while I hung out at the beach. He hiked on the tops of these cliffs for around 8 miles. The pictures were amazing and he loved getting out and doing something challenging and active.
On Sunday, we arranged with our Airbnb host Miguel to go out on his boat and see the cliffs. The Algarve has so many caves, protected beaches, and cliffs. We were out on the water for about 2.5 hours and it was so fun! All of this scenery looked like a movie, but it was amazing to know it was real.
The most famous cave/area here is called Benagil Cave. There is a large hole in the top of the cave that allows sunlight to come through and it is only accessible by boat or kayak. We went near there, but it was so crowded! Miguel said this was nothing compared to what it would be like later on in the day. So many other caves are just as beautiful and interesting, but much less popular.
I am so glad we decided to go on the boat ride. Even though we didn't get out and touch any sand or swim at all, it was well worth the time and money to see all the amazing views.
We left Ferragudo and headed to the Conrad Algarve. This hotel wins my favorite of the summer. It was beautiful, relaxing, and we really enjoyed our time there. We sat by the pool, enjoyed our huge balcony, and explored the spa. We only left the hotel once to go get dinner across the street at an outdoor mall. They closed the kitchens by the time we got there, so we ended up ordering food on Uber Eats to meet us back at the hotel. It was (surprisingly) good!
The best thing we ate, by far, was the club sandwich by the pool! Brennan and I shared it for lunch twice and agreed that it beats every other club sandwich we've ever had. I had to include a picture!
The Algarve is now my standard for a beach vacation! It was so nice to do both a small town beach and apartment and visit a large resort. Both were great and I would highly recommend adding The Algarve to a bucket list!
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.