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Location - South west Europe; Capital - Lisbon; Population - 10.2 million; Currency - Euro MORE PORTUGAL

I took the train south from Lisbon to the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, starting with the resort biggie Albufeira. The train station is over 10km from Albufeira so take a cab/Uber or hang around for a bus - October 2020.


euro1A recent version of the 10 Euro note












portugal741Not a bad view from the hotel grounds - Albufeira


portugal745Check in at reception included a protection kit complete with face mask, hand gel and gloves - Albufeira




portugal790The hotel was located close to The Strip, a road full of bars and clubs, though in end-of-season COVID October it was quiet, with many closing at the end of the month - Albufeira

















portugal750The small beach close to The Strip is Praia de Aveiros - Albufeira


















portugal793 A few hundred metres to the east is Praia da Oura, which has hotels, a few shops, bars and restaurants - Albufeira





















portugal752The main beach is Praia de Albufeira - Albufeira


portugal753The long beach morphs into Praia dos Alemaes and then Praia dos Pescadores at the base of the town itself - Albufeira




portugal766A tunnel links Praia dos Pescadores to the old town - Albufeira



















portugal763Restaurants and souvenir shops populate the old town - Albufeira

















portugal757Electricity boxes are given a bright makeover - Albufeira



portugal764And it looks like this cat is proud of this portrait. Next to here is a viewpoint where work being done to help street cats is highlighted - Albufeira




portugal761A sweeping stretch of sand backed by whitewashed buildings - Albufeira


















portugal774Sunset over Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermen's Beach) - Albufeira


















portugal770On the western edge is the brightly coloured marina, which is also home to several bars, restaurants and a children's play area - Albufeira



portugal782Past the marina and over a ridge is the lovely beach of Praia de Sao Rafael, punctuated by rocky outcrops, a sight that becomes very familiar on the Algarve - Albufeira




portugal1343A cool and dreary day at Portimao, a town further west on the way to Lagos


















portugal1336In 2020 and for the first time, Portimao hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix



















portugal1345Street art on the quiet road to Praia da Rocha - Portimao


portugal1360Overlooking the beach and marina is Santa Catarina Fort - Portimao




portugal1350Praia da Rocha is a very wide stretch of beach, fringed by cafes and restaurants - Portimao


















portugal1356Though very nice, it lacks the charm and beauty of the rocky beaches along the Algarve coast - Portimao


















portugal1349This one looks better, Praia dos Castelos, which is separated from Praia da Rocha by a rocky peninsula, though an ugly cafe-restaurant gets in the way a bit (out of picture, of course, bottom right) - Portimao




portugal794Still based in Albufeira, I made a day-trip to the gorgeous coastline around Carvoeiro



















portugal799Walk up the road to the left of the beach and turn left, then follow the Algar Seco boardwalk, which after a couple of km joins a clifftop trail along the superb coastline - Carvoeiro, Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos



















portugal802The Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos translates to Seven Hanging Valleys, a 5.7km clifftop trail that starts shortly after the Algar Seco boardwalk at Praia do Vale de Centeanes, and finishes at Praia da Marinha, taking in dramatic coastline and several beautiful beaches along the way


portugal806What a view! A great place for al fresco dining, perched high above Praia do Vale de Centeanes - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos




portugal810Praia do Vale de Centeanes as seen from the other side - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

















portugal811Desoite the face mask, this cactus says life is beautiful - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


















portugal816Bring decent footwear, and bear in mind there's quite a few steep climbs and drops as the trail connects clifftops to beaches. Water is an essential, though the Benagil mid-point offers the chance to rehydrate - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


portugal829The trail went AWOL at Alfanzina lighthouse but just head through the bush and slightly inland, around the fenced off lighthouse, and you'll come across the trail again - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos




portugal833Another superb beach, this time the secluded Praia do Carvalho - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


















portugal835Praia do Carvalho's sheltered bay - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


















portugal836Beautifully clear turquoise waters - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


portugal841Never accessed a beach via a tunnel of steps! - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos




portugal845And hey presto I'm walking along Praia do Carvalho's sand - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

















portugal847Besides abseiling off the cliffs, the only alternative method of reaching the beach is by canoe - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


















portugal850Goodbye to Praia do Carvalho and on to the next gorgeous beach - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


portugal837The walk takes around 3hrs but it's well worth taking time to check out the beaches, have a drink, rest and take in the views - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos




portugal852There's also plenty of time to admire the Mediterranean on this walk - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

















portugal853Surprise surprise, another perfectly located beach sheltered by cliffs in its very own bay, this being Praia Benagil - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

















portugal855I didn't try canoeing but it looks a cool way to spend a half-day/day along the coast - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


portugal858Benagil Cave is one of the most popular sights for canoeists, a cave you can paddle into and see from inside, which looks amazing - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos




portugal859This looks brilliant, and I think the only way to reach it is by boat, or canoe of course - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


















portugal860The same beach, which I can't find a name for, but it's the first stretch of sand after Benagil Cave heading east - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos

















portugal865Not a bad place to moor your boat - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


portugal870The clifftop trail finishes at this stunning beach, Praia da Marinha - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos





portugal869Praia da Marinha has to be one of my favourite beaches of many on the Algarve, along with Praia da Dona Ana in Lagos. But Praia do Carvalho's superb as well.. - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


















portugal881Sheer cliffs back on to Praia da Marinha - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos



















portugal879My first two photos of the beach were taken from this headland, but when I look at this I think jeez, did I really walk along that dodgy looking precipice?! It doesn't feel as iffy as it looks - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos


portugal887I thoroughly recommend taking this walk if you're able to, and what a place to finish up at, Praia da Marinha, where there's a beach bar to kick back in - Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos




portugal893I grabbed an Uber for the short distance from Praia da Marinha to Sand City, on the outskirts of Lagoa towards Porches


















portugal902The 2020 Sand City theme wasn't viruses but Around the World, coupled with Fantastic Cinema. I think this photo has something to do with Norse mythology - Lagoa


















portugal904Ocean Myths features a mermaid and Neptune, Roman god of the sea - Lagoa


portugal908A scary looking ant - Lagoa





portugal916Arizona shows cowboy Clint Eastwood standing outside a saloon bar - Sete


















portugal925My favourite sculpture was Gulliver's Travels, depicting a giant Gulliver tied down with rope by the Lilliputians - Lagoa



















portugal927The ever smiling Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th and current Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism - Lagoa


portugal938Asterix and his companion Obelix. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars also featured - Lagoa




portugal950Angkor Temples represent the magnificent ancient Khmer temples in present day Cambodia - Lagoa

















portugal953A depiction of the Sun Temple, a Hindu temple in Orissa, India - Lagoa


















portugal968A Tuareg woman offering tea to visitors - Lagoa


portugal944Japan is depicted by a Sumo wrestler - Lagoa




portugal942 I love my grand sculptures, be it sand, snow, ice, oranges, lemons or something more ordinary, and Sand City doesn't disappoint, except for its location next to a roundabout on the outskirts of town, but it's better than Blankenberge's industrial estate-feel in Belgium (though latter's sculptures just as good if not better) - Lagoa



















portugal960The comedic-looking Photographic Safaris - Lagoa


















portugal958The Laughing Buddha is said to be a Chinese monk who lived in the 10th century - Lagoa


portugal982Love this one of Pope Francis riding a Vespa. Of course he does! - Lagoa



Website and content Copyright © 2008-2021 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.


LINKS - a guide to the Algarve - Portuguese trains, buy tickets online

Rede Expressos is a nationwide bus company, though as I write their website's not working. Google it - Portugal tourism website


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