19 Sep 164 368km // ALGARVE // PORTUGAL
We get asked so often (by almost every single person we meet and tell our story to), “what is our favourite place of all?” Of the 100-odd cities we’ve seen, of the mountains, valleys, beaches and deserts we’ve explored, what is the ultimate place; the one we dream of visiting again and again and again?
Well, that question is almost impossible to answer, because, well, there’s just too many spectacular places around the world to pinpoint ’the ultimate place’. Trust me, we debated, and argued, and tried, but couldn’t choose just one. What we did conclude though, is that we definitely have favourite places under different criteria*. We have a favourite mountain range, favourite cuisine, a favourite city (although probably safe to say a list of top 5 favourite cities) and a favourite coastline.
So allow me to introduce you to our “favourite-coastline-we-need-to-visit-again-and-again-and-again” – Portugal’s Algarve.
Yes, we planned on visiting the hidden caves of the Algarve someday, as the item was on our Wanderlist since the beginning, but when we got a mail from the awesome team at Beautiful Destinations with an opportunity to do some work a mere 30km from THE Benagil cave, we thought the dream job had arrived.
Multi-coloured cliffs, unmatched sunrises and sunsets, sheer drops that disappear into an ocean so aquamarine Pantone must have a colour named after it, and warm and hospitable people, were some of the first things that come to mind when I remember the trip. We stayed at the gorgeous Pine Cliffs Resort during our photography assignment, so were guaranteed sensational sunsets along one of their 3 cliff decks (and going to the beach meant catching an elevator – yup, an elevator to the beach…a place of dreams).
We ate Cataplana (the Portuguese seafood work-of-art that is served still-boiling in a cast iron dish), drank delicious wine, explored the nearby town of Loulé (and the famous fish market there), and took a boat ride through Ria Formosa (the natural park hosting the southern-most tip of Portugal’s mainland).
We stopped to admire the lighthouse on Faro island, marvelled at the colourful buildings of Albufeira with our legendary guide and chauffeur Valter, and (ticking off the Wanderlist) we caught an ‘extreme’ boat ride to the Benagil cave and surrounding beaches, spotting dolphins (and even getting the opportunity to wear the captain’s hat and steer the vessel).
Thank you beautiful Portugal. You were sensational and truly one of the prettiest places we’ve ever seen. We will no doubt be back for more down time and beach hogging.
Oh, and if you want to see some fun behind-the-scenes of the Algarve trip, our new friend Andy‘s vlog is below.
*That blog post is in the making and will be published in early 2017.