Last (in Portugal) and least: AlgarveMay 1 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C
After so much beauty day in, day out, we still don’t get bored with traveling around and sightseeing every day. That being said, Algarve is probably a little underwhelming compared to all other places we have visited in Portugal. With fierce competition from the various nature parks, wine regions, surfer hot spots, medieval towns, picturesque cities, and dramatic coast lines of the west that have been entertaining us it simply doesn’t cut it to the top of the list. Don’t let the following somewhat sarcastic statement of events fool you: we are still having the best time and a lot of fun together. We did get bored of Algarve pretty quickly though 😅.
We first visit Sagres, Europe’s most southwesterly point and in historical times known as “the end of the world” as no man had explored the globe beyond this point. Standing at the Cape Saint Vincent we realise that it’s in fact neither Portugal’s (and hence Europe’s) most westerly or southerly point. Also, there isn’t that much to see here except a shitload of tourists, tourist market stalls, and some ruins with a toilet costing €0,70 per visit. Dutch as we are, of course we skip the toilet at this cost and quickly drive on to another viewpoint: the Sagress Fortress.
Again, on paper this sounds like a pretty interesting place: it’s a 15th century fortress with only one wall. The other three sides are protected by 60 meter high cliffs. To get in we pay €3,50 (unlimited toilet visits included), to quickly realise that there’s practically nothing to see. Walking around the whole area we see a dry bare landscape, some birds, little green and flowers, and a couple of fishermen. The ocean views are stunning but really just as stunning as we could see from outside the fortress, too. The money they earn from the relatively high number of visitors per day is clearly not used to maintain the information signs that are scarcely located in the area: we are left to guess about 50-75% of each sign as they are run down and worn out. Lured by an ice cream advertisement we end our visit in the gift shop, and there you have it… the one place they have clearly invested their money in (and where there’s actually something to see)! Nicer and more interesting than most souvenir shops we’ve seen this trip we decide to make our €3,50 worth by staying here a while. Consistently behaving Dutch, we stick to the phenomenon of “kijken, kijken, niet kopen!” (“look, look, don’t buy!”) and the ice cream is a hard no too: no one should pay €4,50 for a tiny jar (?!) of ice cream.
With these two “highlights” of Sagres in our pocket we figure the rest of the town isn’t worth staying for. I’m a little sorry to admit our Dutch thrift continues in Luz where we refuse to pay €25 per night for a camping spot, after which we end up on a super cute little camper ground (€13!) somewhat further down the coast with the actual best thing of the day: a chicken nesting right next to the dishes area, allowing us to feed her out of our hand. CUTE! (Video for proof)
The next day we set out to hike the “seven hanging valleys” trail. According to a survey conducted by a company called European Best Destinations this was voted by 28k people from all over the world to be the best walking trail of the continent. It’s a coastal walk covering about 6,5 KM one way, covering tracks above natural arches and caves shaped by ocean waves (hence the name). It’s a beautiful trail - does not beat the west coast trails in our humble opinion - that we get to enjoy twice as we walk the 13 KM back and forth (not being able to catch a grab on the other side of the trail). The reward is a dip in the ocean (Tim now also dares to go in!) and some time on one of the many the beaches.
We do proof to be a tough crowd, and so we decide to cut our stay in the Algarve short. We will stay one more night before making a 3 hour trip the next day: we will be leaving Portugal and drive back into Spain. This country has given us the most enjoyable time and many good memories, it’s a little hard to leave!
Tchau Portugal, muito obrigada 😍Read more