- I went to the Algarve this summer, for the first time.
I love exploring, and hate the herds of tourists that go to all the ‘usual spots’, so I decided to do a bit of exploring myself.
I stayed in Salema Village, right on the western side of the Algarve.
Really nice little place, not too packed and good restaurants and beach.
Some interesting spots to visit:
- Sagres Fortress – Fortaleza de Sagres: Which is a big old fort (you have to pay to get in)
- Cap Saint-Vincent – Cabo de São Vicente: Which is an old lighthouse
- Praia da Figueira: a reasonable sized beach which is quieter than most and has an interesting stream flowing to the sea on one side; there are a number of critters wondering about, such as turn stones on their migration, dragonflies and frogs. There were also some weird little wiggly invertebrates which the turn stones thought were very yummy. There is also a small ruin to the left up on the hill.
- Lagos: not the town for me, but the canoeing round the caves round the coast. Obviously you have to pay for a canoe, but well worth it…don’t bother with a tour, get a canoe for 4 hours and do it yourself so you can enjoy it at your own pace. Basically go out of Lagos harbor and turn right! Be warned, it is pretty busy with boats and other canoes.
- Salema Beach: Go to the far end, away from the restaurants. You will be greeted with Cormorant rock. They seem to love the thing. There are also a number of fish swimming about the rocks, so well worth taking googles or a mask to float about, and a snorkel if you have it.
- Dolphin and bird watching: Try to do the dolphin and bird watching early in the day or nearer sunset. You are more likely to see some. Also visited A Tasca Sagres which did lovely food, but make sure you are hungry!! If you walk round the key you can also go out onto the harbour wall past the fishery, which can provide some very interesting watching as boats go in and out and unload their catches.
- Praia Da Bordeira: Wonderful long beach with a warm river you wade across to get there. Alos met some unexpected critters on the way. We nicknamed the snake Grumpy Monty as you could even hear him above the waves!
- Praia do Alvor (Poente): Actually not the beach, wayyyyyy too many people on the beach, but the boardwalk and marsh behind the beach. Lots of critters and birds which is nice. Beware having to pay some random guy for parking though!