We had just over a week in the Algarve and stayed in the beautiful Abufeira. You should definitely rent a car when going unless you want to be a bus wanker. (Our car was £47 for 8 days - cheap as chips, we used Enjoy car hire.)
Albufeira was right in the middle of everything - so a good hub to stay in if you fancy venturing out to places like Lagos, Tavira and Faro (where the airport is). We love to get out and about on our holidays and this place is absolutely worth exploring. Here’s how it all looks on the map: from Lagos to Tavira it’s a 1hr 13minute drive - just to put it into perspective:
Tuk Tuk tour
There really is no better way to see the beautiful streets and beaches of Albufeira than lazing in the back of a gangsta convertable TukTuk with the wind in your hair and your own personal local Portuguese driver. We embarked on the ‘Secret Tour’ with Albutuktuk and our driver Paulo turned out to be an absolute legend and truly magic with our camera - check out our engagement shoot we had on insta! (LAWL we ain’t even engaged bro)
The tour lasted around 1hr 30mins which was just enough time to see a few beaches and the ultimate secret spot - which we’re going to keep hidden. Ya’ll will have to book a trip with Paulo to find it! We were dropped off in Old Town and able to explore the cute white washed streets before grabbing a rubbish coffee and heading back to our hotel. (We didn’t find good coffee in the Algarve if we’d have known this before we went, we probably wouldn’t have gone - haha just jokes)
Dolphin and Cave Boat Tour
Choosing a tour company can be madness mate! There are a whole bunch of companies to chose from when you arrive in Albuferia marina (or book online) - we decided to go with Dolphins Driven because of their ribbed speed boats 1. because they are the closest to the water and 2. they can get into more caves because their boats are the smallest.
The boats seat around 12 people - so pretty intimate. The guide (name) was fabulous, speaking in 3 different languages so everyone could understand the tour. What a gal! The our lasted around 2.5 hours.
We set off to the main area that the dolphins feed in hopes to see them. Unfortunately because of the time of year (November 2017) we didn’t spot any, they had all gone to Africa on their holidays.. but carried on to see inside the Bengail cave, and all along the coastline of the Algarve, which was just breathtaking. So we weren’t too disappointed not to have seen the little slippery kids!
If you go to Marina Albufeira, you can book there and then, you don’t have to do it online, car park is free even though it says free for 3 hours - it’s free all day FYI - no stress!
They also offer kayaking, catamaran tours etc.
Cost: During July and August, €40per adult, €25per kid (between 5 and 12)
All other months €35 for adults €20 for kids
Location: Albufeira Marina
Time: 2.5 hour tour
Company: Dolphins Driven
If you don’t particularly want to see dolphins but want to visit the magically famous Benagil cave - you don’t need a tour - see below.
Guys.. if you’re heading to the Algarve, or even just Portugal, try and make some time for this incredible spot - but maybe it’s just because we wanted to use the hashtag #instagramgoals that we’re recommending it? if you like natural rock formations, stunning large attractions and sea caves - come on down!
SO here is the deal - the cave is located about 200meters across the sea from the Praia de Benagil Beach. It’s just around the corner basically.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO RENT A BOAT FROM A LOCAL FISHERMAN TO GET HERE! ok.
Easiest way to get there is by swimming! YOU ARE ALLOWED contrary to other bog posts!
Read out post on the best ways to get to the cave here.
Got a bunch of expensive cameras and shit you want to take over? We rented a SUP for €25 for 1 hour WHICH IS SCANDALOUS!
This was from the company ‘tarugatours’ which have a stand on the beach. Way too expensive man. Do not use them, we’re now skint.
At this present moment, the only thing we can tell you do get around this daylight robbery is to buy a dry bag and use a cheap lilo from the local shop to swim over with. (Go on amazon for a dry bag - cheap as ya like!)
Cost: FREE (or €25 if you’ve been burgled)
Location: Lagos - Praia de Benagil Beach
Company: Don't use one - take your own two feet and heart beat.
(Visiting the Benagil Caves? It’s close to: Praia Da Camilo beach, Lagos Town, Algar Seco and Caveorerio town)
Or alba seco as Craig calls it because he’s a muppet.
Algar Seco is a Stunning cliff coastal walk with Breathtaking views of the amazing dusty red rock formations and LOADS of secret natural rock pools that you can swim in. Basically you’re on mars.
The Game of thrones-esque cliff walk is INSANE, amazing rock formations, beautiful WKD blue water and just a fish throw away from Carvoeiro Town.
The rocks and patterns are a result of erosion due to rainwater and it has the coolest little windows and archways to the sea!
If you find the right spot, you can even go cliff jumping. The rocks are a bit up and down so take plenty of water. It is marked into sections and you could spend hours exploring it! So take your ugly but comfy shoes.
Location: Just type in Algarve Seco of your phone or Sat Nav.
Otherwise its around 750 meters from Cavereiro Town.
(Visiting Algarve Seco? It’s close to: Lagos, Benagil Caves and Caveorerio town - so maybe pop there for a paella and lemon fanta after)
Pego Do Inferno Waterfall
This little hidden gem is found in the middle of a bunch of orange tree farms! You have to drive to a parking lot, then walk a little bit to get there. But the walk isn’t far or strenuous, but perhaps a little hard for anyone older as the hill down is quite steep - but it depends which way you go. 10 -15 mins max. (tip - walk passed the wall with graffiti)
It’s got a rope swing - do I need to say anymore?!
Craig was like a kid of crack when he saw it!
It’s a magical little oasis in the middle of the hot and dry farms surrounding it.
We visited Pego Do Inferno in November and the water was pretty chilly, but really refreshing! There was one family there when we went, so not busy, but trip advisor says otherwise for the high seasons.
The ground around is very uneven also, so finding space to sit and relax is probably a no go, as there are many trees also it’s kind of hard to sunbathe!
So if you’re going - it’s to jump off the rocks or wade into the glorious green waters of the waterfall. Go on, have a dip. It’s bloody gorgeous.
Location: Just write Pego Do Inferno into your sat Nav. It’s 32 mins passed Faro to the right.
Going to Pego do Inferno? It’s caround 30 mins away from Faro (airport district) and around an 18min drive to the port where you can get a boat over to Tavira Island (we didn’t get to do this, but recommend it for you if you have time!)
For more photos check out our instagram - @wearekingingit
Ponta da Piedade
With its magical rocky steps down to the sea, it’s hard not to fall in love with this place. It’s hard to describe what it is, but it’s just a bit of a sight to see really - a natural feature of the Algarve. Take a little walk around it and be surrounded by giant rocks and view points to the crystal blue sea.
There is one boat tour company that works from this sight - so a boat tour from there will cost €15 for 30-45 minutes pp, Which will take you around the coastline, dotting in and out of the caves and archways on little motor boats. Really nice to have your own boat with your love. The boats are always waiting around the docking area. No need to book ahead. INSTA CENTRAL.
Cost: FREE unless you get a boat tour, so take €15
Location: 10 min drive from Lagos - just pop ‘ Ponta da Piedade’ into your sat nav and it will take you straight there.
(Ponta de Piedade is close to: Lagos, Algar Seco Praia Da Camilo, Benagil Cave, Caveorerio town. Perhaps make it a day trip)
Top Three Beaches
Our Top three beaches are -
- Praia do Camilo
- Praia da Marinha
- Carvoeiro beach
For our top 3 we have chosen beaches with special little traits.
All beaches offer boat trips right on site, but bring your own brollies, snorkels and fins and don’t sit too close to the rocks, due to fall. Just saved ya life mate. Full information on these beaches click here.
Praia Do Camilo
Spectacular little beach with redish sands, hugged by glorious steep cliffs with 200 wooden steps down (it’s not THAT much, don’t be put off - it does take a few weeks to get back up them though) This beach has another special little feature - a tunnel running through the cliff to another beach! In the Algarve, there is probably a private beach for everyone that visits! So many little beaches been carved out of the coastline - so just go find your own!
Praia da Marinha
Or otherwise known as the one with the ‘wall that fell down’.
There is another little trek down to this beach! - You actually access it via another beach and walk along the coast - they’re literally next to each other, so once you’ve reached the first beach, it’s like a 16 second walk to Praia da Marina.
A much bigger beach than Praia Do Camilo, and probably one of the best looking beaches i’ve ever seen. It really is emotional man!
We just couldn’t get over the colour of the sea against the huge white, sculpted cliffs that bordered it. No wonder it has been voted one of the top 100 beaches in the world. (should be top 10 in my eyes)
What makes Carvoeiro beach stand out to me, is the backdrop. So flipping picturesque!! It’s sat right in front of Carvoeiro town - with it’s native white washed walls, terracotta rooftops and fishermen’s houses, it’s a glorious space to watch the sun go down.
Its a much bigger beach than Marina or Camilo so no need to fist fight for your patch of sand. (And there are no steps to tackle)
You can hire jet skis and there are toilet and showers available.
When you’re done, just walk into the local town, chuck the kids in a tuktuk and have a knees up.
So all in all I think we did a very good job of seeing the Algarve in 8 days! We were really blown away by how beautiful and natural it was. And we're super excited to attend a wedding there next year. Any questions guys - give us a shout and remember to go follow us on:
Aimee and Craig x
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