September 4, 2010

Exploring the Cliffs of the Algarve

It's February 17th, and we are going to do some exploring today!

The great thing about the Algarve is that there is so much beauty within very short distances.  However, it does make it hard to decide what you want to see first. 

On this day we decided to start with "Carvoeir".  Carvoeir is claimed to be one of the prettiest resorts on the Algarve with it's white washed villas that glisten against brightly coloured blue skies!

It's raining this morning, as it seems to do every morning here in February.  And silly us, we have no umbrella.  So it was a good excuse to dart in and out of the tourist shops that lined the streets leading down to the town square.  The town beach,  "Praia do Carvoeiro"  is a beautifully sheltered sandy bay and spreads out just in front of the square with cliffs protecting it on either side, as you can see in the first picture above.  There are bars and cafés ideally placed around the square to enjoy the view while you have a bite to eat.

The Algarve is full of little beaches such as this one, and I'm sure during the summer months it's impossible to really enjoy it.  So we are taking advantage of this peaceful spot and I'm enjoying taking pictures with no people in them!!

 We decide to have a little something to eat at one of the great beach front cafe's, "Martins".  Oh yes, the rain had stopped and we were able to dine alfresco!

We spotted this stairway leading up from the beach when we were eating and decided to do a little exploring.

The cliff tops around Carvoeiro offer plenty of scope for walking and some great views.

We came across some beautiful benches decorated with Portuguese hand painted tiles.

After our walk we headed back to the car and drove to Praia de Centianes about 5 miles to the east.  Some more breathtaking views here, and there was a trail that followed along the cliffs.  But which way to go?  Left or Right?  And then I see it, a lighthouse in the distance to our left!  Okay, this was a no brainer!  The rain has stopped and the sun was shining, so why not? We followed the trail that took us along the cliffs with a view of the Atlantic Ocean to our right and white vacation homes to our left.  However, this trail started breaking up and could not be taken all the way to the lighthouse.  Lucky for us, we were able to make our way through one of the resorts and with the lighthouse standing 75 feet tall, we were able to see it above the buildings and trees and were able to navigate our way there.  Oh what a wonderful sight!

If your new to my blog, you may not know how much I LOVE lighthouses.  You can take a look around my blog and you will find plenty of stories about lighthouses I have had the chance to visit!  Okay, back to this lighthouse. 

Farol de Alfanzina is not in operation anymore and is fenced off and now the property of the Military.  I love how this lighthouse is not your traditional round, but square.

Well the clouds were rolling in again and we were a little afraid that we were going to get caught in some more rain.  So we made our way back to the car by walking along the highway.

Our next stop, "Praia da Marinha".  This beach is stunning!  Again we walked along the cliffs and I couldn't take enough pictures of the rock formations that have been cut away by the waves through the years.


We then discovered that there was a pathway of 116 wide meandering steps that led us down the side of one of the cliffs to a beach below. Boy was it worth the walk to the beach below.

A small wooden bar-restaurant is at the base of the steps where you can have some lunch or rent some snorkling gear.  Today, it is closed.  One of the many joys of traveling in the off season!  We had this private little beach all to ourselves!  The beach consists of fine sand and hosts numerous stunning rock formations.  At high tide which it was on this day, the beach is a narrow strip of sand, but at low tide the adjacent coves become accessible. Praia da Marinha has plenty of strange rock formations to explore, caves cut in the cliffs and many rock pools harbouring all sorts of marine life.
So we enjoyed some quiet time here playing in the water before heading back to Ferragudo to plan our next day of exploring the Algarve!

To see more pictures of our day, click here "Where's Debbie" and then click on the album "Exploring the Cliffs of the Algarve"


  1. Hi Debbie!! You are the first blog I'm going to since my computer has been fixed. Well, at least temporarily, I have to see if it will re-start! Managed to save all my data, so I am breathing a sigh of relief, that was the biggest worry! Wow to this post!! That strange village with the small cliff between it and the beach, and the unusual staircase! Some of the cliffs in the middle remind me of Wales, and I'm still loving the painted tiles. But that one cliff with the two arches cut out of it, man!! We live very close to Natural Bridge, and it reminds me of that, only shorter and with double arches instead of single. My camera is a Nikon Coolpix P80. It is not a fancy SLR with different lenses, but it is in between that and a point and shoot. I ADORE it, and looked at dozens before deciding. It is not a compact and needs a decent size purse to fit inside. But it takes pics in black and white, has 4 stop motion settings, and a 18x zoom. The zoom is so long you can snap birds and amimals from far away without scaring them. Please e-mail me if you have any questions. I would think a zoom would be critical for your adventures, and this has one of the longest without spending a fortune on one with a separate lens! hope this has been helpful! Also people are wild about the different stop motion settings, it really freezes even fast action, and you have your choice of how many pictures it will take per second. Can you tell how excited this camera gets me?

  2. Hi Debbie.... LOVE LOVE LOVE those cliffs and the views you had.... Glad you made the walk and back down to see everything...

    I would love that lighthouse also... I would probably be collecting either lighthouses or covered bridges ---if I weren't still collecting waterfalls....

    Thanks so much for taking me on your journey. I'm glad I got some exercise --going up and down those steps... ha ha


  3. I enjoy sandy beaches, but the rock formations you've shown are simply fantastic. The double arch is amazing. My personal opinion is that the off-season is best for enjoying the beauty of a place even if some businesses are closed.

  4. Lovely spot and photos. Reminds me of our trip to Greece - the white homes close together by the shore.

  5. The cliffs in Algarve truly deserve an applause because of their panoramic and breathtaking views. It is no wonder why so many travellers want to book villas in Algarve and stay in the destination for a long holiday; there are so many natural wonders to explore! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful!


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