For our long summer break in August, we went to Iceland. (Separate Iceland blog coming up soon). Although beautiful, it was cold and windy and felt nothing like a summer break. So, for the August long weekend - we decided to soak in the last bit of Vitamin D and head to Faro, Portugal.
We had a busy few weeks leading up to this trip, so this was our ‘doing nothing and chilling on the beach’ holiday! :)
We treated ourselves and hired a convertible car and we were on our way! We decided to stay in Carvoeiro, a small town on the Algarve coast line approx 35-40 mins from Faro. The main reason we chose this part of Portugal was to see the famous Benagil caves. Carvoeiro was a perfect spot - with a small beach, beautiful hikes and bustling restaurants.
Day 1 Saturday - we spent exploring Carvoeiro and the surrounding beaches. By exploring, we mean literally sitting and swimming on the beach, napping for a few hours in the afternoon and heading out for dinner in the evening. We didn’t do much and took the time to just unwind, de-stress and catch up on our sleep debt.
Day 2 - Sunday.
We had booked a kayaking tour from Carvoeiro to Benagil. A 3km kayak trip (one way) was the best way to explore the coast line. The Algarve coast has a lot of secluded beaches and caves that can only be explored by a small boat or kayak (or swimming if you’re brave enough).
We booked our Kayaking tour through Experitour.com but you can also book it when you’re there. Small kiosks are all around the beaches selling kayak and boat tours to the caves.
I struggled a little with kayaking the whole way through. We both have done kayaking only once (so we aren’t experts) and we were out in the middle of the ocean for most of the trip. Plus, speed boats constantly zip by creating waves and ripples that make the whole ride choppy. I was scared and had to hop on the boat for 1/4th of the way. But, we did have 2 beginner girls in our tour group who were absolutely fine and had no problems. We do recommend this highly as the sights were stunning but just be aware that it isn’t an easy kayak ride and it does get a bit rough in some parts.
It was all worth it though when we got to the Benagil cave. It was oh so gorgeous! The cave is a lot larger than I imagined with 2 arch entrances leading us into it from the Atlantic Ocean. Once inside, you’re amazed by the beauty and the engulfing orange light dancing on the cave walls. The cave has an opening at the top with sunlight peering through. We have never seen a beach inside a cave - and so for us, it definitely lived up to the hype. :) Pro tip: It does get crowded, so we recommend going very early in the morning to avoid lots of tourist boats coming in the afternoon. You can also hike up above the cave and look down through this opening - but we didn’t have time to do this on this trip.
For dinner we recommend: Boneca Bar at Algar Seco look out point. The restaurant is literally in between two cliff rocks - perfect to catch the sunset!
Highly recommend the Salmon fillet & the fish soup! We also tried the fresh Oysters & Melon with ham as an entree - which surprisingly went so well together. The staff and waiters have extensive wine knowledge and paired the scrumptious food with an excellent Portuguese white.
Day 3 - Lagos
We drove to Lagos (a 40 min drive the opposite direction to Faro) on our last day as we had the whole day before we had to fly. Lagos - a bigger town than Carvoeiro felt straight out of a coffee table book about Portugal. Every where we looked we saw white washed walls, pastel doors and intricate tiles on houses.
We spent the day in Lagos having a very relaxing lunch and exploring the town centre before heading back to Faro to fly back to London.
And that’s a wrap!
The Algarve region was a perfect weekend getaway - and an extremely relaxing holiday :) We hope our blog inspired you to visit this beautiful part of the world :)
Have you been to Portugal? What are some of the things you recommend? Let us know! :) Planning a trip to Portugal after reading this? Comment below or DM us on Insta (@100autumns_) if you need any tips or have any questions :)
Lots of love: V&S