After some initial difficulties we enjoy the sun, the sea, the wind and the varied landscape to the full!
GIn the spring, you can still discover the quiet and wild corners of this rugged and original region in the western Algarve ...
At a glance:
Wann: 22.4.2017 29.04.2017 to
Getting there: with transavia from Munich to Faro and back for about 650 € including luggage for two adults and two toddlers
Getting Around: Car hire booked by AVIS via CHECK24 * for about 120 € for a compact class without deductible
Travel time: We mostly had temperatures around the 20-22 degrees and sun-clouds mix. Without wind and with sun it could be very hot. The wind was mostly there and then quite fresh. On the penultimate day it has rained all day ...
Time shift: -1 hour to German summer time
Good to know: the motorway is chargeable in Portugal. The easiest way is the car hire a so-called "box" to book for about 2 € / day. Otherwise you have to settle the fee at the latest every five days at the post office. The tolls are limited.
Every beginning is difficult
I must confess that I did not expect all these crowds. There are no holidays and from the high season we are still far away. Nevertheless, the people on the butler stand by transavia Snake! You can also enjoy my experiences with this low-cost airline here nachlesen. We have to queue for over half an hour and then fortunately be left, as our flight is soon. Blessing in disguise!
In Lighthouse arrived but then expected us the next shock: the line at the AVIS counter goes out to the street. Software problems. Waiting time: almost 1,5 hours!
We are annoyed and our children are totally exhausted. We are angry and still get an upgrade to a station wagon after all. Finally, we are looking forward to our upcoming vacation and our (hopefully) beautiful Airbnb accommodation in the car and set out on the way Light and Shade.
Then the Supergau: our Airbnb host has somehow squandered with our booking and the caretaker on site has no idea that we arrive today! The house is occupied and the steward is not even close enough to make it somehow possible that we can still move in today. I am really disappointed and annoyed. Behind two crying children who just want to sleep and we have no idea where to go. The host in England offers us to pay for two nights at the hotel and we can go to the house on Monday.
In shock we go in Light and Shade once in the first cafe on the promenade a bit of food. Many Englishmen here and the food is correspondingly bad and overpriced. But that does not matter.
Strengthened and with calm nerves we walk to the next best accommodation on the beach and finally have luck! It is still an apartment with 2 bedrooms and sea view for us free and we say immediately.
So we sleep 2 nights in the Mayer Apartments* for 65 € per night, which for equipment and location really cheap. Today we only enjoy the beach and the sea on the doorstep and go shopping. It can only get better.
Light and Shade
A nice little tourist village about 10 minutes west of Lagos. There is a nice promenade by the sea with a few restaurants and cafes. The beach is not bad either with fine sand and a small playground.
You can tell, that it is still preseason. There is not much going on, everything will be prepared for the start of the season from May. Many English and Dutch are here in Light and Shade. All in all nothing special, but as a base for excursions in the area for us perfect!
After two days we finally get our beautiful Airbnb Apartment-Villa about 5 minutes from the beach. Except for the chaos at the beginning it is a really nice accommodation on two floors with a lot of space. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a guest toilet and a large terrace with sea views! The complex also includes a community pool. We were alone in the whole complex at that time. For about 75 € the night really recommendable.
Der wilde westen
A must, of course, is the westernmost point of Europe: Cabo Sao Vicente! We were relatively early and it was still wonderfully quiet and idyllic with great views over the rocky coast and the lighthouse.
From 10 o'clock it is over with the idyll then but suddenly and one tourist bus after the other is carted and opened the market stalls.
The Praia do Castelejo is really wonderful relaxed and not for nothing a surfers hotspot and one of my favorite spots!
There we have too a short hike about 1,5h through green meadows made with flowers and pine forests with hidden ponds.
In the sleepy village Vila do Bispo By chance, on the return trip, we discovered the best restaurant of our whole vacation!
Lagos and surroundings
Lagos surprised, I think, at second glance. At first, it's just a bigger, Portuguese coastal city. But if you get away from the tourist places in the winding streets with many cute restaurants and cafes, this city reveals your charm! It definitely will not get boring and you can shop here without end ...
The Meia PraiaLagos town beach can only be reached on foot, making it very idyllic and miles long. The beach of Dona Ana is probably the most famous in the area. And definitely very spectacular with its quirky rock formations!
Alvor is my personal highlight in the area! You can take a beautiful walk along the lagoon and along the sea, partly on boardwalks. The view is beautiful everywhere, whether across the Atlantic Ocean with its golden beach or the turquoise blue lagoon. There is also a nice beach restaurant.
We also have a little trip to Barragem da Bravura gemacht, a reservoir in the beautiful hinterland near Oxiadere. In the spring you drive on the way there through beautiful, colorful meadows and a green hilly landscape.
Arrived at the parking lot, there is a small restaurant with snacks and drinks. Behind it begins the short "hike" about 500 meters above steps (or even a paved path possible) to the dam. Not spectacular, but a nice change. If you like, you can walk around the lake from there, but unfortunately we could not do that because the Kraxe had forgotten ...
Last but not least is Salema a little insider tip for me and only 10 minutes from Light and Shade away. A totally tranquil village with a beautifully quiet and gently sloping sandy beach, perfect for swimming! The sea is gorgeous here and you are just feeling away from it all.
The landscape around Salema and a Budens is also wonderfully original and only here I have the feeling to have really arrived in Portugal.
Carvoeiro and surroundings
I was surprised that Carvoeiro is so touristy! There are numerous bars, cafes, shops and restaurants here. When we were there, we were unlucky with the weather and it rained in torrents. The beach bay looked very nice, surrounded by cliffs and houses.
On our last day we come back here extra to experience the breathtaking surroundings during a hike in bright sunshine.
We start at the Praia da Marinha and always walk along the coast to the beach of Benagil - simply gorgeous with magnificent views over the sea, the beaches and in rock caves! A wonderful end to our 1 week trip to the Algarve.
All's well that ends well
Despite starting difficulties and in between rather mixed weather, We have gained many beautiful impressions of this very varied coastal region. You could definitely spend four weeks here, there are so many places and beaches that we did not see and there is something for everyone!
For example, we did not even see the Eastern Algarve, but the time with two small children was just too short. The people were almost always friendly and fond of children. Incidentally, we had to queue again at AVIS when returning the car. Definitely not recommended!
Although Portugal will not be my favorite country (the spark has not jumped over), the Algarve is definitely worth seeing! Maybe you just need more time to fall in love ...
Have you been to Portugal before? What can you recommend in the Algarve in the spring? Here you will find mine Favorite places in the western Algarve again at a glance!
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