The west coast of the Algarve is totally different from the east. It’s more rugged, open to the Atlantic without any of the marvelous sandbar islands that give us such warmer temperatures and it’s also very touristy, which is not necessarily a bad thing if that’s your cup of tea. The one thing it most certainly shares with the eastern area is beauty. It’s simply gorgeous.
With Marc opting to stay at home and enjoy a tranquil day of painting and relaxing Laurie, Patricia, Diane, and I headed off. I had a rough route planned out, some highway but mostly the mountain route from near Monchique. Turned out to be a good decision and I am confident in saying, all three of my passengers had a fabulous day.
The route from Monchique to Aljezur was simply breathtaking and also, because of the obvious devastation from last years forest fires, at times, heartbreaking. I took a few shots to share in just how ravaged the countryside was…..not certain it truly shows the damage.
Stopping from time to time to take in one thing or another is a prerequisite on these kinds of road trips and with the wildflowers sort of at their peak right now, it was impossible to not stop frequently to take them in.
Once in Aljezur we stopped at the local market to stretch our legs, enjoy a coffee and most importantly (for some) find a toilet!!! The market was small but quite enjoyable. I think a few euros were left behind!
We wound our way up to the castle on the hill and enjoyed a bit of a walkabout. It was a very warm day but strong winds also…….you can imagine all the “oh, my hair” comments!!!!
We wandered Aljezur for some time then headed off towards Cabo de São Vicente, which is the most westerly point in the Algarve…..it is not the most westerly point in Europe as many say…..Cabo da Roca, west of Sintra, is the westernmost point of continental Europe.
On our route, we stopped for a leisurely. and very pleasant walk through the rebuilt village of Pedralva, which our friends Harald and Bela introduced us to this past December. Everyone enjoyed it very much and as always, it’s wonderful to stretch our legs on a lengthy road trip.
Cabo de São Vicente never disappoints.
By this time hunger has crept in and we headed off for Sagres to the Restaurante O Pescador, which I had noted from a previous visit. We were certainly not disappointed.
Sagres, in my estimation, is not a very interesting town unless you’re into surfing. It’s pretty enough but there are many villages prettier and more worth the visit. We did enjoy a brief drive about and stopped for a few photo opportunities but then headed on towards Lagos.
I do believe there was a tiny blip in the financial economy in Lagos during this visit!! A few more bags joined the others in the trunk of the car. Then onward towards Porches all along the picturesque N125. Another blip in the economy!!!! We stopped into Porches Pottery, a must if you are driving through this area. It’s been around since 1968 and the handmade, hand painted pottery is truly gorgeous.
Our final stop before heading home, the point in Porches, enveloped by the sea on both sides, and the tiny church of Capela da Nossa Senhor da Rocha. The elicited oohs and ahhs were exactly what I anticipated.
A grand day, and a full day had by all. We had left home at 9 a.m. and returned at 18h30. The pace was perfect, the reactions, worth it all and the memories….. priceless.