Travel

Portugal – A break from the city life

A long awaited Summer holiday in Europe was definitely needed after these long nine months of hard work, moving house and sometimes not even having our weekend to ourselves. Eamon and I decided to take a well-deserved break in Portugal and we didn’t want a city adventure, but something completely different to London. We wanted to be forced to take a complete timeout. We decided on Albufeira in Algarve. Man oh man, am I in love with this pretty little seaside town!

Albufeira

Here are my favourite parts of the town:

Praia Sao Rafael

This beach was just a few minutes walk from our home for the week, Sao Rafael Suites hotel. The small alcove beach is breathtaking. There are nooks and crannies everywhere for you to use. Whether you want full-on sun or a shady croft, this beach has it. There is also a small bar/restaurant at the entrance if you are hungry or thirsty. The best part of the beach? There is a hike up above the beach. It is just a small and very manageable uphill walk to the top of the beach’s cliffs. The view is AMAZING and not one you will forget.

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The Old Town

The old town is a typical touristy beach town with a hub of foreigners. However, it has a quirky mix of derelict buildings and old school charm. It is packed with every type of cuisine you can think of from traditional Italian to rustic Spanish. There are also a few beaches that stretch one after the other that gives you one great (and long) beach walk. This would be the perfect stretch of beach to watch the sunset. Eamon and I got ourselves some gelato and took a walk through the narrow streets just soaking in the sun and the history of the town.

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Caves and Coastlines boat tour

This was possibly the best thing I could think to do for the day. We took a +-3 hour boat ride along the coastline of Albufeira. It was at the best time of the day where the sun was high and warm, but the breeze from the boat cools you down. You are shown the caves along the coastline which are immense! There are so many and they range in sizes, some even have their own beaches where you can go and relax after exploring the caves. For me, this was the best way to see the city.

You can either get involved and learn all of the names of the beaches and caves, or you can choose to lie in the sun and relax on the top deck of the boat. Either way, it is a great way to spend the day and finish it off with a glass of bubbly. Why not 🙂

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coastline The Yellow Submarine caves

Fresh seafood

I am a HUGE lover of food. I don’t think this surprises anyone much. Being in a seaside town, in Portugal, you would be insane not to try the fresh seafood. I think I ate some form of sea life every day of my holiday. Fresh caught grilled sea bream with a squeeze of lemon is a must try! I do wholeheartedly feel that when you are travelling, embracing that city’s food is just as important as exploring the sights. And I had an extremely good education in Albufeira 🙂

sunset

I love going to small seaside towns like these because it forces me to relax and take joy in the small things. Life is too short to get caught up in the London lifestyle and not look back. As exciting as London is, sometimes it does the soul some good just leaving her behind and having a love affair with another city. Albufeira was definitely a great taste of what Portugal has to offer and has definitely encouraged me to want to go back to see the rest of the beautiful country.

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