I started this blog over a year ago and haven’t done much with it since, one of my first posts was a packing list for our Portugal getaway. The trip was almost a year ago now and I am finally getting around to posting about it 🙂
We flew into Faro, you can get great rates with Ryanair.. or Easy Jet..? One of those, but we couldn’t use either because they didn’t fly on the days we needed. The flight was a short one from Austria and we were able to pick up our rental car directly at the airport. With a rental car you get a little device that picks up all the tolls as you drive on the highway so you can pay it all at the end, it wasn’t too expensive from what I remember, the rental car was pretty cheap too!
Our goal was to make it to Sintra way up North from Faro and drive the coast all the way back and I am happy to say we succeeded!
Sintra was amazing! Our first stop was Quinta Da Regaleira, a beautiful garden with castles, a mesmerizing well, ponds and caves a waterfall and so much more! You could spend days in this place, it was just magical!
We spent hours in the park then went on a search for a place to camp. Sintra is a large city so there was no “wild” area where we could set up camp so we decided to spend the night in a camp ground. It was nice to have a hot shower in the morning and the place had free WiFi!
The next day we packed up our tent and gear and headed for the coast! We didn’t have an exact destination we just tried to hug the coast as much as we could and when we saw something interesting we headed that way!
We found that the tiny gravel roads lead to the best spots 🙂
It took a lot of zigging and zagging but we eventually found a giant beach and we had it all to ourselves!
Woo-hoo! King of the beach!
We camped out in the sand overnight and woke up alone to breathtaking views and the sound of the ocean. Nothing like the feeling of sand between your toes and your love by your side in the morning 🙂
Of course we had to do a write-in-the-sand picture 🙂
I was sad to see so much trash on the beach, this is why recycling and reusing is so important, once you see the impact that plastic and other trash has on the world it’s hard not to think about your consumer decisions more.
We left our private beach and drove South towards Algarve in search of the next adventure, we stopped at a few places and snapped some pictures.
We took a dirt road as far as we could with our little rental car and ended up at this gorgeous lake all by ourselves. We took the opportunity to dry out our things from the rain the day before, cook lunch and soak up some sun.
We made one last stop at an ocean stairway before finding the best camping spot ever!
We found the ruins of an old castle (it might not have been a castle, but I will continue pretending it was ;)) up on a hill overlooking the ocean and there were no signs saying we couldn’t camp there so we took the opportunity! The views were extraordinary in every direction.
We explored the ruins a little and looked for the best place to pitch our tent.
We decided to pitch our tent up the hill from the ruins in a more private area.
We woke up in the morning and said goodbye to our little “castle” and the view that came with it.
We hit the road again headed South and found another beautiful beach, the restaurant on the beach was closed so we had the beach to ourselves! We had some breakfast, watched the sun rise and listened to ocean, it was perfect.
Our next destination was Praia da Marinha in Algarve!
The rock formations, carvings and cliffs were wonderful.
I did not take the stairs in the below picture, I tried and made it to the point where the rock is sticking out of the wall and couldn’t go further 😛 They are a lot more narrow and higher than they look in the picture, and there was no water underneath at the time!
The steps down to the beach were a little scary in flip-flops!
Lucky us, we had the entire beach to ourselves again, unbelievable!
We went for a walk around the area and ran into some unexpectedly stunning scenery! We were just waiting for a pirate ship to come out of the cave.
The weather warmed up and we went for a swim in the ocean, the water was perfect! After soaking up the sun for a few hours we drove towards Faro and camped out next to a beach near the city.
We woke up and enjoyed some fresh mango and Summersby Apple Cider on the beach before our flight home. Day drinking is allowed when you’re on vacation.
It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Portugal, or until we meet again. 😉