It’s Good to be back on The Algarve!

We left Evora early doors, it had turned quite chilly overnight. There was a cool breeze blowing in. We were very ready for some proper sunshine and a beach fix.

The quickest route down to The Algarve comes out around Albufeira. We decided to try and get on the Motorhome Park at Falesia. It’s set between Albufeira and Vilamoura and is a very nice, upmarket area. Quite unspoilt amazingly given its location. There is a second Aire very close by called Acoteias. Smaller spaces but still another good one. The beaches are stunning. Note there are many steep steps down to the beach so not ideal for anyone with a disability. Sadly we could get on neither of the Aires, they were both full with vans queuing. You do need to get there early and be prepared to wait for someone to leave. It’s usually one in one out at this time of year. It was sunny and warm, we were eager to hit the beach. We know a cheeky little wild spot just down the road. Praia des Tomates ‘Tomato Beach’. I’ve done a full heading on this place, it’s beautiful. Tucked away on the edge of a pine forest next to the sea. We didn’t need any supplies so we decided to wing it and go there.

It’s a short cycle ride on an off road track into Vilamoura to see the fancy boats or a walk up the beach in the opposite direction to Falesia. The rock formations are incredible. Like giant tomatoes!! It feels good to just relax for an afternoon and the sunset is priceless, as usual here. We take our sundowners to the beach and watch the sun disappear into the ocean like a big red balloon. I quickly rustled up a smoked salmon, spinach and blue cheese omelette with an olive salad for supper. Simple and delish. Next morning we awoke to the sound of a Hoopoe bird’s distinctive call and the familiar jingle jangle of bells which meant the local goat herd was close by. It’s essential to make sure your dogs are restrained as the sheep dogs will attack domestic dogs if they give chase to their animals. They are just doing their job. Another thing to look out for is the shoot. It’s hunting season here and the hunters are often out and about in areas of open countryside and particularly forests with large packs of dogs. Do be vigilant. It’s quite frightening! Sunday mornings are a popular shooting day.

We decided to jump on the bikes after our early beach walk and ride over to the harbour at Vilamoura for coffee. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and bars around the large marina, something to suit everyone’s palette and pocket. There’s still a Benetton shop there, I love their stuff, a blast from my 80s past! There’s a little Supermarket too. Bought some minced pork (pick a lean piece of meat and ask for it minced) and freshly baked bread. I can always sort some yummy spicy meatballs with that! We hung around at Tomato for a second night.

Still couldn’t get on at Falesia next morning 🙁. Shame as my old school friend from back home was holidaying close by and I really wanted to hook up with her. Never mind, blessing in disguise as we were both dying for a curry and I was a bit cheesed off with cooking. We decided to have a run over to Armacao de Pera. There’s a good market on Saturday there too. Always a sucker for a foodie market and that one is a corker. Again, I won’t wax lyrical as I’ve covered it before. We are going over old ground now. These are very familiar territories to us. Seafront overnight parking with fill and dump at Armacao is €4. Camping behaviour is not tolerated at all so no equipment must be left outside your van or you are likely to be fined. There is a very nice ACSI site a short walk away from the beach if you prefer. The Bollywood Indian on the seafront is excellent. Another great spot to chill back and enjoy the sunset. There are a several great, ridiculously cheap, bars with fabulous views along the front, two actually on the sand or our favourite, Fortaleza next to the old fort walls. No need to bring your own sundowners here!! Try the pink Sangria. It’s delicious. Directly opposite the Aire is an upmarket beach shack, Praia Dourada. Great morning coffee and excellent food, mostly fish, with just the best views. Very friendly staff too and you will love the decor. I often spend an afternoon on their patio with a good book.

You can walk on the flat promenade right to the end of town at Armacao. It’s a great place to hunker down if you have friends or family flying out to visit. The campsite has bungalows to rent or there’s a Holiday Inn which is a useful alternative. Absolutely stunning beaches here. You can’t go wrong. See previous headings for more pics and info.

We had a very enjoyable few days here. Met a lovely lady, Jackie, very inspirational, doing life her way and making the most of every day all by herself. Funny how your paths cross with like minded spirits once you get out on the road. Had a fab curry and a welcome fix of wonderful sunsets! Already I feel somehow healthier and more contented.

An excellent introduction to the Algarve. Sunshine is most definitely a tonic. Winter is looking good!

I’ll leave you there my dear friends. It’s another golden evening, the sky is turning from pink to indigo and the moon is showing his face. It’s going to be a clear starry night and I shall nod off to the sound of the waves hitting the shore (and quite possibly, sorry to shatter your illusion, my dear husband’s snoring. Worry not, I am skilled in the ‘pillow over face’ technique. Works every time 😆). Wishing you all a pleasant evening. Much love to you and yours from beautiful Portugal. 🇵🇹🍷🍊☀️

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