We flew into Lisbon and rented a car. It's a quick 2 and a half hour drive down to the Algarve Coast. Alternatively you can fly into Faro airport and you're right in the center of it all. Since we had plans to return to Lisbon for a few days in the city capital, it made sense for us to make the short drive.
We stayed at the Pine Cliffs Resort in the town of Albufeira. This hotel is situated on top of some seriously tall and beautiful cliffs. There is a beach located at the foot of these high cliffs that is accessed via stairs/elevator and a long wooden boardwalk. The sunsets from the beach were stunning or you could relax and take it in from the cliff-top hotel bar.
There are more things to do on the Algarve Coast than just sit on the beach all day!
You can hop in your car and drive to the beach at Vale Centeanes. There is a large parking lot where you can plan your day. You have two options - 1. Go chill on the beach, 2. Go for a beautiful hike! If you chose to go on a hike, grab your water, walking shoes and snacks and head to the right along the coast. You can follow the Seven Hanging Valleys" trail for about 6 kilometers and see some of the most breath-taking views.
There are other beaches to stop at along the way (and buy a Popsicle) or you can stop for lunch at a local place. We lost the trail a few times, but eventually made our way out and back. Then we relaxed on the beach!
Mostly, while in the Algarve you'll just want to drive around to different beaches and take in the sun. That's what vacation is about, relaxing, eating tasty food and forgetting about your worries. If you happen to visit Albufeira, I highly recommend this restaurant...
The peri peri chicken is amazing. We ate there three of four nights that we spent in Albufeira! Sorry the picture is so terrible, but believe me that the chicken is life changing.
Like any other beach destination in the summer, Portuguese beaches get packed in the high season. I would highly recommend you visiting when we did, since the weather was still beautiful. Start booking your travel now!