Portugal Road Trip - Algarve

Portugal Road Trip: My favorite moments

After more than 2500 km traveled by car, I’ve returned from one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever taken where I’ve visited many places that I thought existed only in travel magazines or on computer wallpapers. If you’ve been following on my Facebook page, you know that I’ve posted daily little updates from the road. If you haven’t however, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up, as I’ve been writing down notes here and there and have enough ideas to last me a while. So without further ado, I would like to present to you my favorite moments from the Portugal road trip (though really, every moment was special, so I’m just sharing some of my favorite pictures).

Discovering the stunning beaches in the Algarve

I’m actually convinced that the Algarve region is one of those places that are heaven on earth. Gorgeous beaches where you could spend hours just enjoying the fresh air and the peaceful atmosphere. Or you could swim. Or surf. Or even snorkel (I wish I did that!). Whatever is your cup of tea, you can be sure the Algarve will welcome you with open arms.

 

 

The sunny day in Porto

I had mixed feelings about Porto at first, since we’ve only spent two and a half days and more than half the time it rained. But there was one day when we walked a lot, saw a lot of the places we were interested in and fell in love with the charming city. And then the next day it rained from morning till evening. Ugh.

Finding beauty in the little places

Whenever we traveled from Point A to Point B, we made sure not to travel the whole distance at once and I always looked for interesting places to visit on the way. That’s how we ended up admiring the moliceiros (Portuguese gondolas) in Aveiro, seeing the university in Coimbra, having the best meal in Alcácer do Sal or walking the full of history streets of Évora.

The cave boat tour

There are A LOT of possible boat tours you can take in Algarve, there are dolphin watching cruises, cruise with barbecue on the beach, whole day cruise and so on, one wall at the reception of the hotel we’ve stayed at was literally filled with brochures. But due to my excellent planning skills (self five!), I knew it would be cool to take a cruise from Benagil and see the wonderful sea caves. Best money spent during this trip!

 

Finally visiting Lagos

I was in high school and I hadn’t caught the travel bug yet. Hell, I hadn’t even left the country when I saw a picture of Ponta da Piedade in Lagos. It was then when I said I would love to visit it one day, but it seemed highly impossible at that time. Several years later, I did visit the place that was only a dream back then and  I had such an overwhelming feeling seeing it with my own eyes.

Searching for the best azulejos and street art in Porto

I never feel the need to actually visit a museum in Portugal, since the streets are offering me a more interesting display than any museum could. On the one hand you have the brilliant azulejos (the painted ceramic tiles) that could blow your mind and on the other hand, on every corner you could find street art that is either funny, cute, amazing or just plain weird. I set out to search the best of both worlds, but for now, I’ll just share two pictures I’ve loved the most.

 

Saying hello to an old friend

Leaving Portugal without stopping in Lisbon felt wrong, so I made sure to include a day in one of my favorite cities in Europe. It was such a pleasant feeling to walk again on streets I knew so well and venturing into new places. Sadly though, it seems like my friend was too busy for me, as it was so much more crowded than the first time I’ve visited in July.

 

 

I have a lot more detailed stories to share about my trip in Portugal (and how I took a day trip to Spain!) so if you want to make sure you never miss a post, you can subscribe via e-mail in the sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • The pictures are amazing!!

    • Thank you! 🙂

  • I love your pictures! I just came back from my first visit to Portugal last week. I only got to see Lisbon and the surrounding region during my stay (Sintra, Cascais, Cabo da Roca) but had such an awesome time.

    Definitely looking forward to getting back there and seeing a lot more in future!

    • Thank you! That’s what I visited the first time I was in Portugal too and since I’ve loved it so much, I planned a bigger trip. Hope you get to visit it again in the future!

  • I am pretty sure I teared up a little (on the inside) going through all these AMAZING photos, Vlad. It’s so beautiful!

    • Thank you! I hope you visit all these places one day 😉

  • So happy you loved Algarve! I think you had the same reaction to the place as I did a decade ago – like it’s straight out of a National geographic calendar. I rarely want to re-visit any place I’ve been (because there’s so much more in the world that I havent seen!) but Algarve, and Portugal overall, are second on my list right after Florence – to which I did not devote nearly enough time.

    • Speaking of calendar, my mom bought a calendar with the Algarve and I was flipping through it yesterday. I realized I need to go back since there are so many places I haven’t seen!

      • It’s one of those places that might be hard to leave!

  • It really looks like something right out of a magazine! I can’t wait to hear more!

    • Thank you, hope you’ll like my future posts as well (and won’t get bored because there will be SO many about Portugal, haha).

  • Looks like you had an amazing trip! I did my first visit to the Algarve last autumn (staying in Lagos) and was ill for most of it so didn’t see a lot – I will have to go back and explore some of those gorgeous beaches properly.

    • Sad to hear you were ill 🙁 You need to go back because it’s truly a place that you need to see for yourself.

  • Are you doing this on purpose? Because now I am missing Portugal BADLY!
    Gorgeous pictures and I’m sorry that it rained in Porto but it was the same when I visited then it stopped but was still a little chilly although it was summer but I still loved it anyway. I love those gondolas they look amazing. What a great trip you had, now I shall probably hire you as my travel planner 😛

    • The temperature in Porto was fine and the rain on the first day was bearable. But on the last day it rained and rained for hours which wouldn’t have been THAT bad if all the sights we wanted to see weren’t outdoors! What I regret the most is not going to Foz while we were in Porto, I loved the look of it in photos, but the weather hasn’t allowed it. 🙁

      You can hire me as your travel planner, I would love that 😉

  • I didn’t realize how beautiful Portugal is until I read your post, Vlad. This country is magnificent, I added it to the top of my list. You took fabulous pictures that most likely do justice to the places you visit. Those beaches rival the ones on the Dalmatian or Amalfi coast. And the weather seems to have been on your side. I think you chose the best time of the year to visit Portugal. Great post.

    • I feel like it was indeed the best time of the year to visit, it wasn’t too hot and the water temperature was fine. The downside is that the chances for rain are much higher, should I had gone a week earlier, I couldn’t have swum at all….

  • W O W Vlad!!! What kind of pictures are these? AMAZING!!! I reaaaaally have to visit these amazing places soon, I fell already in love only by seeing your pictures!
    Im happy you accomplished your dream to finally visit Ponta da Piedade, and also that you are considering learning Portuguese, how awesome!! 😀 Im very curious to read more and more about this wonderful trip you made!!!

    • Thank you! I hope will manage to find time to learn Portuguese, I found a very nice site that has cool courses on many languages.

      • You’re welcome 😀
        Have you heard of Roseta Stone? Its pretty cool to learn any language!

  • Heather

    Isn’t Portugal amazing? I did a two-week road trip around the country a few years ago and fell madly in love with the place!

    • It’s gorgeous, each place I’ve seen was beautiful and I feel like if I ever moved, this would be the perfect place to do it. 🙂

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  • Malvine

    Pictures are very, very nice! 🙂
    Soon I am going to Porto as well, can you please tell me the name of building or streets name where you took the picture with azulejos?

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  • Wow! What beautiful places!