Anyone who's watched day time TV will be familiar with the Algarve's appeal. We went to find a place in the sun leaving behind us some very windy waves in the west.
We yearned for a straight up windless beach day, our first stop therefore was Praia da Marinha. Supposedly one of the best beaches in Europe, there was nothing to nitpick it was bliss.
Once we'd had enough beachy perfection we left to find the cave from a postcard we'd seen. This was the Benagil cave, it was concealed behind tours which claim it can't be accessed safely without a boat.
We read up on accessing the cave and decided to paddle the short distance there on surf boards.
Not only was this heaps more fun but we got the mother of all sea caves to ourselves along with other superfluous caves and private beaches!
We stopped for the night in Lagos, a shining tourist town with traditional cobbled streets, a marina and lovely sandy beaches. The shopping centre has the usual array of Portuguese superstores... Meh! We didn't feel like staying long, the natural unseen sights of the Algarve held more appeal.
The next day we hopped on a short ferry from Quatro-Aguas harbour to Tavira Island. This gigantic sand spit goes on for miles and was recommended to us three times!
This is a great beach for chilling out under a parasol with your favourite tipple. Having grown accustomed to amenitieless beaches we were happy to find beach showers and toilets here.
We watched some teens attempt a surf on potential but minimal waves. Duncan wove a wind shield from sticks and then body surfed for most of the afternoon.
Once we had sampled the more touristy Eastern Algarve we wanted to turn back. The surf was picking up in the west, so we preferred to return to our former location, location, location!