Destination: The Algarve
This Spring we headed to Southern Portugal in search of warm sunshine, salty waves and colourful tiles to shoot our Summer 17 lookbook. Full of character, textures and of course Pastéis de Nata, here is our guide to The Algarve ’s must-sees…
The Southern Portuguese coast is home to vast swathes of golden sand that boast some of the finest beaches in Europe. With over 150 to choose from you will be spoilt for choice, but to give you a helping hand here are some of our favourites:
Praia da Rocha, Portimão
One of the Algarve’s broadest beaches and the backdrop to our beach shoot, this fantastic stretch of sand is backed by ochre coloured cliffs with eye-catching aloe plants and is conveniently situated 3km South of the bustling port of Portimão.
Ilha de Tavira, Tavira
Forming a series of spectacular island beaches that sit offshore, the Ilha de Tavira is easily reached by a quick ferry trip from the historic town of Tavira, just east of Faro. So why not make a day of it? Beach umbrellas and pedaloes can be rented for a few Euros and snacks and drinks are readily available from the cafe-beach bars.
Praia da Falésia, Albufeira
This long, straight strip of fine sand offers one of the region’s most impressive views of coastline as you descend from the clifftop car park. Backed by stunning cliffs and topped with green pines that seem to be constantly changing shape and colour, this is an ideal beach for swimming, strolling and topping up your tan.
The Algarve’s capital and popular entry point to Southern Portugal, this laid back town should not be overlooked. With a distinctly Portuguese feel, Faro has the authenticity that many resort towns lack. With an attractive marina and traditional plazas, this historic town is bustling with outdoor cafes, a stunning cathedral, museums and well preserved Medieval quarters. With good shopping options and the stunning Ria Formosa National Park a 30 minute boat ride away, Faro is an ideal base for exploring the Algarve.
A short distance South of Praia da Rocha, Portimão is a busy fishing port, with a smattering of artisan shops selling leather shoes, jewellery, ceramics and wicker goods. The appealing river front has a series of traditional squares to linger on and plenty of outdoor cafes serving delicious grilled sardine lunches. We recommend exploring the narrow side streets of the town where, if you're lucky, you'll stumble upon the quirky, A Taberna de Portimão. With its retro chic style decor, this traditional restaurant is bursting full of authenticity and delicious food. If they're fully booked, try Restaurante O Mané across the street and admire the beautiful tile clad building whilst enjoying an espresso al fresco.
A delightfully traditional Portuguese town that makes for an enjoyable day trip from the coast, the beautiful ceramic tile backdrops captured in our lookbook were snapped in Silves. This medieval town, set over the Rio Arade, boasts one of the best-preserved castles in The Algarve and is postcard perfect with a jumble of terocotta roofs and pretty pastel coloured walls. Explore the backstreets on the hillside by the castle and soak up the sleepy ambience. In need of some refreshments? then Café Inglês with it's wonderfully pink frontage, shady terrace and chic interior is the place to go. A bustling eatery serving delicious pizza, salads and fresh seafood dishes daily with live jazz, fado (traditional song) and African music at weekends. Don't miss the chocolate St Emilion dessert!
A home away from home in Faro. This four bedroom town house conveniently located in town offers minimalist and calming accommodation with personal touches everywhere you look. With a sunny terrace to enjoy breakfast and welcoming hosts, this guest house makes a good base to explore Faro, the surrounding town of Tavria and the Ria Formosa National Park
In the mood for a bit of luxury? then treat yourself to a stay in this fabulous 5 star resort overlooking the stunning Praia da Falésia. With an airy, contemporary feel this hotel is complimented by Sayanna Wellness, an extensive spa and fitness centre. A perfect resort to spend a few days relaxing by the pool, enjoying the peace and tranquility of this special location.
So laze on a beach all day or explore the colourful old towns, The Algarve has a lot to offer for a long weekend or an extended trip. We had an incredible few days shooting in the southern Portugal, so do as we did – book that flight, pack your bags and get some well deserved sun!