In the Algarve, our favorite area is around Carvoeiro, a bench of high land between the towns of Albufeira and Portomao, which offers rolling hills on a an elevated coastline, and an amazing oceanfront with spectacular cliffs, grottos, caves and picturesque beaches. In between the town of Carvoeiro and the beach of Marinha, there is a coastal path one could never tire from walking. We did it in stages, so that we could walk back to our car each time. The walk is posted as medium-difficult, stretches just under 12 km and to walk it all at once would take about six hours.
The first stage of our walk was from Marinha to the small town of Benagil. Just before Benagil is one of the larger caves along this coastline, with an opening on the coast, something like a cenote, where you can look down into and see people on the beach and boats coming and going. The walk takes about 40 minutes each way.
The next stage was from Benagil to the lighthouse at Alfanzina.
This stretch is a little more challenging, with more vertical and loose rock. There’s a staircase to climb out of Benagil and another at Carvalho. But that said, it may be more spectacular than the first stage.
The third stage continues where we last left off, at the lighthouse at Alfanzina, and ends at the beach at Vale de Centeanes. This is the “official” end of the posted walk, but there are trails that continue from here if you wish to walk further. We got as far as the next beach (Vale Covo), but could go no further as there is a large hotel situated right on the cliff blocking any coastal path route. Most likely for our next walk we’ll begin on the other side, probably from Carvoeiro, or start from the Arade River (that separates Carvoeiro and Portomao).
The next day the weather changed quite drastically, with clouds rolling in and the wind blowing gusts up to 25 mph. With these types of winds, you don’t want to walk too close to the cliffs. And you certainly lose that lovely turquoise color in the water, as seen in the photo below.