Carvoeiro Coastal Walk

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.

Continue reading “Carvoeiro Coastal Walk”

Journey to Barcelonette

In mid’ June we decided to drive north to the small town of Barcelonette, situated high in the French Alps, about a three-hour drive from Nice. Our decision was based primarily on the strong relationship this town, or region, has had with Mexico since the early 19th century. Many people from here immigrated to Mexico; there’s not a family that did not have someone who went, and those that did, many did extremely well, returning years later very affluent and building elaborate mansions on the outskirts of town.

Continue reading “Journey to Barcelonette”

Bussaco Palace (Central Portugal Tour)

The Bussaco Palace Hotel (Palace Hotel do Buçaco) was built between 1888 and 1907, originally as a palace for King Charles I of Portugal as a royal retreat, or “hunting lodge,” as he referred to it as.  And it embodies a beautiful architectural style referred to as “castle romanticism,” which is obvious quickly upon your arrival to the hotel, and from the photos above and below.

Continue reading “Bussaco Palace (Central Portugal Tour)”

“Covão dos Conchos” Water Feature

This waterfall feature in central Portugal has been getting quite a bit of attention on the Internet lately. At first we thought that somehow this waterfall took place naturally, but after a little bit of searching we discovered it is actually the entrance, a funnel, to a 1,520 meter tunnel. The lake, or pond rather, was created by the construction of two small dams located in a small basin area on top of a mountain. Water runoff from the mountains collects here and then is funneled down the tunnel to supply water for the region.

Continue reading ““Covão dos Conchos” Water Feature”

Cote d’Azur Hike: Tete de Chien

This hike starts off in Cap d’Ail and heads straight up the hill and mountainside to the “Tete de Chien”, the massive rock that sits above and behind Monaco and Cap d’Ail. Easy to get to with the #100 bus. This is one, though, that I recommend using your smart phone with Maps as the path can be difficult to find at times, and they do show well on both Google and Apple Maps.

Continue reading “Cote d’Azur Hike: Tete de Chien”

Walks & Hikes of the Cote d’Azur

The Conseil General Alpes Maritimes publish a number of booklets (available online as well) that describe many of the walks and hikes that can be discovered enjoyed along the Cotes d’Azur. We’ve been enjoy many over the past few years, and below are some of our favorites. There are 60 in total in three books; Pays Cotier, Moyen Pays, Haut Pays. If I’ve written previously about it, a link is included. “A” means they are from the first book (closest to the coastline walks) and the number signifies the number of the hike in their book. They are rated as Easy, Medium, Difficult and Sportive.

Continue reading “Walks & Hikes of the Cote d’Azur”

Sunday walk to Monaco

I hadn’t been to Monaco in over 30 years, so I didn’t have many memories of it, other than this feeling that it was only for the wealthy and perhaps a bit pretentious. Well, we actually very much enjoyed Monaco. Visiting during low season (November)  is nice, but I’m sure the streets are just packed during the summer months. Although Monaco is very much over-built with high-rise condominium projects surrounding it, the downtown area has some wonderful architecture, making up for it. And on the “the Rock” where the palace is situated and the old part of Monaco, it is extremely pleasant, especially the garden areas and the views that follow along the cliffs looking out over the Med.

Continue reading “Sunday walk to Monaco”