Earlier in the month I made my first ever visit to Portugal. We had one of our family holidays in Albufeira on the Algarve coast. It was very, very hot, but we all survived and had a great time. One of the highlights was a boat trip along the coast. This was on a rubber speedboat which could only hold 12 passengers, which was the eight of us, plus four others, along with the skipper and our guide. None of us had experienced this coast before, so this was a real adventure into the unknown.
The coast west of Albufeira is mainly very rocky with sheer cliffs and innumerable caves. All the result of erosion of the limestone which forms the basis of that part of the Algarve The trip was spectacular in all senses and below are some highlights from the journey. First a general view of the coast showing some of the cliffs and beaches.
One of the stand out features of the coast is the isolated, gigantic rock formations which rise out the sea. The next photo shows one of these with some cliffs in the background. This is followed by a close up of another of these rocks.The main attraction of the coast is probably the many and varied caves that have formed in the cliffside. With our small and low lying boat we were able to go right into some of these caves. The following photos show some of the views from both the inside and the outside. The first shows an intriguing archway with some caves behind.
The following photos were all taken from inside some of the caves. The first is looking into the cave as we entered and the next is looking back out to the sea as we excited the cave.Two more photos from inside the caves. The first shows one of the many openings that can be found in the roofs of the caves. This features ensures that there is plenty of light in many of the caves. Then a shot of one of the beaches to be found deep inside some of the caves. These beaches can only be reached by sea – on a boat or by swimming, if you are brave enough!
This last photo also shows how the cliffs are made up of horizontal layers. The next photo gives another view of this feature, but from the outside.
The cliffs are full of surprising and unusual vistas when seen from the sea. A selection follows, starting with what looks very much like a face, if you look closely.
There follow some more unusual and interesting views. First up some of the highly eroded surfaces which can be found on rocks or the cliff tops. Then a view showing some more erosion in the form of little holes or indentations which embellish the cliffs. Then a photo showing some of the lovely colours to be found on the cliff faces, this one green.
I end with a photo, not of the coast or the cliffs, but one of a lighthouse which stands atop one of the cliffs. This is a reminder that long before tourism, Algarve was a place for fishermen and these lighthouses were essential to the safety of that dangerous activity.