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Sea Stack Love — Hiking the Cliffs in the Algarve, Portugal

Sea Stack Love — Hiking the Cliffs in the Algarve, Portugal

I love it when you find yourself at home very, very far away from home.

Sometimes you find yourself in a place where your heart is happy, inexplicably so … where you find yourself with an endless smile and your feet want to run everywhere, just to see every beautiful thing that exists.

The time I spent in the Algarve was better than I imagined and the smile on my face was never-ending.

Donloree Hoffman Algarve
I couldn’t have been happier than when we found the beach that morning. Just days before my birthday, I decided it was an early, Happy Birthday to me adventure!

Give me sea stacks, a craggy coastline, and cliffs to hike on and I am a happy woman!

If you also have a love affair with such things, you must, and I mean MUST, make your way to Southern Portugal.

Hiking the ridge and running the cliffs in the Algarve was my favourite outdoor adventure during the month we spent in Andalusia and Portugal. There is nothing quite like seeing the blue-green Mediterranean mixing with the Atlantic from hundreds of feet above, running down to the sandy shoreline, and then climbing back up to the craggy peaks.

Donloree Hoffman, Algarve
The colours of the rocks and cliffs against the blue-green sea was breathtaking.

We spent the day hopping down the coastline, going from beach, to beach, to beach and enjoying the gorgeous sites.

  • Praia da Marinha
  • Carvalho
  • Benagil Caves
  • Algar Seco
  • Carvoeiro
  • Praia da Cama da Vaca
  • João de Arens
  • Praia da Luz

While in the Algarve, we stayed in Portimao, which I highly recommend.

December is off season in Portugal which makes it a bit of a ghost town due to it being ‘cold’, aka 12 degrees and sunny. As I type this, it is currently a balmy -27 degrees out – somehow, their idea of cold is a welcome change. Using my Hotwire maven skills, I landed a 5 star hotel on the beach for $70 CND – incredible breakfast included.

I know, it is really hard to be me.

Prior to leaving, I had done more research on places to see, visit, hike, and enjoy than even makes sense. There is no way that a woman can see all of the places I found in the time we had, but you really do have to try.

Donloree Hoffman, Algarve
The coastline was full of trails to hike and run; if only we had more time! We could have run for hours and and hours, it was never-ending.

With all of the places I had tagged to visit, we simply put them into Google Maps and snaked our way down the coast, going from one gorgeous beach to the next.

Many times, we would simply drive to a dead-end, park, see a trail, walk towards the ocean, and suddenly the most gorgeous trails and coastline would appear out of seemingly nowhere.

Algarve
Arches, caves, and sea stacks galore!

It is understated to say the least. You could simply pick a spot, start running or hiking, and spend hours enjoying the views.

The few public beaches that we did find were basically empty except for a few committed surfers and locals with their dogs.

I love having a gorgeous corner of the world all to myself to enjoy.

Praia da luz
Praia da Luz in the morning – just us and the surfers.

I would highly recommend spending time in Southern Portugal in the midst of their ‘brutally cold’ and extremely sunny winter. The only down side is finding restaurants that are open is somewhat complex, but if you’re ok with eating fresh fish caught earlier that day that you have to pick out of an ice chest for them to grill for you – you will be just fine!

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