The Beaches of Portugal
By Diane McCalley
I admit it - I'm a beach freak. I love traveling to beaches all over the world because, to me, every beach has its own personality, yet, all have that same quality I love - the ability to instill instant calm. That's right, even those rocky, craggy beaches with the hard waves crashing on the rocks can instill instant calm.
Someone asked me the other day if I had to choose just one beach to visit, which one would it be? The Algarve in Portugal popped into my head. Okay, it's not one beach, it's an area (the southern most part of Portugal to be exact), but The Algarve is so diverse, it truly offers whatever beach is going to fit my mood.
First, a little geography. Heading west, the western tip of The Algarve is the end of continental Europe. In fact, in ancient times the area was felt to be the edge of the world. So, when you're soaking up the sun on the beaches of The Algarve, it's fun to just imagine yourself at the edge of the world.
There are over 100 miles of beaches in the Algarve! So, whatever type of beach-going experience you desire is sure to be found. Starting on the west coast there are the windward beaches with large dunes. That translates to some incredible surfing. If you desire cove-type beaches which are more secluded, try the southern coast.
One of my favorite beaches in The Algarve lies south of Lagos on the western coast - Dona Ana, which is a cluster of coves. Dona Ana is just the perfect place to get lost in the beauty of The Algarve. I can just sit and think for hours. And, when I'm through sitting, it's fun to explore the many caves and grottos which grace the area.
If you're contemplating a trip to unwind, I definitely recommend The Algarve, Portugal. Your soul will be glad you made the trip.