The Algarve – A Stroll Along Praia da Falésia

“Imagine the Grand Canyon sitting on a beach. Welcome to Praia da Falésia. The beloved beach is characterised by its incredible red cliffs. In fact, the translation of the beach is Beach of Cliffs. Falésia beach is one of the best beaches in the Algarve. Even if you are not a beach lover, this beach is definitely worth a visit.” – Algarve Guide

It was a glorious morning, we took breakfast in the hotel dining room, watched sad guests bagging sunbeds and applying bucket loads of sun cream and preparing for a hard day around the pool and then set off to walk the four mile Praia da Falésia towards Vilamoura.

We had no desire or intention to walk as far as the resort. We visited Vilamoura previously  in 2019 and immediately wished that we hadn’t.  The official guide boasts that “Vilamoura is unlike any other Portuguese town, gone is the dilapidated charm, replaced with striking perfection, which is simply expected by the super-rich who frequent the marina.”

It is a modern purpose built tourist resort completely lacking in any sort of character  with roving packs of British golfers in between golf courses. And Chavs with tattoos.   We prefer ‘dilapidated charm’ and are certainly not ‘super-rich’ so stayed no longer than half-an-hour or so before quickly leaving without a single glance in the rear-view mirror.   As it happened on that day we moved on to Olhos de Agua and had lunch on the sea front but I had completely forgotten about that.

So we set off on the walk…

This was Olhia de Agua in about 1960.   It has changed a lot obviously.  I read a book before the holiday bu someone who lived in the Algarve in the 1960s and was forever going on about how development was ruining the place.  If he could come back now I tell you that he would have a mental breakdown.

This is not a great picture, it shows the village about sixty years or so ago and was on a menu at a local restaurant,  No concrete, no boulevard, just a sandy shelving beach and a fishermen’s village beyond.  Sigh.  Double Sigh.  Double Double Sigh.

I am not really a great fan of beaches, except for walking.  I cannot sit on a beach for a long time, about one hour is my absolute limit and that includes a fifteen minute paddle/swim.

This isn’t Portugal, believe it or believe it not it is Skipsea in Yorkshire, England and that is the North Sea…

Falésia is a good beach for a walk, soft sand, cool Atlantic water lapping over  ankles,  driftwood and shells to collect.  I always add a little bit of driftwood from each new beach that I visit to add to my own creation …

And wildlife.  We weren’t sure if this was dead or alive, Kim invited me to poke it to see but I declined the offer…

I was intrigued by the cliffs, sandstone eroded over time to reveal dramatic sculptures and I amused myself by looking for faces in the stone.  This one reminded me of the Semana Santa in Spain….

This one of a Viking Warrior…

It was a good day, it was a good walk, we enjoyed it…

Cofete Beach on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands still remains my favourite…


19 responses to “The Algarve – A Stroll Along Praia da Falésia

  1. Some of these look familiar. Still, nice to see them again.


  2. Those Ku Klux Klan headdresses are really weird. I wonder if the American organisation took them from European religion? It must be very difficult to keep the holes exactly over your eyes.


  3. A nice contrast of Skipsea beach


  4. I love the faces in the cliffs, Andrew. It’s a beautiful beach and it wasn’t too overpopulated the day we were there but it would never be my first choice in a place to stay. Sadly we all are the cause of the development along the coast. It wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a market. Fortunately there are still unspoiled areas in the Algarve but I struggled to recognise some of them from the descriptions in that book. Progress, huh? But I still managed to find a very palatable red wine for 80 cents here recently.


  5. Ahh they still have vikings in there ::) Even if born on a beachtown, me too cannot last long on a beach, prefer a castle ! Cheers


  6. I love walking on slightly damp sand


  7. Love those cliffs and faces. I too can only spend an hour on a beach, walking along the shoreline. I once took a book to read and went to sit on the rocks, but after half an hour I figured I might as well go home.


  8. Such a shame when beautiful places sell their soul to the big tourist ticket – a shame but at the same time justifiable and understandable. And of course by definition it’s never the ugly places which become popular.


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