As if every beach in the Algarve region has a story of its own, hopping from one beach to another is taken for granted. Given the fact that our hotel was just a stone’s throw away from the shore, we started the 2nd day of the exploration of Algarve region with checking out the nearest beach Praia da Oura. Make sure you have read our 1st day explorations here before enjoying the delights in store the 2nd day round.
Before we started off, we explored the impressive interiors of our apartment hotel Muthu Praia Oura. With a well-lit indoor space with ample amount of sunlight coming in, the hotel created such a pleasant feeling of space and privacy. With indoor fountains, plants and trees – the calming effect got full scores even before hitting the beach.
Given it was an apartment hotel, one had the option to buy own food and cook inside the apartment. Also, the hotel did not offer any breakfast in any case. Also on this occasion we were pressed with time and decided to try out the delicacies outside. We actually knew we would seize the day when we went in to the Carpe Diem restaurant for a sumptuous English breakfast. It was evident how popular the south of Portugal was to the English tourists because almost every other restaurant offered full English breakfast and a few also had Karaoke evenings playing popular English songs from the 70s and 80s. We packed our stomachs with enough ammunition to keep us going for the day.
Packed with sunbathers, the blue waters of the Atlantic tried to keep the super hot white sands as cool as it could. With more hotels and restaurants just round the corner, the beach seemed perfect for families, couples and not to mention children. Given that we were not there to fry ourselves under the sun to acquire another shade of brown – we decided to hop on to the next beach and our next stopover was at Praia dos Carneiros.
While doing the beach hopping and the driving we realised that it would be impossible to check out all the major beaches along the shore – the ones we witnessed during our boat ride the previous day. So it would make sense to really explore the must-see beaches given the fact that we have only 2.5 days in our hand. So without thinking anymore, we changed the GPS coordinates to take us to the Praia da Marinha which is bestowed with natural rock formations along its shoreline and which happened to be most attractive, most photographed beach along the Algarve coastline. Considered as one of the top 10 best beaches in Europe and as one of the top 100 beaches in the world – we knew for sure where we wanted to spend rest of our day.
No denying of the fact however that the GPS is not always reliable and we had to so many times apply common sense by keeping both eyes on the road itself to find out our destination. Same happened with Praia da Marinha that for some reason GPS could not identify its exact location. Nevertheless, there was certain fun to be had when we were actually lost in a foreign land and we didn’t have any flight to catch the same day. So we could still devour as much as the landscapes and architecture as we could while we drove through rural sites and sometimes serene residential neighbourhoods.
Once we finally arrived at the Praia da Marinha, the elevation offered us the welcome view of what we had been looking for. Majestic and gigantic rock outcroppings on both ends of the shore stood as a witness of the never-ending negotiations between water and earth. Surely the water won over time, with the aid of wind – it did manage to change the shape of the rock over million years – we could only see the ones which were standing tall with their remaining pride and grit.
The beach itself was fabulous, with ample of amount of soft sand to walk or to simply lie down, the nearby rocky edges also provided much needed shades to those who wanted a brief hide-out from the scorching sun. In no time however, the waves started to get more fierce as the sunset approached. The previously dry and hard to reach areas of the shore started to get into the hungry reach of the foamy Atlantic waves. A few times, we had to rush to our belongings to make sure that the waters didn’t take them away thinking them to be their trophies for the day.
With a memorable sunset to witness and a sand particles all over our body from the Praia da Marinha, we drove back to Oura at our hotel to spend the final evening in Algarve and in Portugal. For dinner, we really wanted to try out Piri-Piri chicken which we later found out that it was nothing more than a branding strategy to woo tourists. So what we are used to eating at Nando’s – say in London – is nowhere to be found in Portugal. Portuguese people don’t eat piri-piri grilled chicken in their day to day meals, rather it was only well-packaged and presented to foreign tourists because they demanded it – simple. However, to tick the box – we did order one for dinner and it turned out that Nando’s was much better. Period.
The lingering memory for the day kept rhyming with the foamy waves of the Praia da Marinha. As the sun went for the dip, the foams of Atlantic became more greedy, trying to seize whatever it could from the shore on its way back. Who knows what the waves could snatch from the shores of Algarve that day, but we knew for sure we definitely seized some best moments of this eventful roadtrip in Portugal that day. Carpe Diem!