In 1990 my parents immigrated to Canada from Algarve and lucky enough for me, I grew up spending the summers of childhood split between both countries. Every time I go back I’m struck with equal parts nostalgia and wonderment at all the new adventures and nooks I find myself exploring.
I'll be heading back in a couple weeks and I have the same feeling in my stomach that you get when you're about to hang out with an old friend. That feeling is oh-so-good.
Here are my favourite things to do in Algarve, Portugal.
Hit every beach humanly possible
The coast of the Algarve has a seemingly endless series of some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Stretches of sand and orangey-brown cliffs that contrast against the light blue endless waters make them super photogenic and the perfect backdrop to an ideal summer holiday. Algarve has 150 beaches to choose from all with powdery white sand and the sometimes moody Atlantic ocean offering the perfect opportunity for you to take up surfing and explore your dangerous side.
Food and drink are two things the Portugese do very very well. Tree ripened figs, fresh or aged local cheeses and wines. Some of the world's freshest fish and seafood with artisan olive oil, olives, marinated carrots, local butter, and charcuterie aplenty. Oven-fired corn bread loaves, grilled octopus, and fatty blue fish all topped off by a single pastel de nata.
In the fast paced world we find ourselves in here in Toronto, being in Portugal literally forces you to chill out for a couple hours each day. Usually from about 1-3pm businesses and store owners will all close for lunch, forcing you to take things slower, relax, and enjoy that much-needed siesta in the middle of a sweltering hot day.
I'm always dreaming of new destinations to visit across the globe but sometimes it's nice to revisit old faithful. Next time you're planning your next euro trip, don't skip over Portugal.