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We headed further west along the Algarve coast this weekend, for a minibreak in the lovely town of Lagos. Lagos is a fabulous town to explore, with cove beaches, a marina and a huge variety of shops, bars and restaurants.
While further along the coast, we took the opportunity to revisit one of our favourite Algarve beaches – Praia da Rocha, by the city of Portimão. This was the first place we ever stayed in Portugal and it has remained close to our hearts ever since. The huge expanse of golden sand is backed by stunning (and steadily crumbling) cliffs and the seascape is peppered with rock formations of all shapes and sizes, inhabited by noisy, squabbling seagulls. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know this is a place we speak of a lot!
The highlight of the weekend, early on Sunday afternoon, was a trip to the lovely, quiet beach of Alvor. It was here that, some six or seven years ago, a clifftop ramble led us to discover a tiny restaurant built right into the cliff, facing the neighbouring beach of Praia Dos Tres Irmãos. Accessed via a dingy-looking lift from the land-side, this restaurant and its little area of beach felt like a hidden gem when we first discovered it.
In February 2010, shortly after we moved to Portugal, we set off to find this secret beach once more. After some hours of searching we finally found it, only to be devastated when we saw the restaurant had been destroyed since our last visit. We could only assume that the winter storms or falling rocks had caused its destruction.
It was with utter delight, therefore, that we discovered on Sunday that the restaurant is up and running once more! It has the same, secret feel that it did when we first chanced upon it and we were happy to be among those few individuals splashing in the sea in front of it. We had eaten shortly before finding it, but now that we know it’s there again, it won’t be long before we return to its sun-drenched terrace tucked into the cliff, to feast on clams whilst looking out over the sparkling sea.