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Algarve, Portugal

Once again, I don't know where to begin. I have absolutely fallen in love with Portugal. Every nook and cranny, every hidden street, every corner you turn holds some hidden treasure. From the warm and friendly streets of Lisbon to the dramatic southern coastline of the Algarve, a visit to Portugal will not leave you disappointed!

We spent the second half of our long weekend in Portugal exploring the Algarve. This breathtaking southern region offers a number of adorable little towns, jaw dropping coastline, and tranquil countryside. We wandered the streets of the larger towns of Lagos and Faro, Lagos and Faro, both offering unique historical districts loved stopping in the various shops and cafes that lined their cobblestone streets. Two of our favorite stops in the southern region were the smaller towns of Silves and Tavira. Silves and Tavira. Silves is inland from the coastline just northwest tiny streets wind in every direction and are perfect to explore. Tavira is split in two by a river that leads to the ocean and has the same sort of shabby chic feel that we found in Lisbon."

Early May was the perfect time of to see Portugal in bloom. It seemed like every flower had opened its petals just to welcome us as we drove through the rolling hills of the countryside. From the bright red poppies scattered along the road to the light pink roses that our hostess left for us in our countryside airbnb, it seemed like the Algarve was a brightly colored canvas displaying God's amazing color palette just for us to enjoy.

There are countless gorgeous beaches to visit along to coast of the Algarve, but our absolute favorite was one recommended to us by a friend we met during our stay in Lisbon called Praia da Marinha. You can walk down the wooden staircase to sandy beach below and explore the golden cliffs and unique arches shaped by the power of the sea over the years. Or walk along one of the hiking trails that takes you along the edge of the rocky coast, offering incredible views over the edge of the dramatic drop offs of the beach and sea below."

One of the things that we were looking forward to the most about southern Portugal was taking some time to explore the incredible sea caves that have been carved out over the centuries in the golden yellow cliffs that make up the coast. We decided the best way to see the caves was via boat, as the ocean was too rough during our time and we weren't able to rent ocean kayaks. The boat tours are easy to find and take you into caves and crevasses that you otherwise would never be able to find or fit into without a guide. There was one cave that we absolutely had to see, the Benagil cave, which is only accessible by water. The Benagil Cave is Cave is famous for its beautiful sandy beach inside, the hole in the top of the cave showcasing the glorious blue sky, and the two cave arches entering from the sea. Once we discovered that the cave was just next to the Benajil beach on our boat tour, we decided to swim to it and spent a few hours basking in the sun of the open "skylight" of this massive cave. The swim was a bit challenging but more than worth it. It felt so secret, and so surreal to just relax there together and listen to the sound of the crashing waves while we sat in awe of this incredible piece of nature. I have never seen anything like it, but unfortunately couldn't swim with our camera so the pictures from our boat tour will have to do.

We spent our last night in the Algarve watching the sunset atop cliffs near the Ponta Da Piedade Lighthouse near Lagos. It was the perfect way to end our adventure Portugal. We spent time reflecting on how blessed we are to be able to explore these incredible places together, and simply enjoyed the last few rays of the setting sun as it glimmered on the tides.

This trip was originally published on A Road Less Traveled.

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