Notably named as “authentic Algarve,” this southernmost region of Portugal is known for its cliffs by the ocean, mimicking those of the Mediterranean, and stunningly captivating beaches. The orange groves along the coastline, fresh seafood and lush culture makes it the perfect low-key getaway.
STAY: We recommend checking out Villa Monte, which is a farmhouse in Faro. This hidden gem screens movies under the stars, has bikes to ride through the local olive orchards and the best clams at their candle lit outdoor restaurant. It’s a great place to go with a partner or a family, and is perfect for a quiet inland escape.
We also suggest Vila Joya in Albufeira. This hotel features its own private beach nestled into the cliffs as well as the only Three Michelin Star restaurant in all of Portugal. If you’re into having an experiential seaside dinner, this is the place.
EAT: Arte Náutica Beach Restaurant feels like being in New England. Here is where you’re guaranteed to get the perfect Insta food photo; the classically designed interiors, rustic lighting fixtures and maritime design details are Oceanside perfection.
DRINK: Port wine, also known as “vinho do Porto,” is derived from Portugal, so naturally that would be a go-to for the most authentic taste. It’s typically very sweet, and strong, so it is often paired with dessert, like Pastel de Nata, a custard tart.
SEE: If you’re into seeing something totally unique, you have to go to the Cemetery of Anchors. From the main road, you’ll have to walk an hour to get to the location on Praia do Barril beach, but once you arrive there are 225 anchors dropped in the sand dunes by fishermen where between 1522 and 1996, at least 75 fishing ships sank in the Bay of Angra. There’s no other memorial quite like this and the larger than life anchors are definitely worth the trek.
DO: If you want to surf, head to Peniche. It consistently has waves and features Supertubos on its Southern end - home to a WSL contest every Fall and one of the best beach breaks in Europe. If you want something more advanced, head to Coxos in Ericeira; a hollow, fast right point break. With Portugal’s endless coastline, waves for all levels and friendly locals, you can’t go wrong!
HANG OUT: One of our favorite walks is around the Praia Da Ursa beach and cliffs. These natural rock formations are sprinkled along the edges of the landscape and offer really breathtaking views.
SHOP: Culturally, the Portuguese are very big in ceramics, and there’s beautiful hand painted artisan ceramics everywhere, so be on the look out for local shops.
PACK: Make sure to pack mostly light, as the fashion is very laid back with casual attire. It cools down at night, so we suggest a light sweater, comfortable shoes for walking, and of course your swimsuit.
For her we’d pack an Opening Ceremony nautically stripped shirt, white Theory shorts and natural colored Vince Sandals. Our Miansai selects for her are: The Mini Tobacco Rucksack, Offset Cuff, The Bare Cuff, and the Thin Screw Cuff in 14 karat gold with pavé.
For him, pack some an Acne collared shirt, Club Monaco shorts and Ariagato sneakers. Some Miansai men’s selects we’d take are: a Trice Rope bracelet, a navy blue Single Rope Casing bracelet and an Ipsum Rope bracelet in grey.
BEST TIME TO GO: To make the most out of your visit, we suggest going in the summer, between June-September.
GETTING AROUND: Renting a car is the best way to go, everything is really spread out and the coastline is so amazing to see at your own leisure.