Thursday, 26 October 2017


With my life changing a lot this year and my work pattern shifting slightly I felt now more than ever the need to take a holiday. My mind and body craved a break away from routine. I wanted to take a SLOW HOLIDAY. Wake up naturally without the aid of an alarm, drink coffee, wander on the beach, cruise along waves, not worrying if I would get a good video clip and not forgetting drink beers by sunset. I didn't want to check my emails, worry about having to shoot a whole suitcase worth of product or event get the best surf shots. I just wanted to unwind and slow things down a little.

Which is exactly what Ben and I did, for 10 days in the Algarve region of Portugal.

This wasn't either of our first times to this part of Europe, I have in fact been four times previous to this one. Not much changes from year to year, which I love, it just got a lot busier but that's to be expected, it's a beautiful part of the world.

We started our holiday in Carvoeiro were we spent 3 days celebrating my father in laws 60th birthday. We hired a villa from Air BnB, stocked it with Portuguese Rose, Beer and Aluna Rum and kicked back and enjoyed the festivities.

After three days of heavily indulging we were ready to set off on our next adventure. Next stop Sagres. This sleepy surf town moves at a slow pace but don't be fooled by it's laid back atmopshere Sagres plays host to a pretty heavy beach break on it's day; Tonel. This wave actually only really broke once on our trip, due to the swell direction but I kinda liked that because it meant we got to explore a lot more of the coast rather than just wandering down to Tonel to surf.

We spent a fair few days surfing Corderama, which is just a short drive up the coast. There's something about this place that I found really special. It's surrounded by dramatic cliffs, some of which make you feel like you've just landed on mars with their parched and dusty landscape and other ways you look, make feel as though you could of sitting up looking at the Cornish coastline.
Corderama beach is vast and when the swell rolls in you have breaks up and down the coast. It broke better on a mid to high tide but you could still surf through low but it's wasn't that great.
I guess the only down side to this wave were the amount of surf schools to travelled to this beach. At some points the entire white water line up was littered with learner surfers, but this wasn't all bad as the very rarely got in your way if you were surfing out back. With a lovely bar on the beach it made the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset beer after surfing all day.

Another spot we surfed a few times is very much off the beaten track, Ponta Ruiva Sagres is just outside Sagres. This place has some of the funnest waves I have surfed in a long time with essentially three peaks. A left hand point to the left of the beach, a right point you've guessed it to the right and a run beach break in the middle. Considering how much of a mission it is to get to this place there were a fair few people on the beach when we first went. It's a popular spot with travellers and their camper vans and I couldn't help thinking when we walked past them early in the morning what a place this would be to wake up and have breakfast. It's honestly such a beautiful spot, I could of easily spent every day there.

With a break in decent surf it gave us a chance to head to Lagos for an afternoon of wandering around the city. We ate ice cream, took in the sights and sipped beers in the restaurants dotted along the cobbled streets. I am sure Lagos by night is very different but I enjoyed seeing it in the day.

10 days didn't seem long enough, we wanted enjoyed our stay in Portugal so much, we just didn't want to leave but like all good things they must come to and end, so now I am writing this blog from my sofa in Cornwall. I have such fond memories of this trip and no doubt will be heading back to Portugal in the near future.

If my short snapshot into this beautiful corner of Portugal has inspired you to take a trip, then check out my 7 tips surfing in the Algarve.

Tips For Surfing & Exploring In Portugal

- Get a car
We stayed in Sagres and due to swell direction the beaches around Sagres only worked on the last day of our trip, meaning we travelling up the coast for waves. Which didn't bother me but it made me realise how stuck you would be without any of your own personal transport.

- Prepare to go off road
The best surf breaks aren't aways the ones you can walk to from you apartment of villa, sometimes you just have to drive down a dirt track and hike a little to get perfect point breaks and beach breaks.

- Go where the locals go
They know their coffee, Tosta Mistas (Ham & Cheese Toasted Sandwich), Pastel De Nata (the most heavinly custard tart you will ever eat) and their fish and meat. SO if you see a restaurant packed with locals, more likely than not it's going to delicious and reasonably priced!

- Don't always believe trip advisor
Don't get me wrong I love trip advisor but sometimes the reviews can just confuse you and cloud your own judgement. If a place has more good reviews than not, don't be put off the one review that said the waiter was grumpy or they forgot a meal. Try it for yourself and make your own judgement.

- Take a key lock or key pouch
A saw a lot of people leaving bags on the beaches and in all honestly we were both included in this. At one point I think we left car keys, a SLR Camera, phones, wallet, GoPro and generally anything we had with us on the beach whilst we surfed and NOT ONE thing was taken. BUT if I had been more organised and less frantic whilst packing we would of taken my key lock for the car.

- The Sea IS warmer than the UK
Before I left for Portugal I was surfing in my 4:3 wetsuit and when I surfed in Portugal I surfed in my 2mm C-Skins Solace Boy Leg (Short Leg) wetsuit. I wore my 3:2 once and was far too hot. My husband surfed in a old summer suit he had cut the arms of to make a short arm wetsuit and he was cooking during some surfs. The water is at it's warmest during September / October and after an unusually hot spell of weather I think the water temperature must of been up a degree or two.

- Take a camera / phone / GoPro
Whatever you use to capture photos be sure you pack it for your trip to Portugal, this place is BEAUTIFUL. Honestly the beaches are stunning, in a raw rugged and untouched way. I could not stop taking photos, everywhere I looked I saw something worth capturing.

O U R  H O L I D A Y  I N  P H O T O S 



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