Europe, Portugal

A Solemn Escape to Carvoeiro

Europe Portugal

It’s considered a strange thing to do – going on a holiday all alone. However, it is the perfect remedy after a stressful period. I was very keen on going on a holiday somewhere new to relax after I finished university. All I needed was a quiet and warm place, close to water and nature yet with beautiful and enchanting architecture. So, I randomly booked a holiday deal to Carvoeiro, Portugal.

First thing I did when I arrived at the resort was shower and change to my summer dress – the holiday mode was ON. I took a tour around the compounds of the place and its gardens and sights before I retreated to the pool area for lunch, where I claimed the pool as my sanctuary.

After few days of ultimate relaxation, I decided to leave the resort and discover the area. I took a map, my sunglasses, my beach hat and was off. I hiked around the olive gardens surrounding the place and wondered around the different villas and houses there until I finally was at the beach.

This will sound very cliché but one needs to get lost before finding themselves again. I got lost many times during my walk and had to exercise my navigation abilities as well as sign language while asking locals for directions, but that was probably one of the best aspects of that holiday. I learned not to depend on my GPS to find my way around. Also, because I was the master of my holiday plan, it didn’t matter what time I got to my destination and therefore no deadline stress. In fact, I didn’t have an actual destination, I just walked under the hot warm sun inhaling fresh healthy air and admiring beautifully built casa’s.

Eventually however, I found myself looking at the blue waters. I didn’t realize it while I was hiking, but I was on the top of the cliffs surrounding Carvoeiro Beach. The view was absolutely breath-taking; the water shores, the Stoney landscapes with their naturally grown plans and trees. I think one has to be there to experience the full enchantment, although I did take  a few pictures to recall the memory which can give some rough idea.

The beach hosts a number of small shops, big restaurants and plenty of fresh ice cream places. A quick look around lead me to find a group boat tour place featuring the sea caves around the beach so I booked a tour! The boat trip introduced us to numerous sea caves, including the devils eye cave, which are found between Praia De Carvoeiro and Vale De Centianes. We also found ourselves stopping at some beaches tucked so deep between the cliffs, they were impossible to access by land.

I spent the rest of the day roaming the alleys around the beach and checking all the shops there and slowly made my way back home. The return journey took far less time as I knew the area better by then. A meal, a nap and a shower later, I found myself witnessing my last sunset at Faro and by 10pm, the place was dark and was already getting cool. I went to my claimed sanctuary for a last dip in the pool.

The next morning, I was in the bus to the airport and was heading back to the UK, feeling much calmer than I’d been for years and more relaxed than ever.

Contributed by Es-Lujane Bushra