If there’s one place in the Algarve that always works its magic on me, it’s Cacela Velha. I’ve taken you there before on my walks (remember Mind that hole!?) but today we’re taking the boat ride from Fabrica. In all my Algarve years I’d yet to see the ferry across to the beach operating, but a reference to it in Spanish ‘Conde Nast’ left me determined. Described as ‘one of the best 15 beaches in the world’, I’ll leave you to judge for yourself. How many beaches can there be in such a location?
But I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual. Taking a Cacela Velha turn off from the E125, you will first come to a sign pointing to Fabrica. This will bring you to a tiny harbour with a couple of very laidback bars and a restaurant. Out of season it’s a place for fishermen and locals, but on the last day of my holiday in September it was almost bustling. The tide was out and flipflops or bare feet were the best way to squidge across to the boat.
We scoot out to meet the sea, the boatman deftly following preordained paths through the water. Running aground would be all too easy.
You have two choices for disembarking- the first stop is opposite to Fabrica. The second, further along the sand bar, is opposite Cacela Velha. Let’s get out at the first, then we can have a bit of a beach comb before catching the boat back from the second stop.
The sky was very hazy and the sea a milky blue as I wandered with my camera. What makes this beach special, though, is the view back across the lagoon to the fortress on the headland. There’s an almost mystical quality, to my mind, in being out there on the lagoon. The tide was low enough to plodge across to the shore, but the sea creeps in stealthily here and you can be caught out.
I carry on beach combing as the tide flows gently back. Joyful cries and laughter reach me from the family on the sandbar. The Portuguese families revel in their beautiful surroundings. And I do, too.
I should explain that this beach stretches all the way back to Tavira. You can reach it by catching the ferry from Cabanas, and the beach will be much busier nearer to that resort. A very long beach walk would eventually bring you to this spot. In the winter months that or swimming across would be the only way to get here. Or a boat taxi, of course.
In the opposite direction, the beach rolls all the way to Spain, but first you have to cross over a channel. A boat is a very useful thing to own in this part of the world. Speaking of which, here comes the ferry.
The end of our walk? Well, first we might have a snack at one of the beach bars. Then I’m going to show you the view from Cacela Velha over to ‘our’ beach, just to give you a sense of place. It’s only a half hour walk along the road to Cacela Velha or, if the tide’s not too high, you can walk the strip of beach that hugs the cliff. You’d then have to climb the steps to the village.
Thanks for humoring me with this boat ride and saunter along the sands. My earlier walk gives you a land-based version, if you’re not a lover of boats. In either case, the views won’t disappoint. In the world’s top 15? I think there’d be strong competition. But I enjoyed it very much, and I hope you did too.
Thank you very much for all your support, and lovely comments. I have a fine time walking with you every week. If you’d like to join me, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page or just a click on the logo above. Next comes the good bit. Put the kettle on and get ready for a good read!
Humble apologies are due! I forgot to include this walk last week, so please rush over there first :
Totally opposite in every way- beach shots to die for with Anabel!
You can walk, or take the train. Either way, you’re bound to love the views!
Amy’s world is beautiful! Have you noticed?
I’ve heard so many good things about Berlin. Let’s take a look, shall we?
A trip back in time with Drake this week? Any trip with Drake is good!
And now for something completely different. Many thanks, Elena!
You wouldn’t get this level of activity on a UK beach ever, I don’t think! Lazy, aren’t we, Pauline?
Ruth has a totally fascinating tour for us this week. One not to miss :
The highlight of Geoff’s post for me is Wimbledon Park tube station. A blast from my youth!
Jude always shares beautiful walks but she has really blown me away with this contribution!
If you really want to test your fitness levels, this could be the place :
Once in a while I find something a bit different. For the foodies among you- say ‘hi’ to Ishita :
Talking about unusual, thanks for these ‘wild’ animals in the city, Becky!
I haven’t had a stroll with my friend Esther for a while. Sing along, won’t you?
The title of this next post could really have described mine, but they couldn’t be more different!
And you can always rely on Gilly to find the beauty in life :
Or maybe a stroll in sunny Munich will suit? Thanks, Rosemay!
Lastly, Denzil does his very best to give us a smile on a grey day :
Lots this week, aren’t there? I do hope you can find the time to visit, and many thanks to all of you for keeping me such good company. I have one more Algarve walk in reserve, but next week I’m going to hurl myself into an English Autumn, before it passes me by. I’d love for you to join me. Have a great week, won’t you?