Algarve, Portugal – Breathtakingly Beautiful!

I’ve been writing this blog and posting videos for just under one year now. I’ve come to learn that some people jump straight to the video and just skip the associated blog story. And that’s just fine. I love making these videos and I’m glad that people enjoy them. But I’ve also heard that some folks look forward to reading before watching too.

When I started the website / blog a year ago, I was encouraged and helped by my cousin in Ohio, who is an amateur videographer. Jerry, and his wife Sonja, who is from Germany, have travelled through Europe extensively… but never Lisbon. I’m looking forward to a visit from them in the future so I can show them this amazing city!

Until we got started, I had no idea what a “blog story” was or how important it was to introduce an associated video. I just wanted to haphazardly post my videos. Jerry helped me understand that the video is only half of the story.

“C’mon, Johnny!”

Some of my family, friends and followers would joke with me about these “long” introductory blog stories.

“Just post the video, Johnny Portugal.”

That’s the nice version of what I sometimes hear.

There are a lot of reasons for the long intros, but here are three.

  1. People like them. A lot. Exactly one week ago I was eating dinner with some friends at a restaurant here in Lisbon. Two ladies approached the table as we were eating and I swear to God one of them said, “Are you Johnny Portugal?!”
    I was literally shocked and almost fell out of my chair! She went on to say that she loves the videos, but she mostly looks forward to reading the blog story and so did her friend. I had come to realize that for many people, the story is their favorite part.

    2. I like to write them. A lot. They take forever to write, they take a lot out of me and I sweat over every word. But it’s also the thing I do that is often the most creatively challenging and rewarding. I’m my own worst critic, and I don’t like much of what I do. My cousin Jerry’s jokes aside, I find it hard to accept compliments or be self-congratulatory, but real talk? I think I’m a really good writer.

    3. I think it’s one of the things that differentiates me. I always felt that you could publish a bunch of videos, tear off the headline and black out the author and you wouldn’t know what website it came from or who wrote it. But that if you did that to my blog story, you’d look at it and say, “That’s Johnny Portugal.”

And that’s really important to me. It has definitely served me well. Because when you pull the names off, it’s really hard for people to differentiate between choices they have.

So, what does all this have to do with the video you are about to watch? Everything. I appreciate that you spend 10 minutes of your time with me every other week. I’m glad that some of you even enjoy the story equally as much as the video. And I want to thank my cousin Jerry for supporting and helping me share a part of my life with all of you.

On to The Algarve!

Portugal’s breathtaking and stunning 100-mile southern coastline – The Algarve. What I saw in the eight days I was there was enough to know that I will go back, or perhaps even re-retire there!

While Praia da Marinha, which often gets a nod in best beaches listings, is famed for its yellow rock formations rising from a lapis-lazuli sea, all the coves have a special character. And it’s my favorite.

Praia da Senhora da Rocha is overlooked by a whitewashed medieval chapel perched on an impossibly narrow promontory; Praia de Benagil is a fishermen’s hangout and starting point for boat trips to a spectacular domed sea cave; Praia dos Caneiros has some of the Algarve’s broadest stretches of sand.

The shores here take their names from the mists of local folk history: There’s a “rabid dog beach,” “the brunette’s beach,” “mosque beach” or “little kisses beach.”

Some of the smaller strands are reachable only by scrambling over rocks, filing down scrubland paths or by taking a boat — guaranteeing solitude even during the height of summer.

Although there’s a scattering of vacation villas in places, much of the clifftop has escaped development. A five-mile hiking trail, the Seven Hanging Valleys, leads from Nossa Senhora da Rocha to Praia de Benagil, almost without passing any human habitation. Instead, there are shady umbrella pines, wild figs, and almond trees that bloom white in February and March.

All year there are flowers, but spring sees the scrubland erupt into blossom: Purple cistus, lavender, oleander and yellow gorse. The color scheme is augmented by dashes of pink hoopoes, azure-winged magpies, rainbow-hued bee-eaters and other exotic birdlife.

It took me almost a year to visit this magnificent stretch of coastline, but I know that I will be visiting this unbelievable part of Portugal again soon. And I hope you get to see it too.

I hope you enjoy the video! I was able to capture some fantastic drone shots!

4 thoughts on “Algarve, Portugal – Breathtakingly Beautiful!

  1. Karen

    The Portuguese tourism people must love you for writing these stunning and detailed descriptions of what you see and experience – really takes me there – like I’m with you! Great stuff. Keep it up – please!!!!


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