When people speak of the Algarve, they mention Albufeira, Vilamoura or even Lagos; nobody ever speaks of the last town. Just before you head towards Lisbon, the last beach along the Algarve is Praia de Odeceixe. Odeceixe beach; a hidden gem with its white sand, blue sea – one of the most beautiful beaches i’ve visited in a long time.
One thing I love about travelling is culture. It irks me to travel and be close minded in my surroundings; wanderlust is to soak up the culture from the food to the language. This beautiful town was a sleepy little town and I was lucky enough to have a travel companion who was eager to get out there and see what it had to offer. After (what seemed like) the longest day of travelling we decided on trekking the next day. In the picture above, just on the right, at the top of the cliff there’s a “white tip”. Climbing hills are not the easiest but the view from the top was worth it.
I’ve never been one to jump at the thought of exploring but, 2017, I promised myself I would get out of my comfort zone. In London, you never seem to find the time to stop and listen to the birds, or pick a flower, or even bask in the sun! I truly saw the beauty in nature as I climbed those hills – usually, I would take it in with my eyes but I couldn’t help but take photographs.
Before I get lost in the beauty of Odeceixe, I can’t forget to say how I stumbled across it. In the valleys of Odeceixe lies an eco-friendly retreat centre called Vida Pura (meaning Pure Life) with the nature of the project being humanitarian. For 2 out of the 3 nights spent on the retreat, I had the chance to experience staying in a Mongolian Yurt. The yurt had a desk, a couple of chairs, a wood burning fireplace and generally very intricate decor.
Vida Pura has a secluded feel, there’s only a small group of people on the retreat at a time and there are no sounds. Living close to a main road in the middle of London, i’ve grown accustomed to hearing sirens, car horns, shouting, buses… everything. Vida Pura served a fresh buffet-style continental breakfast every morning but not before either an Ashtanga or Hatha yoga class. It was my first ever yoga class and I don’t think it could get any better. Starting the day stretching the muscles with a breath-taking view of the hills and greenery around me certainly starts the day on a high.
The land itself is beautiful, the hosts are hospitable and list of things to do are endless. Anything we wanted to do, they were so knowledgeable and went above and beyond with suggestions and tips. I’m not ashamed to say I visited a beach along the Algarve every day at some point. I visited 3 in total and the local food was amazing, from the fried fish to the sweet potatoes. The weather didn’t disappoint either, on the last day, it reached 29.5 degrees celsius – my darkened skin is proof!
Would I ever visit Portugal again, most definitely.
Do I recommend Odeceixe and Vida Pura – again, most definitely.
My next trip to Portugal would ideally be a city trip but I hear there’s beaches everywhere so a sneaky beach trip is always on the cards!
Love, Meech x