The Algarve.

AH the Algarve.. The alluring south coast of Portugal. With breathtaking cliffs, dramatic sea rock formations, golden beaches, scorching hot days, unexplainably huge beach caves and surprisingly freezing cold water. 

After what felt like forever of the sun hiding away behind a thick wall of clouds, Kyle and I were ecstatic to reach a place where the sun never stops shining and the heat had you sweating in your sleep. This stretch of coast is truly remarkable and super fun to explore. It’s easy to spend a full day out kayaking around the dramatic cliff faces of Lagos beaches or even just admiring them from above. It was ultimate bliss for me. Walking along the cliff faces with my camera in hand – I was lost for hours.

Our Lagos experience was an interesting one actually. Apart from spending our days at the beach we decided to have a night out, which may or may not have ended with a substantial amount of vomit all over our bed 😣. Sorry Kyle but I have to share. My family seems to think its the funniest story ever, but trust me it was not funny at the time! Poor kyle had a little too much to drink and woke up spewing all over my side of the bed. At the time it felt like the world was coming to an end (literally) – BUT the alcohol probably didn’t help the dramatic reaction I had. So after a many drunk tears on my behalf, lots of washing of clothes and scrubbing cushions, and I few nights in a hotel we thankfully made a full recovery, and can now kind of find the humor in it. I’m sure it will become funnier as time goes on though (hopefully) 😝.

Before we left the Algarve, there was  one more beach I was dying to explore – and had been excited to see before we even started our journey.. Benagil Beach. Home to the most extravagant beach cave I think I’ll ever get the privilege of visiting. When we arrived we spoke to some of the local tour guides about getting to the cave, where they told us we could only get there by boat, and of course that meant going out at peak time with dozens of other people. But being a photographer, that was not good enough for me. I needed the cave to ourselves if I wanted to get the right photo. Soooo we decided to swim there at the crack of dawn instead to beat the crowds. If you’re feeling adventurous you can easily swim out. It’s only about 100m from the main beach. In saying that, if you don’t feel confident swimming than I would advice taking a boat because it can be a bit of a struggle if the water is a little choppy.

Swimming out at sunrise actually made it that much more of an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. The water was freezing, and we had to swim with camera and tripod in hand – but what we were greeted with was more than words can ever describe. The size of this cave is astronomical! Definitely a jaw dropping sight. And having it ALL to ourselves made it that much more magical. An experience I’ll be sharing for years to come.

Apart from this cave there are many more along the benagil coast to visit by boat tour. We didn’t end up taking a tour (life of a budget traveller) but I’m sure they are all worth visiting. The whole Algarve coast is worth visiting and still one of my favorite coastal locations on earth.

Hayls x




  1. johnieprops

    September 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    This is your best one yet Hayls … I’m so proud of you … Keep up the great work .

  2. Jo

    September 22, 2015 at 1:24 am

    You swam with your camera!? What bags do you use to protect your gear? I must work on my swimming abilities for moments like the amazing one you had here. Thank you for sharing with us!

    1. haylsaway

      September 22, 2015 at 7:51 am

      I used a water proof case 😊 was pretty wary about it but it worked out in the end. Oh trust me I’m not a strong swimmer it wasn’t too hard, but my calves were on fire for a couple of days after haha x

  3. Claire Wang (@adventureatwork)

    September 26, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning! And that cave… I can’t believe you swam all the way there with a tripod! Definitely adding this place to my bucket list…

  4. rothpoetry

    January 27, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I love the extreme contrasts in this photo between humans and Nature! Dwight

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