Early Summer in the Algarve

Early Summer in the Algarve

7AM, the sun might be only lazily hovering above the horizon
but the air is already hazy and humid. In Olhao, a cool breeze
snakes through grassy marshes and sweeps over the pink salt
reserves providing brief, albeit gritty, relief.

But just two hours west in Lagos, there’s little escape from the
heat. Hot winds pick up speed as they carve out cliff faces and
tousle your hair, leaving your throat dry and parched. Wandering
the pastel-coloured streets of Tavira, the Algarvian sun reflects
off white pavements.

It’s late June and high season, yet the gold sand beaches are
speckled with only a handful of sun-worshipers. You might not be
able to elude the heat this time of year but you can
beat the crowds

Over lunch – and between mouthfuls of vinegar-soaked antipasti –
my guide puckered her lips and shook her head: “Oh no, June is
early! The crowds will come and it will get hotter too.” But
sipping slightly sparkling green wine – a local specialty
comparable to chardonnay – I didn’t want to picture this coastline
any different than how it was now.

On Farol island, the few hundred fisherman and locals who call
the isle home year-round were splashing around in the shallow
waters like children. But come July,
the locals’ Caribbean-coloured houses will be crammed with
holiday-makers; now is the time to experience the Algarve at its
most real.

@postcardsfromcate |

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A Journey Along the Algarve, Portugal