In the far south-west of Europe, rugged cliffs plunge straight into the sea. Sandy beaches kiss the Atlantic Ocean and incredible vistas draw the attention of photographers and sunshine-seekers alike.
Portugal’s Algarve region along the south coast has enticed those in search of picturesque locales since its whitewashed fishing villages were transformed in the 1960s into culturally soaked holiday havens.
Photographers and snap-happy landscape enthusiasts will benefit from spectacular sunsets along idyllic seafronts. So prepare your camera bag and collect your hire car from Faro Airport to reach some of the Algarve’s most remarkable photography locations.Car hire Faro
Just 40 minutes from Faro, this wildlife photography retreat is easily reached by rental car. Here, the movement of tidal changes and coastal winds create an ever-changing landscape occupied by the wetlands and lagoons. Nature-lovers can bask in an oasis brimming with abundant birdlife that migrates regularly to the marshy saltpans for winter.
You may be lucky enough to spot the rare Purple Swamphen or the flamboyant flamingos dressing the flats in electrifying shades of pink. The lagoon’s shallow waters are also home to sea life ranging from shellfish to one of the largest seahorse populations in the world.
Teaming with whitewashed shops and restaurants, Praia de Carvoeiro serves up some of the best photo ops. The pace of life here follows a more leisurely tempo than in neighbouring resort towns. Follow along the dramatic cliffs surrounding its bay-like beach. These afford sweeping shots across the former fishing village known for its tuna hauls.
Swap four wheels for a kayak so you can explore Benagil Cave. Discover a small, sandy embankment beneath the natural skylight within the cavern where you can set up your shots. You can capture the magnitude of this grotto using your travel companions for scale.
Praia do Camilo is a photographer’s dream. Full of leading lines and contrasting hues, it's a canvas of truncating cliffs greeted by saffron sands and emerald waters from the beach below.
Arrive early in the morning for an empty landscape. Use the 200 steps to the beach to draw focus into your images. Return during the middle of the day for pops of colour from the umbrellas of beach-goers.
When the tide is low, adventure out to the small arch on the eastern side of the beach and wade into the clear water, ideal for swimming and underwater photography.
Just a short distance from Lagos the wind whipped coastal region of Ponta da Piedade is brimming with scenic vistas. Its network of pristine coastal walks offers endless space to roam. Find your optimal location to set up a tripod to capture the best viewpoints.
Blonde, cliff-like rock formations tower 20 metres above the sea among a checkerboard of ancient grottos. The area’s early 20th-century lighthouse also contrasts perfectly against the clear blue sky. You can traverse the steps from the top of the cliffs to the small dock below and hop aboard a boat tour from here.
Europe’s south-westernmost point is as unspoiled as it is barren. A remarkable spot at sunset, cotton candy skies cast a rose-tinted glow across the dolomitic limestone. It’s an uncharacteristic sight compared to the rest of the Algarve. A small red lighthouse provides an opportune feature for landscape photographers in addition to hosting a museum about the region’s role in maritime history.
Those who take the time to explore the sea that surrounds this point may be treated to the company of sea otters or take the 6km journey to Sagres, a small town with an end-of-the-world feel.