Have you found your place yet? We have – a place where the waves roll in, the breeze whistles a sweet tune and the sunset lasts forever. That’s how it feels at least.
Yes, we might find another special spot sometime soon. There’s a big, wide world out there waiting to be explored after all. But for now, we’ll content ourselves with the one we have already. No sense in being greedy.
The big question is, once you find that place, do you want to share it or keep it all to yourself? Maybe if we whisper it, nobody else will hear – Burgau.
It isn’t big, it isn’t glitzy or glamorous but it has got well and truly under our skin.
Burgau may sit on one of Europe’s well trodden tourist trails, but this Algarve village is as far removed from the bright lights of Albufeira and Vilamoura as you can imagine. We like Vilamoura (you can read our post on it here ) – but we’ve fallen in love with Burgau.
A tiny fishing village with just a few upturned wooden hulls and ramshackle boatsheds providing a nod to its past, there’s not too much to describe. A few shops, a small but perfectly formed beach and some of the most unpretentious restaurants (Casa Padaria, for pizza, is small but perfectly formed) and bars you’ll find anywhere in the region.
The Burgau Beach Bar is a picture postcard illustration of its charms. Not too much to look at from the outside, perfect for catching a cool drink and sheltering from the mid-day sun. But as the sun begins to set, there’s a new lease of life for a venue that pulls people in from all directions.
A seat on the terrace gives breathtaking views of the ocean, cocooned by a crescent of cliffs, and provides the perfect backdrop for food that keeps us coming back for more. A menu that’s simple, delicious and most definitely moreish. As the temperatures dip, the blankets come out and you can snuggle in until closing time.
There might be 50 other Burgaus out there waiting to be discovered in the Portugal, but we’re just happy to have found ours.
It clings to the coast of the Western Algarve, not exactly an untapped part of the world but certainly quieter than the more developed eastern stretch.
Centred around Lagos, a walled town that effortlessly mixes the old of the historic centre with the new of the recently constructed marina complex, it’s an area that we feel at home in after three trips in recent years.
There are plenty of other towns and villages spanning in all directions, not all are the most obvious if you go by guidebooks alone. Salema, for example, is a favourite spot – yet it doesn’t boast half the traditional attractions of the more established resorts of Portimao or as many entries in the ‘must visit’ columns as the sufer’s paradise of Sagres, with its legendary waves and laid-back vibe.
Why Burgau? Why Salema? That’s the thing, it’s difficult to say. Because of the memories, because of the happy times, the laughter, the sunsets, the lazy days, the long nights, the stars in the sky, the good food, the music, the sunshine. Just because they’re our places.