How (not) to spend a night on the beach
When my cousin and I were on our road trip through Spain, Portugal and France, sleeping on the beach was on the top of our to-do-list. As the Algarve in Portugal has some of the most beautiful hidden beaches, we decided to take our chance there.
Pick a place
We wanted to have a beach all to ourselves, from where you could not see the city, but not too far from it either (you never know if you have to cry for help;). It should have the typical Algarve landscape with the stone walls, white sand and clear water. After a looong research, we finally discovered the perfect beach: “Praia da Paraiso” which is located near Lagoa. It is a small bay surrounded by rock faces. There is only one long stairway leading down to it and when you arrive you feel like you found paradise on earth!
What to bring
We decided to have a great candlelight picnic, with sandwiches, strawberries, wine… I made the mistake letting choosing a friend we brought with us choosing the wine. He did grab dealcoholized wine by mistake, so pay attention, the stores don’t necessarily separate them from the normal ones 😉 Another thing you should definitely bring is some kind of a mattress. We woke up in the morning and couldn’t move because everything was hurting so bad! A blanket should not be missing either because it can get really cold at night. You will also need some sort of light. Either you bring a pocket lamp or you bring candles like we did.
Be careful where to sleep
We slept on a higher part made of sand and stones. Be careful to keep your distance from the water, otherwise, the flood could get you wet feed during the night! I wouldn’t recommend sleeping right under the rock faces either, first there could be falling small stones from above, second, my cousins slept there and got a strange rash on her skin. We didn’t know where it came from, but it’s possible that it came from the dust of the fragile stone.
What could possibly go wrong:
I got a sunburn, despite the fact I used a very strong sun blocker. This wouldn’t have been so bad but if you’re lying in a sleeping back on the beach it is obvious that some of the sand enters it. And then every move feels like razorblades on your skin;)
After a gorgeous picnic, we enjoyed an amazing sunset. It was really romantic, so I decided to taste the wine…only to realise that it tastes like grape juice! You should definitely take a look at the etiquette, if it sais dealcoholized wine, you know what you got.
After a beautiful long evening, you decide to go to sleep. What is better than sleeping on the beach listening to the ocean? EVERYTHING! If we slept for 3 hours it would have been a lot. The waves are crashing so loudly on the stones, the sand underneath you feels like concrete, it is freezing cold (during the day it was over 35 degrees), there is sand everywhere, … We woke up the next morning, feeling worse than having a hangover!
Other things you should consider before sleeping on a beach like this is that there is no toilet and very little places you could hide yourself. You should also bring some water bottles to brush your teeth and wash your hands.
It was amazing! It was a very unique experience, even if we weren’t really prepared for it. The absolutely beautiful laguna offered a stunning sunset and later in the evening, you should definitely look up to the sky. We saw millions of stars!! The beauty of this place was worth every single pain the next morning. I would definitely do it again, but this time I know what to bring to make this experience even more perfect!!