With miles of craggy shoreline, hidden coves, sculpted cliffs and dramatic ocean panoramas, the Algarve region of Portugal is well known for its immense natural beauty. Yet jutting out from the headlands of the Algarve coast near Lagos is a spot so breathtaking — so incredibly beautiful — that it seems to have been placed there by the hand of the Divine.
Perhaps that’s precisely how this lovely spot was named: Ponta da Piedade, the Point of Faith.
The view from the cliffs
Walk with care along the edge of the rugged cliffs that look down on Ponta da Piedade. In the evening when the wind is wild, feel it whip your skin as it crashes the waves spectacularly across the rocky promontory. Then watch the shadows cast by the historic old lighthouse as they creep slowly across the glistening water.
Mornings, when the sea is calmer, make the long descent down the 182 narrow wooden stairs to the blue-green waters below. There you’re likely to find one of the local fishermen waiting to regale you with the stories of the region — and give you the tour of a lifetime from a small fishing boat.
On the waters of the Ponta da Piedade
As bewilderingly gorgeous as this spot is viewed from above, the best way to see it is from one of these boats, guided by a friendly local. The people who live in the Algarve and make their living from the sea have been here for generations, and they know every nook and cranny of its intriguing landscape.
Enjoy a trip around the coast, exploring the many caverns and cave beaches, hearing the stories behind the romantic names of the stunning rock formations — the Chimney, the Kitchen, the General de Gaulle, the Phantom, the Balance, and the Grotto of Love.
Spend a little of your time birdwatching, as this part of Portugal is blessed with an abundance of birds. Home to numerous swifts, jackdaws, and falcons, the colorful sandstone cliffs are alive with wildlife, and in the spring when the wild orchids bloom, they’re populated with families of nesting egrets.
Blessed with brilliant waters, full of mysterious caves and with one of the world’s highest concentration of limestone sea arches, the Ponta da Piedade is a fantasy landscape that words simply can’t describe — and a sight not to be missed.