We've just been on a wonderful road-trip. Our dentist (the wonderful Reinhard Kraus) is based in Loulé, so the journey from our base in Lisbon always offers us an opportunity to extend our trip and explore both The Algarve and Alentejo.
In Loule, we stayed at the friendly, inexpensive and most central Dom Ferdinand II hotel, and my Loulé photo-journal from this most recent trip can be found here.
The journey home was a great way for us to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, a superb adventure that we named the 'M-O-O trail' as we took Monchique, Odimera and Ourique in our stride on the way home - a delightful and do-able day-trip if you want a broad-stroke taste of Southern Portugal.
This isn't a full-scale review of each of those towns, each with much to commend it, more a big shout-out for a unique treasure discovered along the way - 'Miradouro De Benafatima'.
The climb to this incredible place, pictured, atop the Serra De Monchique is tense and terrifying. One of those brown signs points the way for anyone wanting a good view ('Miradouro'). However, after what feels like 5, then 10, then 15 minutes of driving on a dusty, gravely track, you wonder if you'll ever be found alive.
Holding your nerve, you're rewarded with this stunning view...
As with most mobile shots, the panoramic snap doesn't do this view justice, but up here you can see for MILES! So far in fact, we could clearly see two weather systems, visible in the photo.
This is another of those understated Portuguese treats, and well worth the effort if you're looking for the real Alentejo. Take a picnic and watch out for unexpected guests like this 'Oil Beetle' (left) who can get you with a toxic secretion.
The only web link I can find for Miradouro De Benafatima is fairly obscure, but it does have a map.
I was so taken by the place I decided to record a Facebook Live stream to announce my upcoming podcast and radio show projects. I truly felt 'on top of the world'! Here's the video...
As well as hosting the "Good Morning Portugal!" Radio Show, I write about this wonderful country - the places, people and the lovely experiences I'm having here.