Porches holidays deliver library-level peace and quiet, with a couple of noisier neighbours a short hop away.
Porches keeps its head down, so it's reserved for in-the-know summer holidaymakers. Beaches cling to its coastline like limpets, with sands that meet the Algarve’s usual sky-high standards. The clifftop up above’s studded with a Medieval fort – the Nossa Senhora da Rocha – where the panoramas slip into pinch-yourself territory. Turn on your heel and look inland, and a picture of traditional Portugal comes into focus. Think villa-spotted countryside and secluded vineyards.
Tradition still hogs the limelight in the village of Porches. One of the major pastimes is pottery, with how-to workshops a popular pick for the more intrepid tourist. Artists like Patrick Swift and Lima de Freitas fine-tuned the skill in the 1960s, and their brainchild – Porches Pottery – is still run by their descendants today. And when local hands aren’t shaping ceramics, they’re busy plucking guitars to accompany Portuguese fado singers.
This place has a postcode that lends itself to days here, there and everywhere. Sketch a route west, and the pretty town of Carvoeiro comes into view after 10 minutes on the road. The sands here are only slightly busier than in Porches, but the real hotspot to scribble on your map’s Praia da Rocha. It’s around half an hour’s drive away, and rolls out one of the Algarve’s most photogenic strips of sand. Plus, the ribbon of grill and seafood restaurants over its shoulder is enough to make you cut your tanning sesh short.
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