Sometimes things are just meant to happen, just as our recent trip to Portugal. Back in March we talked to Sophia van Sorgen (check out her health blog!) And she connected us to Dave and Sonja, a couple from Amsterdam that decided the city was not for them. So they sold their house, quit their jobs and drove to Portugal in a campervan full of stuff and their 3 year old daughter. This was 3 years ago. They found 40 acres of land in the Algarve and they decided to start an Eco Glamping facility located in the hills of the ‘Costa Vicentina Natural Park’. Together with a Dutch/Israeli couple, they started Into The Wild Algarve. When we heard this story, we just had to go there. So Sarah and I booked our tickets to Faro and we decided to go in all blanco. This is our exclusive photo report and guide to the Algarve in Portugal.
Flying into Faro takes about 3 hours. The good thing is that it’s one hour earlier if you come from Amsterdam. One of the most important tips we will give you is that you need to rent yourself a car. It’s about a 1,5 hours drive, especially if you don’t know the roads. Ask for a car with navigation and type in the town Budens. This way you will go towards the right direction. After that we went off road which was a lot of fun. Our Peugot 2008 that looked very shiny when we first got it, now looked like it participated in a Dakar race! After 10 minutes and a few wrong turns we finally arrived at Into The Wild Algarve. Friendly faces welcomed us and the smell of eucalyptus passed our noses. This place was exactly what we needed. Away from the big city and into the wild. Literally. Dave, Sonya, Quirina and Dror came here when there was nothing but a bunch of trees and wild growth. They’ve been sleeping in a yurt and self made houses with their children and put all their efforts into ITWA.
Where did we sleep?
One of the best features here has to be the bohemian tent we slept in. Yes, sometimes dreams come true..the tent we slept in features 3 beds (with real mattresses) of which one a double, and a patio where you can enjoy your breakfast in the morning. On the other side behind the tent you have an outside shower which gives you warm water (heated by the sun) which comes from the fresh water lake. The toilet is also a bit special. It’s a Eco toilet without a flush, surrounded with eucalyptus branches for your privacy. Talk about into the great wide open! They are planning to create at least 8 of these tents over the summer. You can also bring your own tent or caravan if you like.
The car that you really need in the Algarve; Peugeot 2008
Into the Wild Algarve offers a lot of extra’s that you can book next to your accommodation. We enjoyed outside yoga and massages, subbing at sunrise and a vegan cooking workshop. One of the best things we enjoyed was the food that they have on offer here. A homemade breakfast, dinner and a picknick at the beach. Wow. Most ingredients come from their own garden and they mostly prepare vegetarian or vegan food. Super healthy and very very tasty. If you want you can prepare your own meals at the outdoor community kitchen but we highly advise you to order one of their amazing breakfast baskets at least twice during your stay. If you have the time you can also book the following activities: Holistic horse riding (without a saddle), Hiking tour, Surfing and Dolphin Watching.
Eating homemade everything from the ITWA garden!
Things to do
When you’re here you must visit the village: Pedralva. Super cute and great for pictures. It’s only a 15 minute drive from Into The Wild Algarve camping. Book a table and have dinner at the famous pizza joint Pizza Pazza. The pizza’s are around 8 euro’s and the salads are huge! Also try to visit the Saturday market in Lagos where you can find local goods like vegetables, honey, dates and herbs. The best thing you could do is to take your car and drive past the coast where you will find small beach towns like Salema where you will find a few bars and nice restaurants. Check out hippie town Barao de Sao Joao and the long established market on every 4th Sunday of the month. The market which is self-organized and self-regulating, it is free to stallholders and open to everyone.
The Algarve is also famous for it’s amazing golden beaches. We managed to visit a couple of nice Praias (beaches) and these are our favorite ones:
» Praia das Cabanas Velhas, here is our favorite beach bar for the Algarve; Cabana’s! Make sure you visit and book a massage on the beach around 5pm. Ask for Sonja, she is truly amazing!
» Praia Figueira , the most beautiful beach we’ve come across on our trip. Clear blue water (cold though!). Be aware this is a nudist beach so be respectful and try not to stare (we couldn’t help it, sorry!)
» Praia Dona Ana, this is where we had our first ever Sub lesson from Aussi David (who has a pretty cool story of his own!). This beach is quite large and has one simple beach restaurant. Enjoy the beautiful rock formations and golden sand.
» Praia da Ingrina, this is a small beach with shallow clear water and has a restaurant surrounded by palmtrees
Subbing by Jah-Shaka Surf Camp around Praia Dona Ana (shot with the Sony Action Cam)
So what does it cost?
Flights » From as little as €90,- euro’s per person if you book early
Car rental » Check out this website and don’t forget to get insurance!
Bohemian Bell Tent for 3-4 people » €80,- per night
Breakfast brought to your tent » €6,- per person
Picknick lunch mandje » €8,- p.p
Chef’s delicious meal of the day » €12,- p.p
The great grill experience » €10,- p.p
Home made pizza’s » €8,- p.p
Yoga » €10,- p.p
Massage » From €40,-
Sunrise SUP lesson » €34,- p.p www.jahshakasurf.com (you can also book this at ITWA)
Vegan cook workshop » €40,-
Plant your own tree or branch » Free! (we planted a Pomegranate tree which is now called the Wanderlust Tree)
So there you have it, Into The Wild Algarve is ready for it’s first visitors! If you love nature, fresh air, great food, amazing people and you don’t mind going a bit back to basic, you’re at the right address! They are still developing a few things so be prepared for the great outdoors and lot’s of frogs that will sing you to sleep at night! We were truly touched by the compassion of Dave, Sonja, Quirina and Dror and would go back in a heartbeat.
Watch our after movie to get a even better impression!
* All pictures are shot by Sofie from Stick to the Brand or mentioned otherwise