PORTUGAL: The Best Algarve Beach Bars by Night
Picture this: you’re lying on a deckchair with your eyes softly closed, absorbing the sun’s radiant heat, listening to the gentle lull of nearby waves, ignoring the distant screams of tortured children who’ve been buried in the sand by their siblings, sifting fine golden grains between your dangling fingers, thinking about eating chocolate without any hint of guilt, and slipping ever so slowly away into paradise. But, then a cold chill falls around you like the moment Ross said ‘Rachel’ instead of ‘Emily’ at the altar, waking you from your blissful revelry. The sun has set.
There are a lot of places where this would cause a minor heartbreak each day, when sunbathing becomes no longer possible and a few hours of darkness have to be endured before sunrise the following morning. But not along the south coast of Portugal, for the nightlife in the Algarve is just as good a reason to visit as the idyllic beaches. Best thing of all? You don’t even have to step away from the sand to enjoy it (which means no need for heels!)
Here are our favorite beach bars in the Algarve:
Forget the misleading name, BJs is the perfect spot to head as soon as the sun begins to dip below the horizon, or, better still, about half an hour earlier so that you can appreciate the moment with a cocktail in hand. The food here is outstanding, and each dish comes with a smile. Of particular renowned are the garlic king prawns, octopus salad and chocolate cake (go on, you’ve deserved it with all that arduous sunbathing…) All of these can be enjoyed with one of two views; the moonlit mass of the Atlantic Ocean, providing a backdrop of sparkles, or the elegant pine trees and lagoon which stand motionless like a painting.
Club Nau is the perfect place to get your night kick-started, set beneath the beautiful stone architecture of Ferragudo Castle. Live music is key here, to be enjoyed while looking across to the water to the marina at Praia da Rocha, whose splashes of color create a special setting for mellow afternoons that lead into lively evenings. On any given night you might find yourself bopping in the 60s, disco dancing in the 70s or trying to do the robot in the 80s (don’t pretend you can do it…) If you find yourself in need of a nibble, the humus is to die for.
Canico Bar and Restaurant
Always save the best ‘till last! Canico, possibly the most spectacular of all Algarve bars, is reached via an elevator that runs from beach to cliff top, dropping its passengers at a bar that is built into the rugged stone wall overlooking a cove that couldn’t be more perfect even if it was frequented by a topless Leonardo DiCaprio. The closing time here is early (by which I mean very early in the morning), which means you can party deep into the night with DJs in the sand and cocktails in your hand. The Algarve doesn’t get any better than this… until the next morning, when you go for a massage to cure your dancing aches and pains!