Shell-shaped beaches among the cliffs
The Barlavento coastline is composed of majestic cliffs and ravines (small gorges formed by water erosion), under which there is a complex network of subterranean galleries.
A good example of this kind of formation is the Padre Vicente Ravine, near Carvoeiro, an enormous cavern linked to the sea. Within this cave, the sound of the waves is amplified to make a truly impressive noise.
Opposite many of these cliffs, there are groups of rocks or sea boulders in the sea, where seagulls and other marine birds live, including the peregrine falcon and the kestrel, resident species in this area.
It is precisely among the cliffs that we find small but delightful valleys. They are shell-shaped beaches protected by cliffs of ochre and promontories covered in bushes and other wild plants, whose fragrance blends with fresh smell of the sea.
Some of these beaches are linked to each other by a system of tunnels carved out of the rocks. This is the case with Solaria, Batata, Estudantes, Três Irmãos and Alvor.
Some beaches are peaceful retreats and almost deserted, such as Camilo, Canavial, Porto de Mós, and João de Arens. Others, such as Dona Ana and Praia da Rocha, are quite lively and busy. And still others, like Vau, are located near cliffs composed of clay, which are claimed to have medicinal properties.
There is a wide choice, which will satisfy beach lovers who cannot do without great scenery.