Barrier Island Beaches and Bolo Berlim

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What, has this got to do with the Algarve, I hear you say?

Bolo de Berlim!!! Yes, I am speaking Portuguese – what do those two words mean?

Barrier Island Bitch (sic) Beach – don’t you swear at me?

All will be revealed further down the line…………..

Firstly, I am going to let you in on a carefully guarded family secret.

Picture this, the perfect day out for you and the kids – sun sea and sand.

Essential equipment required – sunbrolly, beach towels, assortment of inflatables, sun cream factor 40 or above, drinking water of the plastic bottle variety, etc. etc. The weight of the beach bags would make a donkey’s eyes water. Arrival at your destination will ensure you now possess the arms of an orangutang.

Don’t worry though, all your burdens are going to be lifted. At my Barrier Island Beach you will see why I came to live here and have stayed for over 30 years.

When you park up at Pedras d’el Rei you are at the beginning of an unforgettable day out.

Carrying all your baggage plus your children, you start with a short walk over the bridge of running water whereupon you arrive at a wee train station.


Waiting for you at the platform is a darling little diesel engine train (let’s call him Thomas the Tank Engine) and he pulls along behind him open air carriages full of star struck children.

You can watch out for the mud crabs darting in and out of their holes as you chug along through the magnificent scenery of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve.

Sometimes the magnificent Hoopoe bird puts in an appearance.
This is a Bird lovers paradise, so don’t forget your binoculars.

Mobile phones at the ready, you can practice your perfect photography skills to ensure you mark indelibly on your mind, this picture perfect day.

Not convinced yet? There is more to come …

Upon arrival at your destination, you discover that you have planted your feet on terra firma of the Caribbean kind.

Golden sandy beaches stretch as far as the eye can see.

Gentle and tranquil crystal clear waves of azure and parrot green hued sea lap gently on to the sand.


Look to your left….. and you will be amazed by the hundreds of abandoned Anchor’s all leaning lazily in the dunes – an art installation at it’s rustic finest.

Walk along the beach in a westerly direction and you will be enthralled by the bareness of the human body at the Nature Beach – sunbathing with no worry of getting strap marks, this is the order of the day.

Little lime wash buildings hunker together, formerly inhabitated by the fishing fleet now converted into intimate cafes and restaurants with an excellent beachwear boutique and toilet facilities.

Spend your day here and you will never forget the holiday experience.

BUT remember this, you absolutely must buy your Bolas de Berlim (plump round doughnuts, drenched in sugar, to delight your taste buds.

The barefooted vendor constantly walks the beach carrying the wicker basket, selling his wares. You cannot miss this traditional figure – you will hear him with that fateful cry BOLO BERLIM.

This is barrier island beach, Praia do Barril, and I hope you appreciate your good fortune in me sharing this delightful Algarvean gem with you.

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