Skip to main content

Travel-bug Tales: In search of Nata Tarts in Albufeira (Portugal)!

Hello and welcome back my lovely darlings! Whilst my blogspot blog is still undergoing the rather complex custom domain transition to become I have decided to continue with posts writing as usual.....and in an unexpected fashion it happens to be another travel post as I am yet to disclose all on my little trip to Portugal (after the 3week American series). I have always wanted to visit Portugal actually, but unlike other people of sensible minds, my reason was not mainly the beach or the was because of my love for Eggtarts and that the Portuguese version of the custard Nata tart was something I just had to try! So when my lovely friend Judita asked where we should go for a holiday this year, I decided to put Portugal on the list of possibilities and luckily enough we found a brilliant Portugal it was! Following the advice of another kind friend we finally booked in the Albufeira area, and since it was October we also crossed our fingers to hope for good sunny weather during our 5 days adventure. For those who have been following my blog for a while, you might remember the trip I took with Judita to Montpellier last year and how we stayed with the amazing fellow blogger Olivia! [To catch up on the Montpellier adventure we had last year, please click here:]

The church near the town centre....Albufeira, Portugal.
Getting from Faro Airport to Albufeira was a more complicated process than we thought, eventhough it should have only been about one hour and a half away and we had already done our homework by booking a transfer service online with a website called Resorthoppa. On the booking documents we were informed that there may be a wait at the airport after making contact with their representative but it should not exceed 45 minutes before we would leave the airport to be on our shared shuttle journey towards Albufeira. The reality was far from the promised version.....after an hour waiting in the airport we were led to an old coach bus in the carpark, but the wait on the un-moving bus continued for almost 3 hours with a driver who spoke "No English" as a reply to all questions from an entire bus of English speaking passengers, and no representatives were in which by that time we realised we were waiting until the last flight had arrived so that the bus could be filled to the max and other forms of public transport have ended services. Surely that was not the ideal way to begin a holiday, but the challenge did not end there.....the bus finally did move and drove an hour into Albufeira through the darkness, only for us to be alerted by another fellow Brit who has visited Albufeira before that we were actually going around the city in circles. For some unknown reason to us, the driver had the journey of hotels alphabetically mapped out in a list and passengers were being dropped off according to his listed system.....which did not make much sense to us or the other sleepy passengers who also seemed to be in a daze. After another hour of circling the town and the driver not seeming to understand our protest, a fellow passenger decided to confront the driver by chasing him off and around the bus for a while during one of the stops. Being unfruitful in confrontation both men scurried back on for the bus to continue the long circling process again, and shortly after a woman screamed at the driver to let her as well as her two young children off in the middle of not knowing by the time we reached out hotel it was past 3am and we were utterly exhausted as well as shocked that we were indeed still within Europe. Judita was very impressed by how tolerant us Brits can be even in difficult situations and I made a mental note to complain once I got back to London, then we both drifted off to sleep.

Tea in the "Openada" cafe overlooking the sea.....Albufeira, Portugal.
Our first full day in Albufeira was draped in rain, so most of it was spent inside cafes with a book, the view of the rushing sea and a pot of warm tea to keep us entertained. We soon discovered that the city has been transformed into a British tourist destination with most food and drink tailored to British preferences.....English tea, chips, cheese toasties, sandwiches, pizzas and burgers were the identical items on almost every restaurant or cafe we went to! We almost felt brave to try whole calamari, grilled fish, roasted pork with spices and peri-peri there are a few places I can recommend if you ever drop by in Albufeira. The "Openada" cafe is a lovely little place on a secluded street after you have taken the lift up from the beach, where you can watch the waves roll in from a beautiful height and enjoy a cup of tea with a book or some chatter.....staff are relaxed, friendly and accommodatingly nice (photo above). Then there is "Baillott" restaurant near the main street, which has free wifi access, reasonably priced food and entertaining waiters who made us laugh whilst waiting for the food.

The cliffs near the beach.....Albufeira, Portugal.

A platform to watch the sea.....Albufeira, Portugal.

We loved all the beautiful tiled artwork on the buildings.....Albufeira, Portugal.

Watching the clouds on the beach.....Albufeira, Portugal.
The next day, still fearful for the wet and cold autumn, I was prepared with my thick coat and knowingly committed the big fashion sin of wearing tights under my summer sandals.....having packed my luggage more for sunshine than rain it was a compromise I had to make. Though still chilly with strong winds, we had a lucky day of sunshine on the beach and I even discovered how tights can be extremely efficient as a secret weapon to keep your feet utterly sand free! Jumping around in the sand, sitting in the sunshine to watch the sea roar gloriously aloud and having a sweet treat of Nata tarts as well as ice cream, we had a relaxing bit of heaven on earth right there in Albufeira. In the evening, after a dinner of salad, sticky buffalo wings and a glass of famous Portuguese red Port, we took a walk through the sea facing town and as we browsed we were suddenly surprised by a man on a balcony shouting out declarations of love to girls returning to the days of their youth we waved at him with a glance, turned away and raced down the street giggling our heads off. The following days were filled with a mixture of sunny and rainy weather, so we gratefully spent our time reading on the beach, walking in the rain, eating Nata tarts, drinking tea and watching the sea.

Ta-da! Albufeira town on a sunnier October day.....Portugal.

Flowing in the sand  of time.....Albufeira, Portugal.

Pretending to be the ice cream Liberty Lady.....Albufeira, Portugal.

On the beach for some sun.....Albufeira, Portugal.
One last place to mention is a restaurant called "Altrium" near the main street.....with a small entrance leading up the staircase we entered a rather grand room with tiled artwork, shiny chandeliers, marble columns, decorated ceiling and glass windowed balconies overlooking the street. The food menu was longer than most other restaurants with a wider selection of local fish or seafood, and though the prices were a little higher, it was certainly a good and tasty dinner. As you can probably tell from the photos (below) it was closer to a fine dining experience, the waiters were politely courteous as well as attentive and on certain days of the week they even have a traditional Portuguese band playing on the old wooden stage.

At the beautiful dining room of "Altrium" restaurant.....Albufeira, Portugal.

"Altrium" restaurant with a stage for traditional Portuguese bands to perform...Albufeira.

Munching on a high chicken kebab in Altrium restaurant.....Albufeira, Portugal.

A sand sculpted display in the town centre.....Albufeira, Portugal.

The famous Portuguese custard Nata Tart at our favourite breakfast bakery by the church...Albufeira, Portugal.

Ah...caught by the cold sea water! (Albufeira, Portugal)

Judita and me at the beach.....Albufeira, Portugal.
All in all we had a lovely October break by the sea, which left us wondering where we might have another adventure next year! Before Judita had to return to Vienna, we also had a few days in London to do some shopping and have English as well as Chinese afternoon tea. Now that Christmas is drawing closer, thoughts of presents and putting up the tree becomes more vivid.....also my excitement for the series of Qipao posts soon to come and the fruits of collaboration with some photographers that will be revealed in time. Are you lovely darlings all ready to put up your tree and welcome the New Year? Whatever you might be up to.....have a fabulous weekend my lovely darlings!

Until the next time,
May xx

Please help ‘Walking In May’ grow by clicking to:
Love on Bloglovin 
Plus on Google+
Like on Facebook
Tweet on Twitter
Pin on Pinterest
THANK YOU so so much! ♥ 


  1. Lovely images from Portugal!!


  2. Welcome to Walking In May! Thank you for the follow and sweet comment...hope you will enjoy my blog!
    May xx

  3. I recently had my first egg tart in Lisbon and fell in love - the Portuguese make them so, so well! I hope you got to enjoy lots during your trip :)

  4. Hiya. I was so shocked about that story of the bus, that was awful! I hope you did make a complaint once you got the chance!
    If you ever come to Portugal again to have the real deal Pastéis de Nata you must go to Lisbon, the original recipe is made in an area called Belém in Lisbon, people make a maaaasive queue to get some :D
    Happy New Year.

  5. What a great story about an amazing adventure! and the pics you have clicked are really awesome clicks. Thanks.


Post a Comment

~Thank you so so much! I love hearing from you and appreciate every beautiful comment. Please feel free to follow and walk with me too.....have a fabulously lovely day my darlings!
Until the next time,
♥ May xx

Popular posts from this blog

Qipao Love: Part 5 ~ How-To choose and wear a Qipao (Cheongsam) that will love your frame!

A little warning is probably in order my this will be a rather comprehensive How-To Qipao post! I will try to incorporate my own knowledge as well as what I researched through time, to create a rough but helpful guide for ladies who might want to attempt wearing the Qipao! Why do I say attempt? In today's fast paced life the Qipao has become a rather occasional dress even for a faithful admirer like me and I can understand why it might not be the most popular attire in the world, but I also know that many ladies who admire the Qipao might resist the idea of wearing it because of different barriers. Being a lover of the Qipao me I know the fearful qualms and muffin top resistance to wearing a Qipao all too well.....whether it is a matter of figure, budget, impression, style, occasion, look or finding the excuse to wear a Qipao, I hope to be able to offer some help towards a solution and ask that you forgive me if I am too long winded. The Qipao really i…

Qipao Love: Part 1~ From Qi Pao to evolution of a dress about women!

Welcome my lovely darlings to the new address as the blogspot to custom domain transition is now officially completed! Worry not, if you are still using the address it should automatically divert to the blog and there is also a new e-mail address if you should like to drop me a line to say hello or ask any questions;! What better way to celebrate this transition than to start on one of my favourite topics.....with Part One of my "Qipao Love (All about Qipao)" series of posts!

Throughout my blog over the two years, I have mentioned the Chinese Qipao dress (also known as Cheongsam in Cantonese) quite a few times, especially during the run-up to Chinese New Year. Having a self confessed love of the Qipao, as some of you darlings who have been following may know, I can usually be spotted wearing the Qipao throughout the 15 days of Chinese New Year festivities and have been adding one or two new Qipao dresses t…

How-To: Build a 1920s inspired Great Gatsby look!

With my birthday coming up in a little more than two weeks, and having decided on a vintage themed party, it is time to put my vintage thinking headband on! Last year I had fun dressing up as a 1940s inspired Pin Up girl, and this year I have decided to go a little further back in time.....yes my darlings....we will be roaring in a 1920s glitzy Great Gatsby affair!

The 1920s has been a favourite decade of mine for quite some time.....admittedly the decadence of the glittering heavily beaded long gowns, the extravagantly flirty ostrich feathers and the shiny Art Deco gem-stoned pieces might have something to do with it! It was true that the roaring 20s was a rebirth period for many because of the survival of WW1, so living every new day as free, happy and extravagant as possible became the ideal dream. With more women embracing liberation by replacing restrictive corsets with loose flowing dresses that revealed more flesh than ever before, a period embracing individuality, creativity, …