My Favorite Beach in Europe

My favorite beach in Europe? Salema, on the Algarve — the south coast of Portugal.

It’s Day 39 of my 100-day trip to Europe, and I’m here to make sure our “Rick Steves Portugal” guidebook (https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/portugal-guidebook) is right up to date. It’s the end of May, the weather’s perfect, and there are no crowds. (Right after I shot this video, I bumped into a happy gang of four Americans using my guidebook — but I hadn’t seen a single American here before that.)

In this clip, you’ll hear me, in a moment of unbridled travel-writer ecstasy, declare Salema “the quintessence of a back door.” This little fishing village was one of 20 discoveries (I called them “back doors”) that made up the bulk of my very first guidebook, “Europe Through the Back Door,” in 1980. And thankfully, Salema is still great.

Do you have a favorite “back door” discovery of your own to match this?

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