Alvor, a small fishing town and seaside intimate tucked into Portugal’s Algarve, plays host to myriad bars, clubs and pubs. By no means party central or “the scene,” what Alvor is – from the moment you alight – is an echelon of laughter and memory, a place where the squeals of children let loose lock with the ecstasy of backpackers. It is where heels and high finery mix with Woxers and salty skin – it’s a home, a delectably intoxicating, delightfully Queer, home.
Queer friendly, British run and psychedelically shaded in hues of sunshine and lime, this nook of smiles and intoxication is an open secret for which visitors and locals alike have a soft spot.
If you have a salt of a date, I promise you this is the place to be. This cocktail bar sits pretty, gazing onto the infamous marina. Perch your cute self on one of their nostalgic benches in or outside the bar. Let go and indulge in dusk’s gentle promise of a night rich with clinking glasses, laughter and the type of eye-fucking that Zoom will never do justice.
When the sun has set and your, I assume, tall glass has been drained, it’s time to venture onwards. Amble down the cobbled hill, past the infamous O Arco da Velha – they do the meanest vegan kebab.
This night, however, is not about food, so turn that corner and find your eye-line graced by the utterly camp dazzle of Alvor’s main strip. The strip, no more than 500m long, holds side streets jutting off to ice-cream parlours, traditional Portuguese restaurants, Steakhouses, Pubs, Sports Bars, Pizzerias and of course, near-endless offerings of cocktails.
Transport yourself to Rio de Janeiro at our first stop, the Bolan Bar. This grungey haven masters clamminess in a way only places with heart, can. It is also where you’re most likely to locate a tattoo clad and, completely knee-weakening, leatherdyke. (Subject to change but speaking from experience.) Recommended activities include sipping Caipirinhas, exchanging life philosophies, or, as earlier mentioned, locating lesbians.
South America stays a theme as we ascend the steps of the Art Deco style Los Puros Cuban Bar. Live your best life and wind those hips to the rhythm of mojitos and authentic Cuban cigars. I know, I know. Terrible for the alveoli, but one night of vague, sexy badness probably won’t affect your lifespan. Lesbian Jesus even has a song about it.
I promise you, you’ll know it when you see it. Tongue the tension of touching knees, balmy air and the coolness of a much craved, and doubly deserved, Cuba Libre. With wait staff who are unnaturally good looking and drinks unwittingly good, it’s the perfect place to soak up the final hours before you hanker on home under a budding sun. Arm in arm with your best friends, lover or maybe, a very aesthetically satisfying and strap – I mean chat – equipped, stranger.
To quote the goddess herself – MARINA – why be a wallflower when you can be a Venus Fly Trap? – the choice is yours, my Queers.
If after a few days of lounging, your travel bones start to itch, Seville (the capital of Andalusia) is a mere three hours away by bus or – I would recommend – BlaBlaCar. If you happen to desire a taste of the wilder things in life, take a holiday from your holiday (you deserve it) and succumb to the senses in this matadora dreamland. Check out this article by Nonchalant writer Steph Fairbairn for some helpful guidance!
Team Nonchalant x