If you are a wild nature lover, the western coast of Portugal is an ideal place for you! You can immerse yourself in the wide beaches, walking in the wild nature and at the same time hearing the sound of the wind that rocks you. Let’s discover the best places where you can enjoy your freedom!
1. Let yourself be carried away by the wild wind over the ocean in Odeceixe
Around Odeceixe, the countryside rucks up into rolling, large hills, that lies within the Nature Park of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast. Odeceixe beach is a perfect place if you like surfing. Have a nice morning walk on the wild nature of the hills around Praia de Odeceixe and enjoy a nice view from Miradouro da Ribeira de Seixe.
2. Enjoy the sunset in Porto das Barcas in Vila Nova de Milfontes
Vila Nova de Milfontes is an excellent destination for hiking trips. The main beaches in Vila Nova de Milfontes are Praia da Franquia, and Praia do Farol, which overlook the Mira river. In Carreiro das Fazenda and Praia das Furnas you can see the huge waves of the Atlantic Ocean. They are ideal for surfing and bodyboarding. Here the general lifestyle is slow and peaceful. Do not forget to enjoy a glass of wine in Porto das Barcas restaurant for sunset time. Also, you can enjoy there a delicious local fish food dinner. The octopus is one of the best dishes, the way it is cooked is amazing, it melts in your mouth.
3. Have a picnic in Porto Covo with the Oceanview
Porto Covo is a traditional Portuguese fishing village. You can find sandy beaches in and around the villages. We recommend you to visit Praia dos Buizinhos and Praia do Banho, both are sheltered by the cliffs. The most popular of Porto Covo’s beaches is Praia Grande. You can reach it by doing an easy walk from the village and it is also a Blue flag beach. Enjoy a picnic in Miradouro Porto Covo.
4. Eat Portuguese local food in Varzea bistrot in Aljezur
Aljezur is a village with whitewashed houses and cobbled streets. The town is dominated by the ruins of a tenth-century Moorish castle, which sits at the top of a narrow and very steep cobbled hill. The views from the top of the hill are spectacular. Aljezur is close to several spectacular beaches including Arrifana, Monte Clérigo and Carrapateira, all of which form part of the stunningly beautiful Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, a strip of coastline that is protected from development. Go to have dinner in Varzea Bistrot, it offers you amazing local fish and also vegetarian options. You can have local good shrimps, octopus, sea bass and sea bream.
5. Surf in Bordeira and Carrapateira beaches and Explore the Islamic fishing village
Praia da Bordeira is a beach on the west coast of the Algarve, located in the Costa Vicentina natural park, nearby the villages of Carrapateira and Bordeira. The beach is very big, it stretches for 3 kilometres and it is mainly popular with surfers and nature lovers. The length of the beach makes it great for long beach walks. The sand is nice and soft. You can enjoy the wild and rough waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Praia da Bordeira is backed by dunes and rugged limestone cliffs. Behind the beach, there is a forest of ancient pine trees. The best thing about this beach is that it is unspoiled and quiet. It is a perfect spot also to do kitesurfing. Praia da Bordeira is bordered by a river, which forms a lagoon. The small river is used by migrating birds as a stopover.
Carrapateira is a surf-central village. The coast along here is wild, with copper-coloured and ash-grey cliffs covered in speckled yellow and green scrub, backing creamy, wide sands. Other activities that you can do here are Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Bike Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Hiking Trails and Horse riding. The Islamic Fishing Village is an archaeological site close to Carrapateira. The site was excavated by a team of researchers from the University of Lisbon in 2001. Items found that date back to the 12th century. It served as a seasonal fishing village that also carried out some agriculture and animal rearing.
6. Find your favourite handmade pottery in Cerâmica Paraíso shop in Vila do Bispo
The village of Bispo, Vila do Bispo in Portuguese, comes from the donation of the Aldeia de Santa Maria do Cabo by King Manuel to Bishop Fernando Coutinho. The area is perfect for bike tours. The more spectacular beaches nearby Vila do Bispo that you should visit are the following: Praia do Castelejo, Praia da Cordoama, Praia do Barranco, Praia do Zavial, Praia do Martinhal. Do not forget to pass by Cerâmica Paraíso shop. It is a wonderful shop that sells Ceramic pottery handmade in Portugal. There you can get some nice pottery to bring home to have a nice local memory. You can find all kind of colourful pottery, find your favourite one!
7. Have a walk in Praia do Mirouço and Praia da Pena Furada
Praia do Mirouço is an oceanic beach located nearby the municipality of Vila do Bispo. It presents an extensive sandy beach, whose area diminishes a lot during high tide. When you go there you should pay attention to the tide periods. The huge cliffs cover this small hidden paradise. The best way to access the beach is by walking. When you get to the beach, you should go down a pretty difficult track on the cliff. We recommend going there to those who have some experience of climbing. Praia da Pena Furada is a small strip of sand sitting in a small inlet in the cliffs, with rock formations populating the area all around. At lower tides, some more pockets of sand become accessible. A good place to spend time in company with the wilderness of nature around, while enjoying the strong water energy.
8. Discover the traces of Pangea in Praia do Telheiro
Praia do Telheiro is one of the most significant keys useful to unlock the geologic riddles surrounding Iberia’s distant past. Telheiro is a site of special geologic significance and interest. There are birds and wild nature around. It is also a great surfing spot. There, surrounded by a primordial and forsaken landscape, you will find one of the largest and clearest coastal unconformities in Western Europe. You can see one of the few spots in the world where you can notice the traces of Pangea. Make sure to go there with low tide and you will see this impressive natural show.
9. Do a Bike Tour along Cabo de Sao Vincente
Cabo de Sao Vicente is an untamed headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean that has enchanted sailors and travellers from all over the world for centuries. It is the most south-western point of the Algarve. It has always been the last glimpse of land that sailors in southern Portugal saw before going into open waters. Its name come from a Spanish priest who had his remains on these cliffs. On the furthest point of the Cape, there is a lighthouse, during the age of Queen Mary II in 1846 some workers built it.
The sunset is the best time to go there, you can see the sun that hides behind the waters of the ocean. The cliffs around the cape reach a height of 75 metres, you can enjoy a beautiful panorama. Around the cape, there is a high concentration of birds, which nest among the cliffs. Some of these species are rare, making Cabo de Sao Vicente an ideal place for birdwatchers. About one kilometre before reaching the lighthouse, you pass by the Fortaleza do Beliche, built in 1632. You can go down a small path towards the sea. It is an ideal place to stop and enjoy a picnic sheltered from the strong wind that blows constantly in the area. Also, it is a nice idea to do a bike tour in the area around.
10. Go back in time to the Fortress of Sagres
The Fortress of Sagres had the mission to protect the town from raiders from North Africa. Henry the Navigator built it and from here that he devised his 15th-century expeditions to the uncharted seas around the western side of Africa, “the Age of Discoveries”.
Henry spent much of his time here before setting off on his voyages upon which he was the first European to discover the Azores and large parts of the African coastline.
There are great panoramic views over the Ocean. The walls and the entrance are impressive. Here, you can close your eyes, feel the history vibes and go back in time.
Explore the wild west coast of Portugal. Get your backpack, take a break and go on an adventure!