SO MANY MILES TO WANDER
The Summer is still here and if you are looking for a beach, try Costa Vicentina, which is part of the Natural Park. Costa Vicentina has more than 100 kms of beautiful coastal cliffs, from Porto Covo (Alentejo) till Burgau (Algarve).
I went for a long weekend (3 days) and stayed close to Porto Côvo, at Camping Park Ilha do Pessegueiro, but in a small apartment, they also have bungalows in case you don’t want to pitch a tent.
To get to know Costa Vicentina, you can’t rely on public transport, so rent a car or rent a bicycle, but keep in mind that to get to the beaches you have gravel roads. Also you should pay attention to tide, because there are some hidden gems that disappear with high tide.
What I usually do is going early morning to one beach, have a good lunch (fish or seafood) and then follow to another beach. However in the afternoon, it gets more complicated to find space for the car.
First day I went South, towards Rogil, here you can choose between Carriagem or Vale dos Homens (translating: Valley of Men, don’t have a clue where the name comes from). I went to Vale dos Homens, first I enjoyed the view over the cliffs and felt the smell of the sea; then went down the more than 200 wooden steps and reached a secluded rocky beach. Be aware when swimming, the sea can be quite dangerous and the water might be a bit cold.
Heading now to Odeceixe, it’s lunch time, as appetizer some delicious lingueirão (mollusk) with lots of bread to dip in the sauce; and as main course some grilled fish.
At Odeceixe beach, you can choose between swimming in the sea or in the river. A cool thing to do, if there is incoming tide, is going to the place where sea enters the river and go with the flow, upstream. Before you head home, pass by the mill and enjoy the view overlooking the river curves.
If you prefer a non-beach spot to watch the sunset, head to Cabo Sardão, but bring a jacket, it can be windy.
New day, new beaches, time to drive to Zambujeira do Mar. Before heading down to the beach, take a look from above the cliff to see where is the best spot to drop the towel. For a good seafood lunch, I would recommend A Marisqueira da Praia, one of the restaurants in the busiest street near the beach.
In the afternoon, the tide is high, so it’s better to choose a wide beach. Next stop Almograve, just passing the village, you will reach Praia Grande de Almograve on the left side of the parking lot; on the right side, there is a very small beach. However if you prefer to walk a bit instead of laying down on the beach, go to the right, on a trail that goes on the top of the cliffs with amazing views from the shore, just be safe, stay away from the edge.
Last day, I stayed close to the camping site, however still need the car. Ilha do Pessegueiro is the next stop, translating to english: Peach Island. There is a wide beach with Ilha do Pessegueiro just in front, however if you keep on walking, there are two or three small beaches nestled between rocks, a little bit ahead. It’s possible to visit the island to see the archaeological remains, just go to Porto Côvo to get a boat.
One last stop before heading back to Lisbon; just after Porto Côvo there are more beaches, I found a very small one, however I’m in doubt if it is Praia do Salto or Praia do Cerro de Águia. But it doesn’t matter, it was so nice, it is quite small, so it might disappear with high tide. Very peaceful and you will be protected from the wind.
I leave with a Portuguese song, it is a very much known song from a Portuguese singer, Rui Veloso. The song is called Porto Côvo, like the village. He sings in Portuguese, here is the link: Rui Veloso – Porto Côvo.
Have a great summer weekend!