The Southwest Alentejo (Sudoeste Alentejano) and the Costa Vicentina Natural Park are one of the most sublime areas to do a road trip or hike in Portugal.
A perfect travel destination, whether you have a couple of days off or two hands full of them. Both Portuguese families and foreigners are assiduous travelers in this region (me too!). And honestly, with each visit, it surprises us even more.
The superb coastal landscapes, world-class waves for surfing, and the beaches of Costa Vicentina are well known and do not require presentations. They preserve much of their original beauty untouched by the fact that they are in the protected area of the Natural Park.
Fortunately, there are no resorts on the beach line defying the scenery. There are idyllic sands embroidered with lush vegetation, earth-colored dunes, and rolling rocks. There are dramatic cliffs, pointed cables, and deserted coves. There are candlesticks and fishing villages from other times transformed into small holiday sanctuaries.
But there is more, much more. To the stunning coastal landscapes and several hands full of idyllic beaches on the Costa Vicentina, add up – if mountains where natural wonders are hidden, mountain villages where time passes without haste, plains that are lost in the infinite horizon, and one without several trails that are among the best in Portugal.
Add the divine gastronomy of these places, which combines the flavors of the mountains and the sea with first, and the art of welcoming the people of Alentejo 196. You already have almost all the ingredients of the Costa Vicentina magic potion in your hands. Taken once, the return (repeated ) to this seductive region of our Portugal is certain. The missing ingredients in the magic potion will only be revealed to you during your trip along the Costa Vicentina. And believe me, they are the most pleasant!
To help you discover a thousand charms of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, here is a suggested itinerary to visit Costa Vicentina. It will find not only the main points of interest of the Costa Vicentina but also many suggestions for activities and practical tips to facilitate the logistics of the trip.
Where is the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina?
The Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina has an extension of approximately 110 km and includes territories in the districts of Beja, Faro, and Setúbal. It covers 4 municipalities, Aljezur and Vila do Bispo, (Faro), Sines (Setúbal) and Odemira (Beja).
Tracks the Coast of Alentejo from Sines to Odeceixe and enters Algarve Coast, already in the western Algarve. Lisbon is only 150 km away from Sines, which makes Costa Vicentina a great destination for small getaways throughout the year.
When visiting Costa Vicentina?
With an average of 3000 hours of sunshine a year, Costa Vicentina is a very attractive destination in every season of the year!
For those looking for clear blue skies and sunshine to fill Vitamina D’s deficiencies, this is a great region. From my experience, I can guarantee that the sun has a special shine on the Alentejo coast. Even better? Rain is a rare thing.
That said, the choice of months to visit Costa Vicentina depends a lot on your interests and the type of activities you intend to do on your trip. If you are looking for the best waves, to surf, and the like, every month is potentially good ( except the peak of winter, for obvious reasons ). If the idea is to take a few days of vacation, nothing beats the summer months.
Spring ( color ) and autumn ( pastel tones ) are ideal for traveling the Rota Vicentina, a Great Route that goes from Santiago do Cacém to Cabo de São Vicente and that is one of the best trails and walking routes in Portugal.
Where to stay on the Costa Vicentina – Accommodation suggestions
The first big decision to make when planning a trip to Costa Vicentina and Southwest Alentejo is to choose the locations where to stay.
If you are just going to get away ( taking into account the size of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, you will have excuses to make several escapes ), I recommend that you choose to divide your nights of accommodation by several locations instead of always staying in the same place.
I know well that it is boring to be changing rooms every night but it is even more boring to lose countless hours on the road back and forth and then lack the time (energy) to know the main points of interest in Costa Vicentina.
The locations I suggest to spend some nights for a Costa Vicentina itinerary are:
- Sines | Vila Nova de Milfontes | Odemira | Aljezur | Aldeia da Pedralva | Sagres
But you can make a small changes to the script and choose to stay in other neighboring locations, such as:
- Santiago do Cacém | Porto Covo | Zambujeira do Mar | Odeceixe | Vila do Bispo.
Click on the links below to search for accommodation in the respective locations and always choose to book hotel units that allow a cancellation, there will be no unforeseen event.
If you go with more time to visit Costa Vicentina, consider setting up a base in one location and taking your tours from there, since it requires fewer logistics and makes the experience more relaxing ( walking around and packing every day is always boring, especially if traveling with children ).
If this is your option, the best locations to set up a base are the “triangle” Odemira, Vila Nova de Milfontes, and Zambujeira do Mar.
Not only are the most equidistant locations in the main points of interest of Costa Vicentina, they also have good access and a wide and varied offer of accommodation and tourist services.
Refúgio do Monte
On recent trips to the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, I’ve stayed halfway between Zambujeira do Mar and Odemira, in Refugio do Monte. For rural tourism in a typical Alentejo hill, this is it. Hidden between mountains and sea, it is a place that lives up to its name and invites you to peaceful days as a true shelter. Prepare, welcoming Alentejo people are to be found 🙂
The biggest event is at breakfast – lunch: served with spice and family generosity. Fed up and irresistible, with both varied and delicious. They seem to guess what I like best to start the day in direct contact with nature! Private rooms of Refúgio do Monte are cozy, acclimatized, bright, and blamelessly clean, with a tasteful decoration that does not neglect the traditional. Outside, the patio invites you to a late-day drink, and the pool for a refreshing dip, and don’t be surprised if one of the birds that inspired the names of the rooms appears in the garden.
Casa da Eira Boutique Houses
Another good option is Casa da Eira. Located just a few minutes walk from Franquia beach, the historic center, and some of the best restaurants on the Costa Vicentina, this guesthouse is a species of oasis in the middle of the village: close to everything but a refugee from the Milfontes confusion of the bathing season. The rooms and apartments ( up to 7 people ), all with a balcony, have a light, relaxed and contemporary decor. Some with sea and river views.
The highest rated 10 economic still be able to make your own food and take care of your clothes right next to the beach. Employees are five stars in terms of friendliness, availability, and information. Clean and well taken care of, lots of friendliness, extra treats in the kitchen, and great location.
The Best of Costa Vicentina in a Roadmap of 5 days | A Road Trip for 5 Days – what to see and do in Southwest Alentejo
A roadmap to visit Costa Vicentina starts in Sines, Alentejo, and ends in Sagres, already in the Algarve 1. But you can do – it in reverse order without any problem. You can even divide – it into two or three escapades, drawing your script focused on one of the points of interest and taking advantage of our extra suggestions.
It is important to note that the number of days suggested for this itinerary to visit Costa Vicentina and Southwest Alentejo assumes that the trip is made with your own vehicle and not includes travel days from the place of origin to the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina. Therefore, you will always have to add at least two more days to your Costa Vicentina itinerary.
On the other hand, if you want to do some more activities or simply relax on one of the wonderful beaches of Costa Vicentina, add a few more days to your Costa Vicentina itinerary.
Important note: it is important to take into account that this itinerary for visiting Costa Vicentina does not include whole days spent on the beach or surfing. If you want to spend a few days catching some of the best waves in Portugal, or simply taking a dip and relaxing on its wonderful beaches, I strongly recommend that you add a few days ( or even a few weeks ) to your itinerary by Costa Vicentina. Discover the Costa Vicentina beach ideal for you by reading our article on the Best beaches on the Costa Vicentina.
1st Day Route for Costa Vicentina
Sines – São Torpes – Praia Samoqueira – Porto Covo – Ilha do Pessegueiro – Praia do Malhão – Vila Nova de Milfontes
An itinerary for visiting Costa Vicentina begins with a visit to Sines, the largest city on the Alentejo coast.
There is a lot to see and do in Sines so if you don’t know the city yet, ideally, follow our tip and travel the day before to Sines, taking advantage of what is left of the day to explore the city’s birthplace of the navigator Vasco da Gama. Otherwise, focus your visit on two or three places of interest to Sines on the first day of your Costa Vicentina tour.
The main points of interest in the historic center of Sines are located around Largo do Muro da Praia, Largo Poeta Bocage and Largo do Castelo. As time may be scarce, I recommend that you focus your visit on this area of the historic city center.
You will find the Mother Church, the Chapel of Mercy, the Castle of Sines ( which currently houses the Museum of Sines and the House of Vasco da Gama ), the Statue of Vasco da Gama, and the famous Escadinhas do Muro da Praia, the main access to Vasco da Gama Beach.
Having more time to visit the city, be sure to go to Largo dos Penedos in India as well. It has one of the best panoramic views of the bay. Take a stroll along the Sines waterfront to Forte to do Revelim and visit the Sines Fishing Port.
Sines visited, get in the car, and headed to São Torpes beach, one of the entry points in the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park. São Torpes is well known for its regular and soft waves, perfect for initiation in surfing, and above all for having the warmest waters on mainland Portugal. This is not due to any natural phenomenon but to the Sines thermoelectric plant that expels the cooling waters of the turbines in that area. If you visit her during the bathing season, feel free to take a dip!
Attention: the closure of the Sines thermoelectric plant, in early 2021, put an end to tropical temperature waters. But the rest of the charms of Praia de São Torpes are still there!
Half a dozen kilometers further south, wait for the first dazzle moment of the day. I’m talking about Praia da Samoqueira, one of the most beautiful beaches on Costa Vicentina. Stroll – through its wild sand, which meanders between cliff cutouts, and discover its caves, finches, and natural pools.
From Praia, da Samoqueira continue your tour of the Costa Vicentina heading to the village of Porto Covo. I suggest that you start your visit with the charismatic Largo Marquês de Pombal, where you will find the Church dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Soledade, and then follow the pedestrian street Vasco da Gama towards the sea.
Once on the shore, enjoy a scenic stroll along the cliffs of Porto Covo, where Porto Covo Bay is hidden, with its small fishing port full of colorful boats, and a handful of small beaches, of which I highlight Praia dos Buizinhos, Praia Pequena, Praia do Banho and Praia do Espingardeiro. The views are simply magnificent! Finish the tour at Praia Grande, the best option to go bathing in Porto Covo.
Porto Covo visited, and it’s time to go and see the most famous island on the Costa Vicentina up close, Ilha do Pessegueiro (famous nationally for a song by Rui Veloso, a popular Portuguese singer). It is true that you have already seen it from Porto Covo, but there is no better place to appreciate its beauty than from the beach of the homonymous beach. In summer, there are boats that cross to visit the rich flora and fauna and the ruins of Forte de Santo Alberto on Pessegueiro Island.
In addition to the beach, there are unique cliffs of sand under a giant stone slab, which breaks and crashes into the sand and the sea, and the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Queimada.
From Praia do Ilha do Pessegueiro follow a trip to Praia do Malhão, one of our favorite beaches throughout the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina. Two geological phenomena give Malhão beach a unique beauty. Bounded to the east by a dune cord and to the south by the Galleys, rock formations impose respect. Hurry through its delicious hick network, along the cliffs, and enjoy the brutal panoramic views of its many viewpoints. Everyone is amazed!
Local tip: about 10 km from Vila Nova de Milfontes hides – one of the greatest secrets of the Costa Vicentina: the Waterfall of Rocha de Água de Alto, commonly dubbed Cascade of Vila Nova de Milfontes. The Alto Water Rock is an imposing natural rock wall, almost 30 meters high, which after a brave rain turns into a huge waterfall. That said, it goes without saying that it takes some luck to see it with water.
Even without water, the Alto Water Rock is still impressive. The accesses are not the best and, to get there, do not get rid of taking a short walk (about 2.5 km round trip). If you see that you have time and want to “disgust” coastal landscapes, don’t hesitate.
The first day of our itinerary to visit the Costa Vicentina ends at Vila Nova de Milfontes , a true jewel built between the sea and the Mira River.
Stroll through the chaste alleys of the historic center, where you will find the Church of Nossa Senhora da Graça and the Forte de São Clemente. Enjoy the tranquility of Praia da Franquia, on the banks of the River Mira. Take a stroll along the waterfront that connects the fort to the Vila Nova de Milfontes Lighthouse and close the day watching the sunset – from – the sun at Praia do Farol.
2nd Day Route for Costa Vicentina
Vila Nova de Milfontes – Praia das Furnas – Praia de Almograve – Praia do Cavaleiro – Cabo Sardão – Zambujeira – Odemira 1 begins with a visit to Praia das Furnas , a 7 Wonders Beaches in Portugal prize winner.
Praia das Furnas seems to have been made to please the wishes of some capricious god. And seven must have been the divinity’s desires: transparent sea, placid river, fine sand, golden dune, lush green, wild natural setting, and boundless sun.
If you liked Praia das Furnas you will be delirious with the scenic beauty of Praia de Almograve. You may not have your neighbor’s trophy, but in beauty, you are not left behind. This is where the Costa Vicentina dune cord is most surprising. In addition to being large in size, it is great in beauty, variety of forms, geological phenomena, fauna, and flora. Great is also the beach of fine sand that convinces anyone to work for bronze.
If you like hiking and want to extend your stay on Costa Vicentina, be sure to take the fantastic Almograve Dune Trail, one of our favorite circular walking routes on the Alentejo coast. You can also take advantage of part of the extra day to visit the neighboring Carriços and Barca Grande beaches and visit the sui generis Port of Fishing for Lapa de Pombas.
Practical information for the Almograve Dune Trail
- Distance: 8.5km
- Circular: Yes
- Technical Difficulty: Moderate
- Departure / Arrival Location: Almograve
Almograve visited, continue your journey through the Costa Vicentina towards Praia do Cavaleiro. It is not easy to find, but the good things are like this: difficult to find! The difficulty begins with the GPS that changes our turns. Then comes the gymkhana on the dirt road. Finally, the challenge of not letting yourself be taken by vertigo down the cliffs. However, the effort is rewarded with a landscape of praising the skies.
Right next to it you will find the majestic Cabo Sardão the westernmost point of the Alentejo coast. A towering lighthouse, a silent sentinel that guides the brave men of the sea, welcomes you -, but it is the overwhelming views from the top of the cliff and the ubiquitous peace, broken by the beat of the waves on the cliffs and the whisper of the wind, which will win his heart. He will not be the first victim of the Cape Sardão spell, nor surely the last. Let the storks that made Cabo Sardão home say it, making it – the only place in Europe where storks nest on the coast. Pure magic!
Local’s Tip: the section of the Rota Vicentina that connects Cabo Sardão to Zambujeira do Mar is one of the most beautiful on the Fishermen’s Trail. If you want to have ( a good ) taste of the Rota Vicentina, add another day to your trip along the Costa Vicentina and walk the 10 km that separate these two points. If you feel energized you can continue until Odeceixe for another 19km. It is another idyllic section of the Rota Vicentina! Don’t forget that the trail is linear. Soon, you will have to arrange transport back to Cabo Sardão, being the most comfortable to get a taxi!
The day continues while reaching the famous Praia da Zambujeira do Mar , one of the most photogenic on the Alentejo coast. Here urban and nature marry so well. Bored from the wind by the high cliff that surrounds it, the panoramic views from above are categorically the best I have on the Alentejo Coast.
The second day of our Costa Vicentina itinerary ends in the beautiful village of Odemira , planted on the banks of the River Mira. The places of mandatory visit and the experiences not to be missed in Odemira are as follows:
- Appreciate the Churches of Santa Maria, Salvador and Misericórdia;
- Climbing Odemira Castle ( from the castle little remains but the views from its viewpoint are wonderful );
- Walking through the alleys of the castle district;
- Enjoy the Jardim da Fonte Férrea;
- Mirar the City Hall Building;
- Visit the towering Windmill of Odemira;
- Photographing the Iron Bridge over the River Mira;
- Take a stroll along the riverside of Mira;
- Cross the pedestrian bridge over the Mira river;
- Visit the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade.
3rd Day Route to visit Costa Vicentina:
Odemira – Pego das Pias – Santa Clara a Velha – Santa Clara Dam – Brejão – Praia da Amália – Praia de Odeceixe – Aljezur < Costa Vicentina itinerary will be passed between the mountains and the sea and will reveal – some of the best-kept secrets of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina. Prepare – it for a full day!
And to start with beauty, there is nothing like knowing one of the greatest wonders of nature in the municipality of Odemira, the fantastic Pego das Pias. To reach this little Alentejo paradise, which seems cut from other places, you will have to take a short walk. They are about 2 km, round trip, therefore accessible to the whole family. On the map of the 3rd day of the itinerary to visit Costa Vicentina, you can find the recommended place to park and the walking route.
A natural picture of rare beauty awaits you. In addition to the impressive rocks of Pego das Pias, from where the most fearless throw themselves into the water, something that I totally advise against, there are several small natural lakes, perfect for taking a few strokes in the waters of Ribeira do Torgal. There are also countless greenlings spots perfect for a picnic. An enchanted forest cannot walk very far from this. And be warned that if you travel with kids, it will be difficult to get – them out!
From Pego da Pias continue your tour of the Costa Vicentina towards Santa Clara Dam , whose reservoir is another pearl in this region. Take a dip in the River Beach of Albufeira de Santa Clara, one of the best river beaches in Portugal , and take a peaceful stroll along the banks of the huge lake. As in Alqueva, it is also possible to rent a boat without having a Sailor’s License.
Along the way, be sure to visit the chestnut Santa Clara Village – a – Old, one of the finalists of 7 Wonders of Portugal – Ribeirinhas Villages, and to go and see the ruins of the historic Dona Maria Bridge over the Mira River.
Local Guide tip: do you want to divide the 3rd day of your Costa Vicentina script in two? Spend the morning enjoying the Pego das Pias and in the afternoon go on the excellent Santa Clara Trail to the Dam ( PR4 ODM ), which, as its name implies, connects the village of Santa Clara – a – Velha to the Santa Clara Dam through one of the most beautiful areas of the reservoir. More information about the walking path is in the box below.
Practical information on PR4 ODM – From Santa Clara to the Dam
- Distance: 10 km
- Circular: Yes
- Technical Difficulty: Moderate
- Departure / Arrival Location: at the Dam or Santa Clara – a – Velha
The time has come to say goodbye to the mountains for today and to head back to the coast to visit one of the most secret places on the Costa Vicentina: the idyllic Amália Beach . The name stuck – if – it is the beach where Amália Rodrigues liked to see, feel and enjoy the sea. Along the way, be sure to stop at the small village of Brejão and see the beautiful murals dedicated to the Portuguese fado singer.
Praia da Amália is a Alentejo version of Alice in Wonderland . To get there just on foot by a narrow path covered with thick vegetation and reeds. Covered is not an understatement, it is literal. There are stretches where I have to cross a vegetable tunnel and next to it runs Ribeira das Cobras. Ending the trail, a green valley between huge shale fragments and the humming of the stream running faster and faster until it crashes directly on the beach. It’s really Praia of Wonders (Maravilhas!)
The time has come to say goodbye to Alentejo and to say hello to the Algarve Region. The next stop on our Costa Vicentina route is precisely on the border between the two regions. I’m talking about the illustrious Praia de Odeceixe , another of the winners of the 7 Portugal Wonders, this time in the category of Praia de Arribas.
And as soon as you have the first glimpse of the beach, you will understand why. To the north it rises – is one of the most beautiful and imposing cliffs in the entire Costa Vicentina. Played between Alentejo and Algarve, this beach has beautiful panoramic views and perfectly combines sea and river beach.
Close the 3rd day of your tour of the Costa Vicentina to visit the old Moorish village of Aljezur . In addition to the mandatory walk between whitewashed houses and narrow streets, be sure to climb to its legendary castle ( one of the seven castles that appear on the flag of Portugal ) to enjoy a magnificent panoramic view, over the floodplain of Aljezur, the Serra de Monchique and the sea.
4th Day Route for Costa Vicentina
Aljezur – Praia da Carreagem – Praia da Amoreira – Praia de Monte Clérigo – Praia da Arrifana – Bordeira – Praia da Amado
When the fourth day of your tour of the Costa Vicentina ends, your image of the Algarve beaches will change radically.
Start the day by heading to Praia da Carreagem , one of the most surreal beaches on Costa Vicentina. You hardly see it from the top of the cliff that seems to want to keep that piece of sea untouched. Every step of the descent through the straddling walkway that serves as access is a surprise. On the way down, it follows – lush vegetation, incredibly alive. Rock formations are unique and unrepeatable. The scenario embraces – us with caress. Passionate!
From the carriage continue your journey to Praia da Amoreira . Ribeira de Aljezur comes here to flow, very against the cliff that protects it to the south, leaving the vast sandy beach protected by a dune extending – to the north. There is more than enough space for the whole family to set up the staminé. If you like kitesurfing or windsurfing, you’ll love the challenging Amoreira waves!
Right next to it is Monte Clérigo beach whose white-colored fishing village and brightly colored doors are delicious. A few kilometers further on is Praia da Arrifana one of the best spots for surf lovers from Costa Vicentina.
Arrifana visited, take a break from the beaches, and head to Bordeira , one of the most typical villages in the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina. Lose – if you are in its narrow alleys while enjoying its characteristic houses, visit the beautiful Church of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, exchange two fingers of conversation with the locals on the small square of the land, and climb to the place where your castle once stood and delight – yourself with one of the most beautiful rural landscapes in the Costa Vicentina.
Da Bordeira is a little jump to the homonymous beach. The sandy beach of Praia da Bordeira is so big that as soon as I step on it I have the feeling of walking through the Sahara desert … of the Algarve. For the more radical, there are waves in the sea to exhibit dexterity in maneuvers worthy of applause. And the wide Ribeira da Bordeira comes to the beach, not without first generously offering its waters to kitesurfing beginners.
Right next to it stands – if Pontal da Carrapateira , one of the most scenic areas of Costa Vicentina. It brings together a series of geological phenomena and has a variety of flora and fauna worthy of an episode of wildlife narrated by David Attenborough. All the adjectives that come to mind seem reductive to describe this wonder of nature. It is dazzle after dazzle and, believe me, it will find itself touching the 5 cars in 5 minutes.
Local Guide Tip: the best way to explore the wonders of Pontal da Carrapateira is to travel the superb trail of Pontal da Carrapateira. If you are looking for a good walk, suitable for the whole family, and have the possibility to add another day to your itinerary along the Costa Vicentina, do not hesitate. In the box below you will find the practical information on the pedestrian route.
Practical information on the Pontal da Carrapateira Trail
- Distance: 11 km
- Circular: Yes
- Technical Difficulty: Easy
- Departure / Arrival Location: Carrapateira
Continue your tour of the Costa Vicentina by directing – up to Praia do Amado . Even for those who have traveled the dozens of beaches on the Costa Vicentina, arriving at Praia do Amado makes – always lets us go of that “wow !!!” Red earth, amid cliffs and cliffs, extraordinary vegetation, golden sands bathed in crystal clear water, sometimes blue, now emerald, form a sock – a moon that seems cut from a paradisiacal beach.
Local Guide Tip: on a promontory called Ponta do Castelo, between Praia do Portinho do Forno, and Praia do Amado, you will find the ruins of an ancient Islamic fishing village that was used seasonally. Little remains of the village, but the views are breathtaking!
After a full day exploring the Costa Vicentina, close the day at the rebirth of Aldeia da Pedralva Despite being a few kilometers from the coast, here you breathe – if rurality. It is the face of the other Algarve, the one that does not usually appear in tourist leaflets.
Due to strong desertification, Aldeia da Pedralva was – practically in ruins 10 years ago. But thanks to the reconstruction of the houses for the purpose of local accommodation, and maintaining the traditional Algarve architecture, a new life was brought to the small village. Strolling through its alleys is a journey into a past that, due to our city bustle, seems to us more and more distant. More than “visiting”, Aldeia da Pedralva is a place to “feel”!
Screenplay visit Costa Vicentina: 5th Day
Aldeia da Pedralva – Praia da Cordoama – Praia do Castelejo – Vila do Bispo – Salema – Burgau – Fortaleza de Sagres – Cabo de
The last day of the tour of Costa Vicentina begins with a visit to Praia da Cordoama, where the violent wind and rough sea joined forces and created a coastal zone of the most beautiful and dramatic Costa Vicentina.
From Cordoama, go to the neighbor Praia do Castelejo . Pass by the Castelejo Viewpoint, where the panoramic views are really breathtaking! Here the earth suddenly changes. From the warm colors of the red earth to dark ocher, as if you’ve stepped on burnt earth. In front of you, it displays – if an angry, rough sea. But that does not remove surfers and bodyboarders from – lo. Whoever has no board, calms, and spirit to the sound of the rhythmic cadence of his waves. Dica VagaMundos: if you feel like taking a good walk, be sure to take the Cordoama Trail, our favorite walking route in the municipality of Vila do Bispo. More information is in the box below.
Practical information on the Cordoama Trail
- Distance: 15 km ( there is a shorter version with only 10 km )
- Circular: Yes
- Technical Difficulty: Moderate
- Place of Departure / Arrival: Vila do Bispo
Continue your tour of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina heading to the south coast of Vila do Bispo where you expect a handful of surprising places.
Among the many places of interest you can visit, I highlight the fishing villages of Salema and Burgau. You will be able to watch the fishing boats arrive from the farm and eat fresh fish. Visit the ruins of Fort Vera Cruz ( the fort landscape is among the best on the south coast of the Southwest Alentejo Natural Park and Costa Vicentina ), the paradise Praia da Ingrina ( excellent for diving ), the surprising Battery of the Zavial, the beautiful Ermida of Guadalupe.
His epic journey through the Costa Vicentina is close to – if it ends but there is still time to discover two more stunning locations. The first of these is the mythical Fortress of Sagres , the westernmost fortress in Portugal and Continental Europe. Let you be dazzled by the imposing landscapes and the gigantic Rosa dos Ventos that is inside.
And to close your itinerary for the Costa Vicentina in beauty, nothing like going to watch the sunset – of – sun in the neighbor Cabo de São Vicente the most western point of the Algarve, which was once the Promontorium Sacrum, whose Romans dedicated to the cult of the god Saturn.
Rota Vicentina – Walking Trails and Bicycle Routes
Rota Vicentina is not exactly a trail but a network of routes that totals about 750 km of walking trails and 1000 km of mountain biking routes along Costa Vicentina.
From the big hiking routes of Portugal, this is a favorite among foreigners and Portuguese tourists and is excellent for those who want to start on longer walks.
The route network of the Rota Vicentina comprises the Historic Trail, the Fishermen’s Trail, and several excellent Circular Routes for those who only want to go hiking for one day.
The Historic Trail is the longest in the entire network, with about 230 km, and connects Santiago do Cacém to Cabo de São Vicente. The most emblematic section of the Fishermen’s Trail, on the other hand, connects Porto Covo to Odeceixe and has about 80 km. A new section of the Fishermen’s Trail, about 50 km long, has recently been inaugurated, connecting Sagres to Lagos. A good option for those who want to know about the south coast of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina.
An excellent combination of both trails is to start the hike in Santiago do Cacém or Porto Covo and from there follow the Fishermen’s Trail to Odeceixe. As the Historical Way also passes through Odeceixe, you can then follow this route to Cabo de São Vicente. If you leave Porto Covo in total you will pass 170 exciting kilometers.
Where to eat on the Costa Vicentina – Restaurants
Because Man does not live by landscapes alone, a getaway to the Costa Vicentina is always synonymous with tasty moments spent at the table. Especially because the sea air opens ( and a lot ) appetite!
If you are a fan of fish and seafood dishes you will feel – if you are in the sky on the Costa Vicentina. Just thinking about seafood rice in the Vincentian fashion, a fish cataplana, a shellfish feijoada, the Bulhão Pato shellfish, or the goldfish ( fresh ) grilled, mouth water is born.
Even if the flavors of the sea are not your beach much, you will not be disappointed. Just think of a wild boar, a black pig secret, a rump chunk or the beauty of the Alentejo açorda and soon realize that you will not ( at all ) go hungry.
Zé Inácio – Porto Covo
In Zé Inácio, grilled fish is king and lord. But the subjects octopus à lagareiro, fish cataplana, fried cuttlefish, and monkfish rice are not far behind. In desserts, sweet migas prevail.
Celso Tasca – Vila Nova de Milfontes
Cozy space, food 5 stars, and an unsurpassed wine list on the Costa Vicentina are the ingredients that make us repeat visits to Tasca do Celso. And they are just not because finding a place is far from easy. Clam rice and giant shrimp with açorda are simply divine. In desserts, nothing beats the sericaia.
O Sacas – Zambujeira do Mar
Sacas is already a classic from the Costa Vicentina. It is right next to Porto das Barcas, in the middle of the fishermen’s neighborhood, a few kilometers from Zambujeira do Mar, and although it is not exactly economical it is always pinecone. But when you “throw the net” to your shellfish feijoada, dogfish soup, or fish fillets you will understand the price. The quality paid – if and in O Sacas the quality is ubiquitous.
Fonte Férrea Restaurant – Odemira
When I want to give fish and seafood a break, Fonte Férrea is our favorite restaurant on the Costa Vicentina. Typically Alentejo flavors, family atmosphere, and generous doses are more than enough reasons for choosing. Our dish of choice is wild boar migas, but grilled lamb chops and pork cheeks with migas leave.
Azenha do Mar Restaurant – Azenha do Mar
It is worth going to the small village of Azenha do Mar just to see the views, but if you combine it with a visit to the homonymous restaurant it will be even better served. The supply of fish and seafood is colossal. The hard thing is to choose. Between mussel salad as a starter and shoe rack for the main course, but the last time I taste fried sole with roe açorda and I immediately cry for more.
Pont’a Pé – Aljezur
Don’t be alarmed that you won’t have to beat up! The only struggles you will have to face at Pont’a Pé is to get a table and not give in to the temptation of gluttony. But when you taste your octopus with a potato – sweet or the dogfish stew forgets – if you are right away. At dessert, time give the potato cake – sweet and almond that you will not regret!
Ribeira do Poço – Vila do Bispo
Going to Vila do Bispo and not tasting his famous insights is almost like going to Rome and not seeing the Pope. And there is no better place to do it than in Ribeira do Poço. Add – them the fried moray ( a species of sea greaves ), the prawns with piri – piri and the ( generoso ) anglerfish rice, and a banquet are difficult to match.
Fisherman’s Retreat – Sagres
A lot of sympathy, simplicity, and fresh fish and seafood make Retiro do Pescador a captive place on our list of Costa Vicentina restaurants. Don’t expect luxuries, but count on five-star food. I never ate anything that was not good there, but our favorite dishes are fried prawns from the chef and the delightful seafood cataplana.