Portugal is blessed with beautiful beaches all along its coastline, but particularly those south of Lisbon. For those of us who prefer our coasts a touch more wild and untamed by the human hand, we too are blessed that the vast majority of visitors tend to congregate around the Algarve in the far south.
Which leaves us to enjoy the golden beaches, orange sunsets and dramatic cliffs of Alentejo’s Costa Vicentina in relative solitude.
While there’s no shortage of options for relaxing, mooching and pottering here, it’ll probably come as no surprise that our favourite way of doing just that is to pull on our boots and go for a walk along the coastal paths.
Helpfully in that regard, a network of Fishermen Trails - the Rota Vicentina - snakes its way along the coast...
Whilst an established path can often mean a busy path, it’s not really the case here in most stretches, and some beaches are accessible only by rope ladder and wooden stairs. Ideal for pausing for a picnic or to have a paddle on warmer days then.
It’s also fairly easy to vary your walks according to your energy levels and enjoyment of walking. Our favourite stretch is probably between Odeceixe and Zambujeira do Mar, where there is always room for you to find a quiet spot to hear the waves hitting the cliffs and a beautifully lonely beach to go for a dip. Look out too for the world's only coastal-nesting storks, setting up camp just a few meters from you.
Of course, being by the coast brings other rewards too. We don’t have empirical data to back it up (though we’ll happily volunteer for any study) but we’re almost certain that seafood and white wine taste best when savoured slowly in a little fishing port, having spent the day out walking the coastal trails and stopping for an occasional dip at a secluded wild beach.
And whilst we’re at it, is there a better way to watch the sun go down than with the ocean stretched out before you, a grilled turbot, sea bass or whatever’s freshest out the sea on your plate and something local in your wine glass?
If you’ve found it, do let us know.
Experience Alentejo & Costa Vicentina with Pura Aventura
We are one of the first UK travel companies to be certified B Corp – regarded by The Independent as the premier sustainability certification, and described by Which?as "meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance".