a day of "getting away from it all", for endless breaths
of fresh Atlantic air, for the feel of ocean mist on your skin,
take this excursion up the Aljezur coast. The Aljezur coast takes
you north from Sagres along the Atlantic coast. The coastline is
graced with endless remote and unspoiled beaches, creating a great
escape from Lagos.
This ocean current along these beaches is much stronger, so to
venture into the ocean you must be a strong swimmer. This
shoreline is popular with surfers from around the world and offers
you great entertainment to see the masters at work.
Pack a nice picnic lunch as the touristy beachside restaurants
are far from this peaceful and seemingly isolated part of the Algarve.
favourite route to the Aljezur coast is to drive to Praia da Bordeira
(see directions below). From this point you can take the N266 roadway
to head south along the Atlantic coast towards Sagres, or head north
towards the town of Aljezur. As you make your way through the countryside,
notice the abundance of cork and eucalyptus trees along the road.
You will also pass an impressive array of windmills, designed to
take advantage of the strong winds in this region. The windy roads,
both paved and dirt, are a bit of an adventure as they take you
through some pretty rough terrain.
From here the choice is endless and up to you, as you select the
little offshoot to one of the multitude of Aljezur beaches.
do Bordeira: This is our favourite beach in the area
as it is near one of our "must visit" eateries O
Sitio do Rio. You once had to walk up the hill and
over to the beach, which was a good 10 minute walk.
Now, you can drive up the hill to a dirt parking lot at the top,
for some of the most breathtaking views of your holiday. Then make
your way down a delicately architected boardwalk to the beach. This
is a comfortable walk as the wood walkway is very long and gently
Tip: Bring your walking shoes as you can walk forever on this romantic beach.
Notice the abundance of miniature beach flora nestled in the surrounding low-lying greenery along the boardwalk.
The Coastal Colours: As this is one of our favourite places to escape for a day, we visit the Alzejur coast at different times of the year. We continue to be amazed by the spectacular variety of flowers with shocking colour, growing by the roadside, in the fields, in gardens and even off the rugged seaside cliffs. These bursts of colour are
a delightful surprise as the plants are tough enough to brave the coastal weather and to flourish.
Heading South from Praia
da Bordeir along the Alzejur Coast.....
Praia do Amado: Drive a little further south along this costal road and you will come to another fine surfers beach called Praia do Amado with a cliff side restaurant O Sitio do Forno, offering great views and a relaxing setting. You can feel the ocean breeze on your face as you dine here. Our Eateries pages has further details on O Sitio do Forno.
A Christmas Day with Solace: We spent a memorable Christmas Day at Praia do Amado, armed with a picnic basket loaded with goodies including a fine bottle of Charles Heidsieck Champagne, smoked salmon, an assortment of Portuguese cheeses with crackers. What more do you need!! The challenge was to endure the steep incline down to the beach. The beach cafe's were closed but they nicely left their furniture out, so we set ourselves up at their tables, faced the sun, toasted the gift of Christmas, expressed gratitude to the great guy upstairs, and of course gazed in amazement at the brave surfers.
Cliff-side Picnic Spots: On one occasion we packed yet another picnic lunch with a heavy canvas beach blanket and stopped off at an incredible cliff side plateau with breath taking views.
Tip: Be extremely careful not to get too close to the edge of these steep cliffs. Also take note of the erosion as some seemingly flat patches may be eroding underneath and may not be very safe.
Heading North from Praia da Bordeira along the Alzejur Coast.....
Praia da Arrifana: This rugged beach really tickles your every sense, with it's jagged cliffs, vocal waters, intense waves and determined breeze soaked with salty scents. We usually spend a few hours here, starting with lunch at Restaurant Oceano, then walking down the road from the restaurant towards the cliiffy coast. The road gives the illusion that in blends into the sea. There are endless nooks and crannies to check out, including a hidden protected marina, ruins of an old convent, and of course just the sights of Arrifana beach with the very steep and narrow winding road from the cliff top down to the beach.
Our Favourites: Naco na Pedra (Steak on a Stone)and the variety of fish of the day. A a nice cut of uncooked steak is presented on a hot slab of granite baked for 8 hours. The event is quite fun as you simply slice the meat to your liking and then cook each slice on the stone until cooked to your preference. A variety of tasty dipping sauces are presented to accompany the meat. We have enjoyed several tasty lunches here of both steak and fish grilled to perfection. The meals are served with fresh locally grown veggies. This staff at this family run restaurant take pride in their offerings and enjoy interacting with their clients.
When: Lunch or Supper; opened year-round, closed Tuesdays.
Phone: (282) 99 73 00- Call ahead to confirm the dining hours, particularly during holidays and winter months
Praia de Odeceixe: If you started your day early and still have lots of time on your hands, why not venture another 30 minutes drive north from Praia da Arrifana to Praia de Odeceixe. This beach stretches for miles and is simply spectacular. This article shares a little more.
From Lagos to Praia do Bordeira: From Stone Tulips roundabout #5,
drive straight to Blackball roundabout #4. Take your third exit
and follow the winding road to roundabout #8. Take your second exit
to Sagres/A22 roundabout #E. Take your second exit to
the EN125 highway west to Vila do Bispo. Turn north (right) when
you see signs for Alzejur. Drive for 10 minutes to Carrapateira.
Drive through this tiny rural community and just as you leave the
village, turn left on a dirt road with signs for Praia do Bordeira / O Sitio do Rio.. Continue on until you see the restaurant O Sitio do Rio on
your right. Drive past the restaurant up the hill to a dirt parking
lot overlooking Praia da Bordeira.
From here you can either venture north towards Arrifana Beach or south towards Praia do Amado, along the Alzejur coast.
Praia do Bordeira to Arrifana (north): Drive back on same dirt road to the T-Junction with the main road. Turn left towards Alzejur and drive 30 minutes inland through the countryside until the road ends at a T-Junction. Turn left towards Alzejur and drive 10 minutes on a curvy road until you see a sign on the left for Arrifana. Take this left and the road climbs up a hill to yet another T-Junction. Turn left again at the sign for Arrifana. Drive another 10 minutes to arrive at Arrifana. Keep on same road driving through the town up and down several hills, past Praia do Arrifana (beach) until you reach the cliffs. Restaurant Oceano is at the end on the right, just before the cliffs.
Praia do Bordeira heading south: Drive south on the dirt and bumpy coastal road for 10 minutes. Then connect on the main road turning right to head back to Lagos. This road heads inland.
Tip: You will be rewarded with plenty of picturesque spots to stop for a picnic. Pack a nice picnic lunch to embrace these opportunities.
Driving time from Lagos: 40 min to Praia do Bordeira; 1 hour 10 minutes if you head north to Arrifana
Parking available in designated parking areas at most beaches.
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