The Algarve is in the south of Portugal, and has a completely different vibe than the rest of the country. The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, is known for its Atlantic beaches . hitewashed fishing villages on low cliffs overlooking sandy coves were transformed in the 1960s, and now its central coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with villas, hotels, bars and restaurants. The region’s western Atlantic coast and rugged interior are less developed. Aljezur is a small market town of whitewashed houses and cobbled streets located thirty kilometers north of Lagos near the border between the Algarve and the Alentejo in south west Portugal.
We choose Old Town Aljezur, it was a bit less touristy them Faro and Lgos, and a much shorter drive. The old town was mainly walking, cobblestone streets, with a few amazing restaurants. There was a supermarket close by (3 minute drive), and the closest beaches were about 15 minutes.
Recommended length of stay: At least 4 nights!
Getting there: The drive was long. But the rest stops were so family friendly, they all had playgrounds!!!
Getting around: I highly recommend a rental car for your stay in the area, I’m not quiet sure how you would get around with out one. The driving is easy, a bit slow, as things are a bit far apart.
Accommodations: We stayed at this amazing AirBNB in old town, you could drive to it to drop your bags but then had to back out a very narrow street to park.
Highlights & Sights: The whole region is beautiful, the coastline is dramatic, with steep cliffs falling into the ocean, and the waters are dotted with surfers from all over the world. There is so much natural beauty!
Praia do Amado was a great beach for surfing, there were bathrooms and a small cafe, you could do lessons here if you wanted! The water is freezing, even in July! Take the dirt road (on the left) when you leave here and go along the Pontal da Carrapateira trail, “Trail of Tides”, it is breathtaking!!!!!
Our favorite beach (15 minutes from the Air BNB) was Praia da Arrifana, go early, parking fills up, you have to walk down to the beach, it is a little bit of a hike, they have a golf cart that will shuttle you, for 1 Euro/person. I even caught a ride up to the top with a fellow beach go-er to grab the stroller for a nap. There was an amazing restaurant there called Restaurante da Praia, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Check out the fishing dock Portinho de Pesca da Arrifana. The drive down is so very steep, it is incredible to think that fishermen carved out this dock hundreds of years ago. We had the opportunity to see fishermen sorting their daily catch in the fish packing house.
Another great site is Ruinas da Fortaleza de Arrifana, look on the cliffs for goats!
Castelo de Aljezur, set high above Aljezur, is a Castle in complete ruin, there is not much to see but a stunning view.
Restaurants: The food in this area is absolutely amazing, the seafood is so fresh and the dishes are to die for! There were a handful of restaurants in Old Town Aljezur all within walking distance of our Air BNB.
Restaurante III Geracao, go here every night!!
Mo Veggie Bistro, vegan hip place, stop in for a coffee or wine, not my favorite foods, could have done without it. But the building has a lot of history.
Quiosque da ponta cute outside bistro.
Pont’a Pe good restaurant, but III Geracao was our favorite!
A Padaria an amazing bakery, you must go here every morning. Make sure to try the Caracol Cangla (a cinnamon roll). My daughter loved every pastry!
Town market is an inside market, people have stands inside, you can get everything from fresh fish to produce! It’s across the little river from Quiosque Da Ponta. The prices are great and the food is so fresh!