Most of the tourists that came to Portugal in search of relaxed beach holidays headed for the Algarve. However, with a coastline of about 1230 km just on the mainland, Portugal has so many other refuges by the sea to offer. Today I introduce you a region that, in spite of being mostly known for its golden plains, has some of the best Portuguese beaches – the Alentejo.
The huge resorts of the Algarve are far away thus the Alentejo beaches offer a wilder atmosphere for not being as crowded as the ones from the most southern Portuguese region. Tranquillity, natural beauty and magnificent weather are some of the visiting cards of the region´s beaches, highly sought after by surfers. To illustrate the beauty of the region’s coastline I have decided to elaborate the top 10 Alentejo beaches, a true herculean as I am sure that many other beaches could easily be part of this list.
- Comporta beach
The breathtaking beauty of this beach made it famed all over the world and conquered many famed visitors; therefore Comporta beach is the place to be if you want to share your space with royal families’ members, movie stars and international musicians.
- Tróia-mar Beach
Facing Arrábida Natural Park Tróia-mar beach is most famed for its golden sand and calm sea, besides being one of the longest beaches of the Alentejo. Due to its characteristics it is a perfect place for surf and body board beginners.
- Costa de Santo André beach
Belonging to the Natural Reserve of Lagoa de Santo André e da Sancha, this beach differs from the others due to the Santo André Lagoon, which is annually feed by a canal opened to the sea. This Lagoon is an important ecologic system, rich in fishing resources, namely sardines, sea basses and molluscs such as clams and razor shells.
- São Torpes beach
São Torpes beach, also named Morgavel beach, is a wonderful beach offering two ancient myths: the first is linked to Saint Torpes, a Christian martyr persecuted by Nero; in fact, according to the legend he was decapitated after declaring himself a Christian and his body was placed in a rotten boat with a rooster and a dog. The boat cross the Mediterranean Sea and washed up on this beach. The second myth claims that there used to be a lost city under its sand.
- Vale Figueiros Beach
Situated in Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, Vale Figueiros beach is also named Vieirinha, Pedra Casca or Vale Figueiros beach. It is mostly attended by locals and fishermen because it is not easy to access it. This beach is also very popular among surfers and body boarders.
- Ilha do Pessegueiro beach
Set on the canal that links the mainland to Pessegueiro Island, this beach offers historic relevance as it has been used for ages as a refuge for the boats that sailed along the treacherous coastline of the Alentejo. From here you may reach the island with interesting archaeological traces, dating back to Roman times. On the beach cliff there is Pessegueiro Fortress from the 17th century.
- Zambujeira do Mar Beach
Protected by an imposing cliff, Zambujeira do Mar beach is one of the most touristic destinations of the area, not just for its beauty but also for Festival Sudoeste, a music festival held each year. However, if you are looking for tranquillity you just need to head for one of the smaller beaches that side it.
There are plenty of restaurants where you may enjoy a wonderful fresh grilled fish.