Catching the Waves in Alentejo
To surfers, all that counts is the wave.
But those surfers in the know have long been drawn to the wild Atlantic coast of the Alentejo with its sandy bluffs, rolling waves and open vistas.
The Alentejo is home to Portugal’s most conserved Atlantic coastline with miles of wild and often secluded beaches carved into the cliffs. The Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park cover more than 60 miles of protected land and shore, stretching from Sao Torpes near Sines to Cape St. Vincent, Europe’s most southwesterly point. This protected area has 35 certified habitats housing more than 100 rare species of plants, and the cliffs hide nests of white storks.
Driving between both ends of this coast takes less than 3 hours and you are welcomed to make stops along the way to discover magnificent deserted beaches, taste delicious fresh fish and admire the natural silhouette of the cliffs.
Discover the more than 90 miles of beaches along the Alentejo’s Atlantic shore, one of the most conserved coastlines in southern Europe. Rimmed by green cliffs, paths lead you down through dunes to the seas, where ocean breezes and golden sand await.
Finding the perfect place
Getting to these pristine beaches is pretty easy, but choosing one is not. You could wander and try a different one every day, and sample all the breathtaking views the cliffs have to offer. From Troia, the closest to Lisbon, to Zambujeira do Mar, to Almograve, Malhão, Melides and Porto Covo, there are many options. You could pick one, and come back again and again and explore the other. You have choices.
The Alentejo’s beaches flow from one to another, some of them long stretches of sand and impressive cliffs. The rolling Atlantic offers waves, clean waters and lots of surfing opportunities.
The name means “Beyond the Tejo.” The Tagus River runs from Spain across the center of Portugal to its exit point at the capital city of Lisbon. The main towns along the coastline are Comporta, Sines, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Zambujeira do Mar and Odeceixe. All delightful small traditional towns (Sines is a bit bigger and more industrial), and all surrounded by beautiful uncrowded beach breaks, bays and reefs. www.visitalentejo.pt/en
Surf is easy to find in the beaches around Porto Covo and Vila Nova de Milfontes, two sweet beach towns. A variety of good surf spots are to be found. And it is a year-round surf destination, with the best waves from fall through spring. At the town of Odeceixe, the Atlantic meets a river with big views and a rugged coastline.
The Alentejo is the heartland of Portugal, home to rolling plains, cork country and with endless views. But the Alentejo goes beyond land. In fact, its name indicates it is also beyond water – literally, beyond (além) the Tejo river. From north to south, the region is surrounded by water with three main Portuguese rivers crossing the Alentejo and the Atlantic Ocean touching its southwestern coast.