Alentejo coast

The Alentejo Coast- Costa Vincentina

The coast of the Alentejo region in southern Portugal is also known as Costa Vincentina.

This is where the "Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano" natural park lies, which stretches for about 100 km along the coast. The nature park begins in the north below the town of Sines and extends to Burgau in the Algarve. The Costa Vincentina is one of the wildest and naturally preserved parts of the Portuguese coast. You will be amazed by the changing landscapes with wild rock formations, wonderful deserted beaches and a hinterland that has a lot to offer. This stretch of coast is particularly popular with campers and surfers. The coast also has very well-known hiking trails. In short, here you will find everything a nature-loving holiday should offer.

The Costa Vincentina

Portugal map with the regions
Portugal map with the regions
Alentejo coast - Costa Vincentina
Alentejo coast - Costa Vincentina

How much time should you plan to visit the Costa Vincentina?

To discover the south coast in the Alentejo (Costa Vincentina), you should take a week. If you want to relax a little longer on the beaches of the Costa Vincentina, 14 days is also worth it.

What is the best time to visit the Alentejo coast?

The months March to June or September to November are ideal for a relaxed tour. It's not too hot for hiking or cycling tours either. The summer months of July and August are high season, the holiday destinations are busy and it is not advisable to start your trip without booking accommodation in advance. 

Alentejo tour - along the coast

Overview of the route along the south coast of Portugal

 Detailed route suggestion for a 5 day round trip along the Costa Vincentina to the Algarve

Day 1: Troia - Comporta - Praia de Melides - Sines 

Day 2: Sines - Porto Corvo - Vila Nova de Milfontes - Praia das Furnas - Praia de Almograve - Praia do Cavaleiro - Cabo Sardão - Zambujeira - Odemira

Day 3: Odemira - Pego das Pias - Santa Clara a Velha - Barragem de Santa Clara - Brejão - Praia da Amália - Praia de Odeceixe - Aljezur

Day 4: Aljezur - Praia da Carreagem - Praia da Amoreira - Praia de Monte Clérigo - Praia da Arrifana - Bordeira - Praia da Bordeira - Praia do Amado - Aldeia da Pedralva

Day5: Aldeia da Pedralva - Praia da Cordoama - Praia do Castelejo - Vila do Bispo - Salema  - Fortaleza de Sagres - Cabo de Sagres - Cabo de São Vicente

Here you can view the individual daily routes and download them to your cell phone as a navigation aid

Day 1: Troia - Comporta - Praia de Melides - Sines

Begin your road trip in Lisbon, Portugal's vibrant capital, before embarking on a drive to Setúbal. This bustling city offers a mix of scenic views and historic sites, including the Fort of São Filipe, which showcases panoramic vistas of the Sado River estuary.

After leaving Setúbal, take the short ferry trip across to the Troia Peninsula. Troia is known for its beaches and remains of Roman ruins – the Troia Archaeological Complex – which provide insight into the region's past.

Next on the itinerary is Comporta, a village with a laid-back atmosphere. It's an ideal stop for lunch, where you can try regional specialties in a local eatery.

Continue to Praia de Melides, a beach that's appreciated for its tranquility and natural beauty. This area is less crowded than other tourist spots, making it a peaceful retreat for visitors.

The final destination for the day is Sines, a harbor town with historical significance as the birthplace of Vasco da Gama. Sines offers various points of interest, including the castle and maritime museum, and serves as a good base to stay overnight.

Throughout this journey, you'll transition from the urban landscape of Lisbon to the serene coastal settings of the Alentejo region, experiencing diverse environments and Portugal's rich culture.

Day 2: Sines - Porto Corvo - Vila Nova de Milfontes - Praia das Furnas - Praia de Almograve - Praia do Cavaleiro - Cabo Sardão - Zambujeira - Odemira

Your day begins in Sines, where you can start with a leisurely morning exploring any sites you may have missed the day before. Upon departure, head south towards the quiet village of Porto Covo, a picturesque spot with cobbled streets and traditional white houses. The nearby Ilha do Pessegueiro offers a beautiful beach and the ruins of a 17th-century fort that are worth a visit.

Continuing along the coastal road, you will reach Vila Nova de Milfontes, a charming town situated at the mouth of the river Mira, known for its beautiful beaches like Praia das Furnas. The town is a hotspot for water sports and relaxation, and it offers a variety of local shops and cafés.

Next, don't miss the chance to visit Praia de Almograve and Praia do Cavaleiro, two of the many pristine beaches in the area. Almograve is particularly known for its impressive cliffs and rich biodiversity, while Praia do Cavaleiro is a more secluded spot, ideal for a quiet beach experience.

As you drive, make sure to stop at Cabo Sardão, an imposing headland where the ocean meets sheer cliffs. The lighthouse here is an iconic landmark, offering stunning views out to sea and a great opportunity for bird watching.

Further along the coast is Zambujeira do Mar, a small seaside village which becomes a lively hub during summer festivals. The beach here is surrounded by high cliffs, providing shelter and creating an intimate setting for beachgoers.

The final destination for the day is Odemira, a larger town nestled in the green hills of the Alentejo. Known for its rural charm and the Mira River that flows through, Odemira is a good place to rest and enjoy local hospitality.

Your second day offers a more in-depth exploration of the Alentejo coast, with its varied landscapes, stunning beaches, and picturesque villages, encapsulating the essence of this tranquil Portuguese region.

Day 3: Odemira - Pego das Pias - Santa Clara a Velha - Barragem de Santa Clara - Brejão - Praia da Amália - Praia de Odeceixe - Aljezur

Departing from Odemira, a town with a blend of white homes and winding streets, the third day of your journey leads you inland to refresh and reinvigorate at Pego das Pias, a hidden oasis amidst the rolling countryside. This natural lagoon is framed by smooth rock formations and offers a serene spot where travelers can swim in crystal clear waters or enjoy the peaceful ambience.

Next, you'll find the village of Santa Clara-a-Velha, where whitewashed houses dot the landscape. It's a great opportunity to delve into the local culture and savor some traditional Portuguese cuisine at a village café before moving on to the Barragem de Santa Clara, one of the largest reservoirs in the region. The reservoir's vast waters and surrounding natural beauty make it an excellent location for picnicking, water activities, or simply relaxing by the lakeside.

Your route then leads back to the coast to the hamlet of Brejão, where agriculture meets the Atlantic. Don't miss Praia da Amália, a secluded cove named after the famous Portuguese fado singer Amália Rodrigues. This beach is nestled between cliffs, offering a private and intimate atmosphere.

Continuing along the coastal road, the trip brings you to Praia de Odeceixe, a beach that marks the boundary between the Alentejo and Algarve regions. The river Seixe meets the ocean here, creating a unique landscape where you can enjoy both river and ocean shores in close proximity.

The final stop for the day is Aljezur, a town steeped in Moorish heritage with a hilltop castle offering panoramic views. Aljezur's local market is ideal for picking up fresh produce and regional specialties, perfect for an evening meal as you reflect on the adventures of the day.

Concluding Day 3, this drive from the hinterlands to the coastline introduces you to the diverse natural beauty and cultural richness of the Alentejo and the transition into the Algarve, encapsulating the quiet charm of southern Portugal.

Day 4: Aljezur - Praia da Carreagem - Praia da Amoreira - Praia de Monte Clérigo - Praia da Arrifana - Bordeira - Praia da Bordeira - Praia do Amado - Aldeia da Pedralva

Start your day in Aljezur, a historical town that retains traces of its Moorish past, evident in the ruins of its hilltop castle. After soaking in the panoramic views, make your way to the nearby beaches, each offering a unique coastal experience.

Firstly, visit Praia da Carreagem, renowned for its rugged beauty and tranquility. This is a quieter spot along the coast, ideal for enjoying nature without the crowds.

Next, travel to Praia da Amoreira, where the Aljezur river meets the tidal surge. The resulting estuary is a natural haven for local wildlife and the beach is popular for both surfing and family outings, thanks to its varied landscape and sandy stretches.

Continue to Praia de Monte Clérigo, an expansive beach with a laid-back atmosphere. It has easy access and facilities making it suitable for all ages and preferences, whether you're looking to surf or simply bask in the sun.

One must not bypass Praia da Arrifana, a stunning beach that is embraced by cliffs and known for its superb surfing conditions. The dramatic setting, with a potent mix of strong waves and commanding cliffs, is captivating for both adrenaline seekers and those wishing to admire the grandeur of nature.

Move inland to the village of Bordeira, which offers a glimpse into Algarve's tranquil rural life before heading back to the coast to Praia da Bordeira. This beach is vast and often has sand dunes that are popular with the adventurous looking to explore or indulge in some sandboarding.

Further south is Praia do Amado, a well-known spot with surfers due to the consistent surf and the presence of several surf schools, making it an ideal place to either catch some waves or watch others take on the Atlantic.

End your day at Aldeia da Pedralva, a small traditional village that has been beautifully restored to retain its authentic charm. Known for its eco-tourism and adventure activities, it's a perfect spot to unwind after a day full of exploration.

Your fourth day balances the allure of the Algarve's pristine beaches with its inland country charm, offering opportunities for both relaxation and adventure, reflective of Southern Portugal's diverse offerings.

Day5: Aldeia da Pedralva - Praia da Cordoama - Praia do Castelejo - Vila do Bispo - Salema - Fortaleza de Sagres - Cabo de Sagres - Cabo de São Vicente

As you depart from Aldeia da Pedralva, a village known for its sustainability and rural tourism, head towards the west coast to encounter some of the Algarve's most breathtaking beaches.

Your first destination is Praia da Cordoama, an expansive beach located within a natural park, which means it's protected and maintains a wild and untouched landscape. The combination of the vast sandy area and dramatic cliffs makes it a favorite for surfers and nature lovers alike.

A short drive away is Praia do Castelejo, another stunning beach flanked by rugged cliffs that offer shelter from the wind. It's an excellent location for those looking to enjoy the outdoors away from busier tourist spots.

Next, visit the small town of Vila do Bispo, which serves as a central point for exploring the surrounding beaches. The area has a rich cultural heritage, with landmarks that highlight the region's historical significance.

Continuing eastward along the coast, you'll find the village of Salema, which has managed to retain its fishing village charm amidst its development into a laid-back tourist destination. The traditional Portuguese houses and calm shores here provide a contrast to the more rugged western coast.

Driving on the south coast now, reach Fortaleza de Sagres, which is not only a key historical site but also offers commanding views over the ocean. This fortress was an important part in the Age of Discoveries and the maritime history of Portugal.

Near the fortress is Cabo de Sagres, a headland with cliffs rising 60 meters above the Atlantic. The area is often less crowded, offering a moment of solitude and reflection with panoramic sea views.

The final stop for the day is Cabo de São Vicente, the southwesternmost point of Portugal and Europe. It's a place of natural beauty and historical lore, crowned with a lighthouse that guides ships along this treacherous stretch of coastline.

Day 5 invites you to embrace the quieter side of the Algarve, winding through coastal landscapes and historic sites that reflect the endearing and enduring spirit of Portugal's south-western shore.