The Costa Vicentina is Portugal’s largest protected coastal area, lined with wide beaches, sand dunes, wildflowers, charming villages, and copper-colored cliffs. It stretches from Burgau to the Algarve, following the contours of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park up to the border between the Algarve and Alentejo coast.
We’ve created a list of the best beaches in Costa Vicentina perfect for any road trip. Whether you’re looking for the best surf spot or a place to work on your tan, Costa Vicentina is the place to visit.
Here are just a few of the best beaches to visit.
Porto Covo is known for its charming village full of traditional white and blue houses, amazing food and is close to some of the most beautiful beaches in Alentejo. With just over a thousand inhabitants, it’s the first destination in our list of best beaches in Costa Vicentina.
1. Samoqueira Beach
Some even consider Samoquira one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beach is 460m long and is located at the foot of a cliff, divided by a more open area on the right and the rest on the left, full of rock formations.
The gorgeous water spread between the rocks and inlets of the cliff, forming natural pools and a beautiful setting. At the top, there are walkways that are there to protect the native vegetation.
2. Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro
Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro is one of the region’s treasures that is absolutely unmissable! It’s the largest beach in Porto Covo, over 1 KM long. During the summer there are boats that can take you to the island, where you will find a perfect place for water sports such as windsurfing, canoeing, and diving.
There are several campsites in the region available for parking and overnight stays, including Campismo Porto Covo which has spots for campervans and motorhomes. You can check for more information here!
Vila Nova de Milfontes
For one of the prettiest beaches in the region, then head to Vila Nova de Milfontes, a lovely and pretty coastal town in the region, with plenty of good food and nice little shops.
3. Praia do Malhão
Prais do Malhão is “the” beach chosen by most vacationers in Vila Nova de Milfontes, especially for its wild beauty, but also because it allows for long walks, races in the waves, with or without a board, and the good feeling that a beach day gives us.
It now has a parking lot that has 600 parking spaces without encroaching on your ability to find a spot at the beach. This makes it the perfect place to spend the day before heading to an official camp spot at night.
4. Praia das Furnas
Praia das Furnas, is a hideaway, usually reserved only for those who know of this secret beach. This beach, unspoiled by any buildings in sight, is the perfect spot for those who love deserted beaches. Praia das Furnas is mostly visited by nudists and people who love nature.
This beach also allows for the more those with a more adventurous spirit to have some fun too, as you can explore several caves and grottoes. There is a car park area, which has space for about 100 cars, but please drive slow as it is a dirt road. From the car park, you can see the beach.
There are also several campsites in the region such as, parque de campismo Campiférias, located in the heart of Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Odeceixe is where the Ceixe river meets the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can find vast beaches and imposing cliffs. Some of the most well-known beaches in this area are Praia do Odeceixe and Praia das Adegas, the latter is famously known as one of the few official nudist beaches.
5. Praia de Odeceixe
A beautiful beach in the municipality of Aljezur and part of the Costa Vicentina natural park. It is known for its horseshoe pattern, surrounded by the Ribeira de Seixe river. The good waves with a beautiful lagoon will make this a popular beach spot for both surfers and families.
A somewhat unique feature of Praia de Odeceixe is that at low tide small lagoons appear in the sand, perfect for explorers young and old. There are also occasional rock pools on the northern side of the beach.
6. Praia das Adegas
On the southern side of Odeceixe beach is a small cove, where you can find another beach called Praia das Adegas. If you hate tan lines, this is the place to be, as Praia das Adegas is one of the few official nude beaches in the Algarve.
Praia das Adegas, or Praia de Odeceixe, has a medium-sized stretch of sand surrounded by rock cliffs and the sea and technically it belongs to Praia de Odeceixe. This beach can be accessed either at low tide through the neighboring beach or, by a steep stairway built over the old trail along the cliff.
Staying overnight at these beaches is not possible, but Camping Sao Miguel is ten minutes away and has many facilities for all types of camping!
Moorish architecture, whitewashed houses, and cobblestone streets are trademarks of Aljezur region. It’s situated close to the border between Alentejo and Algarve region, offering the picturesque a dramatic landscape, typical of the region.
7. Praia da Arrifana
Located in the small Arrifana village, it’s probably the top must-see spot. A long narrow stretch of sand, good waves, and gorgeous water make this treasure a popular spot for newbie surfers and swimmers. The northernmost tip of the beach, next to the little fishing harbor, is a great spot for diving and the panoramic view from the ruins of the Arrifana Fortress is breathtaking.
The road to the beach is paved and there is plenty of parking at the top of the cliffs located right before the descent down to the beach.
8. Praia do Amado
Praia do Amado is also another long stretch of beach, extending past three valleys, that is even more popular with surfers for its varied waveforms. There are options of surf and bodyboard schools for starters if you are up for an adventure!
This beach can be accessed by two roads, one from the south and the other from the Bordeira Beach car park, heading south, both of which have organized parking.
Finding a good place to spend the night is probably the most important part of any road trip. Camping Serrao takes care of this! Locate right next to Aljezur and surrounded by nature, it gives off a relaxed vibe.
It has been argued that Sagres has an end-of-the-world vibe, with its dramatic cliffs with wide ocean view, and what could be better than this to end the trip with style? This tranquil town matches the road trip list for many surfers and connoisseurs of the region.
As for the beaches, if you are up to new adventures, try Praia do Beliche and Praia da Ponta Ruiva, surfers’ favorites.
9. Praia do Beliche
One of the region’s best surf spots and it is located only a few minutes away from Sagres, and also close to Cabo São Vicente, Praia do Beliche offers a relaxed atmosphere and shelter from the wind even in the summer.
You can access one of the best beaches in Costa Vicentina through a long wooden staircase, and at the beginning of it, there’s a café and a restaurant that you might want to stop by before heading to a full day at the beach.
10. Praia da Ponta Ruiva
Located at another surfer’s favorite, Praia da Ponta Ruiva can be reached after a medium difficulty track, and it offers beautiful cliffs with a more dark and reddish tone, unique rock formations, and a generous portion of sand. It is one of the best spots to surf, thanks to a left-hand point break and constant swells, but the best part is that it remains a calm and tranquil place, with an “untouched by humans” like quality.
Do not forget to check Miradouro da Ponta Ruiva for an amazing view of the beach and its rock formations and the remarkable red cliff that is located on the south side of the beach.
For a nearby place to stay the night, check out Orbitur Sagres. They have plenty of amenities for campers and they are pet friendly!
Please take note that there are several campsites in Costa Vincentina available for overnight stays as parking overnight is mostly forbidden in this region. For daytime stops, do not forget to look for no-parking signs.
About the Autor
Anna has traveled to over 35 countries and is always looking for the next adventure for her and her dog.