Tips for trips is back! This time I spent 5 days in the South West Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, in Portugal, and I’ve some thoughts and tips to share. It was a time to relax and some adventures of course.
Our plan was to go from Óbidos directly to Odeceixe, and then keep going up slowly. We failed the only plan we’ve made, and we went to Arrifana, Aljezur in the first place. In the last two days we thought about going up a bit more, out of the Natural Park, to Galé, and once there we’ve decided to go back. In the way, we’ve found two German girls hitchhiking, and somehow they managed to fit in our small Opel, full of surf boards, tent, etc.
This part of Portugal wasn’t the most obvious holidays’ destination a few years ago, but people seem to love it now, Portuguese or not. As before, I’m going to write about some tips I haven’t found before going:
- Surf! Portugal is all about surf now, and people come to our coast looking for the best waves. South West Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park are not an exception. I love Peniche, but I admit that it’s too crowdie, mostly in the summertime, making the South West Coast a good alternative. Arrifana, our first stop, it’s an amazingly gorgeous place with beautiful waves, but it’s too pop and full of people in summer. In case that’s what you’re looking for, and you’re still a beginner, it can be a good option. São Torpes was too small these days, but it’s also nice for beginners, and in case your beginner is a kid, it’s perfect. In case you already know how to surf, I recommend Aivados. In case you want to learn more about it, Wanna Surf website has some reviews.
- Camping – we couldn’t decide to wild camp, or to stay in a camping site, precisely because it’s a natural park, and because I can never find information about wild camping in Portugal (it’s not legal, anyway!). We ended up staying the first night in Camping Serrão and it was really bad, there were mosquitos biting us all the time. I guess it’s not always like that, so I don’t want to say “Don’t go there!”, but it’s not my happy place. And then we stayed in Camping Ilha do Pessegueiro. On the third morning we went to Aivados beach and we saw people wild camping, and there were some coops, just chilling in the car, looking at the sea, so I think as long as you respect the nature, you won’t have problems wild camping in the natural park area. One last tip about camping, Camping Ilha do Pessegueiro was really cheap, and it was the coolest one, so don’t judge right away based on prices.
- Nudism – Alteirinhos Beach, and Salto Beach. They are beautiful, and you can choose the naturist part, or not. I’ve found a list of official naturist beaches in Portugal, and somewhere it’s normal to find people doing it, it’s in portuguese, but it can help.
- Food – go to the supermarket and take some food with you, in case you’re walking, hitchhiking or driving, there are miles/kilometers and miles/kilometers without a single house or shop.
- Follow the small roads, they will probably take you somewhere nice!
- Use google maps! I love my paper map, and I’m not much into tech, but here it can be a good help. A lot of the coast is still quite wild, and in the normal map you just see a green part, without roads, and you might think there’s nothing there! I’m pretty sure I can go back many times, and I’ll always miss some cool wild spots. Google maps, and the natural desire of taking small roads will make this trip way more adventurous.
- Last two tips: Casinhas dos Aivados, in case you’re looking for a house to stay, I’ve been there a few years ago on a surf trip with some friends, it’s super nice! Oceanus, in Porto Covo, we had a hard time finding that café where you can sit and read, write or draw for hours, near the beach, far from the mess, and not too expensive. We only found it in the last day, but it was our favorite spot.
And now, some of my favorite places and moments in photos:
Praia dos Alteirinhos
One of those hidden spots maps don’t show 🙂
Porto das Barcas
Porto das Barcas
Have a good week, and good trips!