The boundaries of Aljezur are delimited by the sea and the hills reflecting this double influence in its landscapes. While the coast is marked by high cliffs hiding sandy coves and dunes, the hinterland is a place of rolling hills covered with vegetation as far as the eye can see.
Aljezur is a small coastal village with typical houses from the rural architecture of the Algarve, with colorful borders painted around windows and along the edges of whitewashed walls. A cascade of houses tumbling down the hillside towards the river faces the plain where this centenary village found its expansion and future.
The Western Atlantic area of the Algarve is still relatively untouched by tourism, and many of the beaches are just that…beaches! No resort! The Western Atlantic coast boasts beautiful beaches, unspoiled countryside, and spectacular coastline views! These are the best beaches in Aljezur, Algarve, south of Portugal.
1. Praia de Odeceixe
The Praia de Odeceixe Beach is located near the Ceixe river, which separates Algarve from Alentejo. Odeceixe beach is a wide white sandy beach connected to the sea and river where you might find enchanting small lagoons where the little ones will have a blast of fun safely.
At this beach, you might also rent canoes to paddle up the river and discover the habitat of several species, such as the otter, the egret, and others that beautify the surroundings of this beach. The cliffs siding the beach are dark, made of shale and quartz. Near the beach, you’ll find Adegas cove, a nudist beach after the big rocks you might overtake on foot.
2. Praia da Arrifana
The Praia da Arrifana beach is located in a lovely shell-shaped cove away from the wind and swell, next to a fishermen’s area in Aljezur, Algarve. Black steep mounds delimit its large and narrow sandy area. It is worth discovering Pedra da Agulha, an enormous peculiar crag located in the sea that has become an icon in this coastal area.
This beach is in reasonably good conditions for diving and is a favorite for surfing and bodyboarding lovers. From the ruined Arrifana Fortress, you will enjoy a fantastic panoramic view. Further North is Ponta da Atalaia, where the remains of a Muslim Ribat are erected, a tremendous archaeological valued convent.
3. Praia de Monte Clérigo
Praia de Monte Clérigo is one of the most northerly beaches on the western Atlantic coast and is about a 10-minute drive from Aljezur. Coming from Monte Clérigo, there is a fantastic coast view and a handy layby on the corner before you descend to the beach, where you can stop and admire the view. The cliff tops were a mass of spring color when we went in March.
There are just a handful of houses and beach bungalows around the back of the beach, a generous car parking area with toilet facilities, and a couple of cafes/restaurants looking directly over the beach. The beach is accessible through a paved path from the car park directly onto the beach.
The bay is deep and sandy with a scattering of large rocks on one side, making it a lovely place for families and surfers; it is also a popular spot for fishing off the rocks. Along with most western Atlantic beaches, it is a peaceful corner of the Algarve yet relatively untouched by tourism. Praia de Monte Clérigo is supervised during the ‘beach season and is also classed as an ‘Accessible Beach’.
4. Praia do Amado
Praia do Amado has often been proclaimed the most popular beach in the west. It’s undoubtedly the surfers’ favorite and is home to several surf championships. Praia do Amado is one of the best places to surf in the Algarve because the offshore wind makes perfect waves, especially pipe waves.
You’ll see evidence of the surf’s popularity by having two or three surf schools on the beach for much of the year. Here people of all ages can have a go at surfing under the watchful eye of the instructors. Praia do Amado is a beach to appreciate.
There are no lavish facilities and no surrounding houses. It just has a restaurant and a snack bar. But it has a beautiful backdrop of red cliffs and rolling green hills, the beach is big and perfect for sunbathing, and it is one of the best places to watch the sunset. There is quite a lot of parking at the top of the cliffs.
Still, in summer, you may struggle to get close because there are always a lot of camper vans belonging to the committed surf following. For people with limited mobility, access is possible as long you go down to the bottom by car, which is a gentle slope onto the beach. The beach is supervised during the season.
5. Praia de Vale dos Homens
Part of the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, this wild and rugged stretch of beach is located near the village of Rogil, on the north-western edge of the Algarve. This area has almost entirely escaped the developments of the southern Algarve’s tourist industry.
Praia de Vale dos Homens is set in farmland and pine forests. While you won’t find much in the way of facilities here, access to the beach is pretty easy via 285 wooden steps, which snake their way down the cliffs. Swimming here is not advised as a reasonably remote beach on the Atlantic coast. However, the beach is popular with surfers and kite surfers. It is also recommended that beach-goers avoid sitting too close to the cliffs as they are prone to erosion with falling rocks not unheard of.
6. Praia da Amoreira
Praia da Amoreira is a natural and as yet unspoiled sandy beach about 7kms from the little town of Aljezur in the Western Algarve. It’s popular with surfers, fishers, and those who want to escape the rat race of mass tourism and concrete highrise. No shops or concession areas exist, so you must bring your parasols, beach chairs, and windbreaks if required. The only toilets available are at the restaurant.
At low tide, there is a shallow lagoon area on the beach. This is popular with children and their parents who can’t resist playing on their kids’ inflatables! The river Ribeira de Aljezur flows into the sea at Praia da Amoreira and provides a beautiful beach area along its banks. However, take care at high tide as currents close to the mouth of the river can be very strong.
7. Praia da Bordeira
Praia da Bordeira is a vast beach with so much space that it is ideal for kite surfing and Frisbee or simply having the freedom to play bat and ball with the children. Bordeira is also called Carrapateira beach, after the adjacent village.
Extensive dunes and a lovely lagoon back it. Bordeira is probably one of the better Atlantic beaches for children because they can play safely at the back of the beach in the warm lagoon. However, as with Atlantic beaches, it is essential to keep younger children away from the water, or certainly keep them close to you, because the current can be pretty intense.
Although there have recently been new steps and a bridge erected at Bordeira, disabled access isn’t possible. The steps at the side are very long, and the lagoon prohibits entry at the back. There is a restaurant about 100 meters from the beach, but this is the only place to stop for a bite to eat or drink.
So if you intend to spend the best part of the day at Bordeira, it will be best to pack up the cool box with plenty of refreshments and snacks to keep you going. Although there are no tourist facilities on the beach, it is supervised during the season.
8. Praia de Vale Figueiras
Praia de Vale Figueiras beach is located in the south of Praia do Canal beach in the municipality of Aljezur, in Algarve; its access is made through a narrow valley path. Its vast and quiet sandy area is delimited by rockrose-covered schist scarps, providing this beach with a unique smell.
Leaving Aljezur and heading South through the EN120, you will find after around 6km a junction indicating Sagres, Vila do Bispo, and Alfambras direction. Follow that way, and after 3,5km, you will find the signage to “Monte Novo” and “Vale Figueiras” on the right-hand side. Follow that direction through around 7 km.
9. Praia da Samouqueira
A small beach only frequented by a few people, with a little sandy area mixed with gravel. Ideal for nature lovers. The access to the beach is difficult and narrow. This beach does not have any facility for visitors nor has any lifeguards.
Following the EN 120 heading North, one will find the town Rogil. Cross through Rogil and, in the end, turn left to Esteveira. Follow that asphalted road until the end, always straight ahead even when the asphalted road ends.
By far Odeceixe is the most special beach of the Algarve. The river in combination with the cliffs, going in to the Atlantic is just wow!