There’s a special place on the west coast of Portugal that combines bucolic countryside with an impressive coastline characterised by astonishing beaches separated by dramatic cliffs, untouched landscapes, and a strong raw Atlantic essence hard to find elsewhere. Being Portuguese, I might sound suspicious talking about it but for me, it’s one of my favorite places in Portugal.
The tiny village of Odeceixe, a name whose pronunciation will make you suffer and laugh at the same time, has a slow paced atmosphere, and a unique charm all of its own. Extremely calm out of season, its spirit changes in summer when it attracts a lot of water sports enthusiasts, campers and families, seduced by an amazing beach and a relaxed atmosphere.
All the action is focused on a single main street and a small square, Largo 1 de Maio, where there are a few cafés and restaurants, a couple of lively bars and mini-markets, and several craft shops.
The streets are narrow, the houses whitewashed, roofs are red tile and, upon a hilltop with panoramic views over the valley below, sits a blue and white windmill very near the place where we were going to spend our first night, Casas do Moinho.
When we arrived at Casas do Moinho, we could appreciate the sun disappearing behind the hill from our own private terrace, the perfect set to recharge some batteries before going to eat a traditional pork dish called Carne de Porco à Alentejana.
Early in the morning, there was a yummy breakfast by the pool waiting for us and after having our bellies satisfied, we hit the road in direction of the beach, Praia de Odeceixe, only around 3km west of the village.
We drove down the broad valley keeping parallel to the River Seixe which runs past Odeceixe through farmlands and swirls across a huge belt of sand into the ocean, creating a fascinating scenery. The road climbs up out of the valley floor through a hillside offering a wonderful view over the valley and river below.
Only 17 min away by car from Odeceixe, there is a village with remote origins, marked by various archeological remnants called Aljezur, where we only spend a few hours visiting the castle located on the top of the village.
The nearest beach, Arrifana is known as a popular surfing destination to many who travel to the Algarve, characterised by a long slip of pale sand sheltered by a crescent bay and accessed by a hilly path.
In the end of the day, we head back to Odeceixe, where we were about to experience something new.