Rough beauty in the southwest of Portugal

Algarve? Was yesterday!

10 February 2020

Costa Vicentina, Portugal

The Costa Vicentina in the southwest of Portugal offers untouched nature, mighty cliffs and paradisiacal beaches away from the tourist crowds. For us, one of the summer hotspots par excellence!

Unspoiled nature, little tourism - hidden in the southwest of Portugal lies a rugged beauty: the Costa Vicentina. With its sleepy fishing villages, steep cliffs and unspoilt beaches, the Costa Vicentina is pretty much the opposite of the already tourist-heavy Algarve. Since it is protected as a nature park, we can hope that it will stay that way for a long time. Those who come here want one thing above all: to relax, switch off and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, the 80 km long, almost untouched Atlantic coast has many faces. Whether dunes, moors, swamps, mountain ranges, rivers or lagoons - all this and much more can be found here. The climate is temperate Mediterranean, under the influence of the Atlantic. The constantly blowing wind ensures pleasant temperatures even in high summer. Three of the most beautiful bays along the Costa Vicentina are Praia do Amado, Praia de Monte Clérigo and Praia da Odeceixe. The feeling of freedom is indescribable when you look down from the mighty slate rocks into the abyss that is up to 150 metres deep. Below are seemingly endless sandy beaches, most of them deserted. They are among the most beautiful beaches in Portugal and are reserved for those who find the often difficult and well-hidden access to them. Meter-high waves invite surfers to dance on the water here, and small islands and reefs in the wild Atlantic want to be explored. This breathtaking play of nature can be explored via the 350 km long hiking trail "Rota Vicentina". Along the way you will discover traditional Alentejan farms, cork plantations and olive groves. The vegetation is a mixture of Mediterranean, North Atlantic and African and is sparse but impressive. Some species are found only here and nowhere else in the world. The fauna of the nature park is also impressive: many different amphibians, reptiles and birds cavort here. Castle ruins of Moorish origin, like in Aljezur in the district of Faro, tell stories of the former Arabic rule. If you want to explore a typical Portuguese town, you should not miss the charming Obidos. Amidst the ramparts of this small medieval town, you can discover old cobblestone streets and traditionally painted houses. The westernmost point of mainland Europe is also located on the Costa Vicentina: Cabo de São Vicente. Fun fact: Not only can you see the end of the old world there, but you can also buy the "last bratwurst before America" at a snack stand. Not exactly typical for Portugal, not very glamorous and anything but a gourmet dinner, but quite curious and admittedly also very creative. For those who prefer upscale Portuguese cuisine, check out our restaurant recommendations in the highlight box. Hidden treasures are waiting to be found on the Costa Vicentina.



Sublime Comporta, Grândola


The luxury Sublime Comporta hotel in Grândola is set on a 17-hectare estate - surrounded by pine trees, wild dunes and over 60km of pristine white sandy beaches. Its luxurious and private "cabana" villas are chicly decorated in a modern country style. Natural materials such as high-quality wood and natural linen, elegantly combined with light accents, concrete and marble, form the basis for the Contemporary Design. In the outdoor restaurant "Food Circle" you dine under the open sky and enjoy great food as well as excellent wines from the region. The balance between design, comfort and sustainability creates a unique luxury experience all along the line. This retreat is rounded off by an exclusive range of activities - such as horseback rides over the sand dunes or a romantic picnic on a secluded beach.

Double room from € 250 / night | sublimecomporta.pt


L'AND Vineyards, Montemor-o-Novo


Surrounded by vineyards lies a gourmet paradise: L'AND Vineyards. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves modern cuisine with regional roots. The talented chef José Miguel Tapadejo uses mainly regional products from the coast and the sea for his compositions, such as traditional olive oil or fish and seafood from the local port in Setúbal. As the hotel name suggests, you'll find Portuguese wine culture at its finest at L'AND Vineyards. Experience exquisite wine tastings and stroll through the surrounding vineyards. Treat yourself and your skin at the "L'AND SPA" with luxurious vinotherapy using Caudalie products. The combination of antioxidant ingredients in the world-renowned cosmetic line is derived from vines and grapes. Restrained luxury and natural beauty are also reflected in the modern architecture of the hotel buildings, which blend almost seamlessly into the beautiful nature of the Western Algarve. Renowned architect Márcio Kogan tastefully designed the interior of the 26 suites using natural materials such as wood and natural stone. His composition is complemented by artwork by renowned painter Michael Biberstein. With a view of the starry sky, you reside in the Sky Suites and collect romantic memories that you will never forget.

DZ from € 182 / night | l-and.com.


Quinta da Comporta, Carvalhal


Nowadays, time is the greatest and most valuable luxury. That's why the Wellness Boutique Resort Quinta da Comporta is all about slowing down. The hotel is located in the 'Herdade da Comporta' nature reserve, where the true beauty of the Costa Vicentina becomes clear. Take time to enjoy incredible sunrises and sunsets, stroll along the endless white sand beaches and explore the surrounding pine forests and lush rice fields. Let your eyes wander over the landscape as you enjoy authentic and natural dishes at the restaurant. You'll find the perfect fine wine for every occasion in the on-site wine cellar, and the open space cocktail bar offers an experience for all the senses - especially during the gorgeous sunset. Inspired by the traditional houses of the area, the Quinta da Comporta presents itself as a stylish retreat with boho chic. Light natural tones, accents of wood and raffia create the home-away-from-home. Looking for luxurious relaxation? The ORYZA SPA is nestled in the green rice fields.

Double room from € 235 / night quintadacomporta.com.


What you should not miss on the beautiful stretch of the Atlantic. We reveal the best insider tips between Comporta and Sagres.

1st Cavalariça Comporta

A hip restaurant in Comporta, run by chef Bruno Casero and patissière Filipa Gonçalves themselves. The space (formerly a horse stable) is as special as the cuisine.

2. destilaria do Ferrador, Sao Luis

A real insider tip. The family-run restaurant with products from its own cultivation serves authentic Portuguese cuisine in a former blacksmith's shop.

3. tasca d'Arrifana, Aljezur

Here you can enjoy fresh fish from the grill. Modern yet traditional ambience with a view of the bay. Be sure to try one of the signature sweet potato dishes!

Shop: Côté Sud Comporta

A cool shop in Comporta that you should definitely pay a visit to. Here you'll find high-quality swimwear and exclusive home décor from designers like Madeline Weinrib, as well as the perfect Comporta beach lifestyle for the home.

Beach: Lighthouse at the Cabo de São Vicente

This lighthouse is considered Europe's distant light. The lighthouse, which stands on an impressive cliff at Europe's most southwesterly point, shines almost 60 km away.

Picture credits: Pedro Silva Correia; Federico Fioravanti; Nelson Garrido; L'AND Vineyards; Manolo Yllera; Unsplash (Alexander Edwards, Wynand Uys); Filipa Goncalves Calalarica

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