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All along the southwestern coast of Portugal there are pretty, scenic villages with beautiful beaches and excellent surfing. Each has its own unique flavour and style, but laid-back Almograve offers a less touristy, more traditional slice of Portuguese coastal life.
Unlike some of the other towns that experience huge summer beach tourist booms or a big influx of surfers in winter, Almograve still feels fully Portuguese – the perfect place to base yourself away from the crowds and bustle. It still receives its share of Portuguese tourists (although much fewer than nearby towns) but is virtually unknown among foreign visitors.
Of course, Almograve still boasts all the rugged cliffs and picturesque sand dunes you expect from this amazing stretch of coastline, and obviously there are great beaches, too. It is also located within the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast National Park, meaning the wild beauty of the natural attractions are carefully protected, especially nearby Cabo Sardão, a particularly outstanding section of jagged coastline.
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Beaches Around Almograve
Praia de Almograve
The largest and most popular beach in the area, it features a unique cluster of rocks that divides it in two. The beach is best at low tide when there is more available sand and a series of fascinating natural pools. One of many Blue Flag beaches in the region, it is known for its exceptionally clean water and responsible environmental practices. With many facilities available in the village (a 5 minute walk) it is popular with families, although its exposed location means the waves can be large and dangerous (great for surfers, not so great for small children). It is usually possible to find calm, shallow areas, though.
Praia da Nossa Senhora
Just north around the cliffs from Praia de Almograve, this scenic beach is great for photos but the rough, rocky swimming area requires caution. It is popular with nudists, as well, but I doubt the two things are related.
Praia da Poça do Buraco
Poça do Buraco Beach is next door to the south of Almograve beach and is separated by Ponta da Ilha, a steep cliff jutting out into the ocean. The beach is rocky with mostly stones and smooth pebbles but definitely very picturesque. There is a parking lot at the north end and it is easily walkable from Almograve (1.5 km).
Praia da Barca Grande
Just to the south of Praia de Almograve you’ll find this beautiful little beach cove in the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. It is difficult to access – some people climb down the rocks on the right side but many just enjoy the pristine view from above. Once again, there is a small parking lot at the top of the cliffs or you can walk from Almograve (2.5 km).
Praia da Foz dos Ouriços
This tiny bay with great rock formations is perfect for those looking for a quiet spot away from the crowds. You’ll need to brave the steep, rocky trail down to the beach but will be rewarded with solitude and excellent swimming on this sheltered little beach. It is an easy walk north from Almograve (1.5 km).
Farol do Cabo Sardão
This historic lighthouse is located on the scenic Ponta do Cavaleiro and is surrounded by spectacular tall cliffs with expansive ocean views. It isn’t possible to go inside the lighthouse but the cliffs here serve as a nesting site for a surprising variety of seabirds including rock doves, white storks, redstarts, jackdaws, shags, kestrels and even the occasional peregrine falcon.
Hiking Around Almograve
Almograve is one of the common stops on the popular 4-day Fishermen’s Trail trek, so there are gorgeous, well-marked trails heading in both directions along the coast. You can choose to walk all the way to Vila Nova de Milfontes to the north (12 km) or Zambujeira do Mar to the south (13 km), getting a bus or taxi back to Almograve, or simply walk as far as you choose along the cliffs before turning around and heading back. These trails are also part of the epic long-distance Rota Vicentina trail network that runs from Santiago do Cacem all the way to Lagos.
How do you get to Almograve, Portugal?
The nearest airport is in Faro, 130 kilometres and a 2-hour drive away, although it is also just a 2.5-hour drive to Lisbon’s international airport where you’ll probably find more flight options.
If you don’t want to rent a car you can take a Rede Expressos bus from Sete Rios station in Lisbon (3.5 hrs / €20). From Faro there are Comboio trains to Funcheira, and there are frequent buses from there. Another option is to take a bus or train to Lagos (2 hrs / €10), then you can take an Eva or Rede Expressos bus to Zambujeira do Mar (1 hr / €10). There is great scenery along the way from either direction and the buses are clean and comfortable (and have wifi).
From either Lisbon or Faro you can get a private transfer for up to 8 people for around €150.
Train Station Transfers:
From Funcheira it costs roughly €35 for the same service.
Public transportation between smaller towns in Portugal can be difficult so if you’re not planning to hike from village to village, we highly recommend renting a car so you don’t miss out on any of the best spots. Plus, it is nice to be able to set your own schedule. We find that Discover Cars usually has the best deals in the area.
Alternatives to Almograve
Vila Nova de Milfontes, the neighbour to the north, is the most popular town along this stretch of beautiful Portuguese coast and is the place to go for nightlife, while the nearby village of Porto Covo is a quieter option. Odeceixe boasts one of the most unique beaches in all of Portugal, while Zambujeira do Mar has a wonderful cliff-top church and a colony of nesting storks. Aljezur has a fascinating old castle and is close to some of Portugal’s best surfing, while Carrapateira also has great surfing and is one of the top windsurfing beaches in Europe. Even if you decide to stay in Almograve, these all make easy day trips.
Where to Eat in Almograve Portugal
Our guesthouse owner highly recommended the Torralta restaurant for traditional Portuguese food. We left this no-frills friendly place very full from their large portion sizes and tasty food.
If you are in the mood for Italian food La Sosta right beside Torralta is a good choice for pasta.
For a seat in the sun with a drink and snack, the locals enjoy Restaurante o Lavrador at the entrance to the village.
Where to Stay in Almograve Portugal
Since Almograve is such a small town there are not a lot of options for hotels or similar accommodations.
We stayed at the Al Casa Paquito, a house with 3 bedrooms that are rented individually with a shared bathroom, kitchen with coffee and tea supplies and living area. There is also a large sunny back courtyard with table and chairs in the shade. The owner was beyond friendly and gave really great recommendations about the area.
AL Casa das Andorinhas has a similar set up but has rooms with en suite or private bathroom.
Almograve Beach Hostel has dorms or private rooms with an excellent continental breakfast and a great front terrace.
Another option is to rent an entire house which works well if you are travelling with others. Casa de Praia em Almograve is a good choice for this with 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, and patio.
We can’t recommend this beautiful section of Portuguese coast highly enough. Phenomenal scenery, secluded sand dunes, top beaches and terrific surfing, all without the crowds found in the southern Algarve. Whether you choose to stay along the Fishermen’s Trail between Sines and Odeceixe, with Almograve being a superb quiet option, or head farther south to the even more remote Costa Vicentina, you can’t go wrong with a trip to this amazing area.
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