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Aljezur, located on the west coast of southern Portugal, is the epitome of peace and tranquillity. In this stretch of natural beauty, you will have many moments where all you can hear is singing birds or the crash of waves on the rocks.
This beautiful municipality is defined by its unique and historical architecture, whitewashed houses and picturesque views.
Some of the roads and trails may be a little off the beaten track and sometimes, access may not be easy. However, for a Nice Rent vehicle, this is not a problem. All our cars are maintained to the highest standards so that you can travel in comfort and security.
Imagine driving through the unspoilt scenic landscapes, stopping for a walk and a picnic and taking in all that nature has to offer – it will feel like you have been transported to another dimension.
The summers in Aljezur are warm and almost cloudless. The winters are cool and partly cloudy. There are strong winds throughout the year and the temperature generally ranges from 9°c to 26°c and is rarely below 6°c or above 31°c.
The cool season is between mid-November and mid-March, with average daily maximum temperatures staying below 17°c with a typical average of around 9ºc
The probability of days with precipitation in Aljezur varies throughout the year. The highest precipitation season is between October and April. During this time is when it is most likely to rain though there is also a possibility of some rainfall in the months of May and September. The months of June, July and August are considered to be the ‘dry season’.
The feeling of wind in a particular location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors. The wind speed in Aljezur undergoes small seasonal variations throughout the year with average wind speeds of 18kmph during the windiest season.
The average water temperature undergoes extreme seasonal variations throughout the year. The water is at its warmest between July and November with an average temperature above 19°c. The coldest water temperatures are between January and May averaging below 16°c. The months of December and June can fall into either season varying from year to year.
So, bearing all of this in mind, when is the best time to visit if you are looking to make the most of the general outdoor tourist activities?
Well, if you base this decision on the tourism index, which gives preference to light overcast days without rain and with a temperature sensation between 18ºc and 27°c, this would be from early June to mid-September, with the second week of July being the best.
If you’re looking for the best days for swimming, you would then need to consider the beach / pool index, which focuses on light overcast days without rain and a temperature sensation between 24°c and 32°c. According to this index, you should plan your water activities for between July and early September, with the last week of July being in favour.
The town of Aljezur is replete with history and charm - a place where you could easily get taken on a journey and become ‘lost in time’. Here is just a selection of places to visit which are of great historical interest.
Aljezur Castle is believed to be over 3000 years old with history showing the presence of the Moors back in the 10th century and the later fortification by the Christians when they occupied the town in the 13th century. Its walls later suffered damage in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and were not repaired until the 1940’s.
The castle sits proudly on the summit of an 88-metre-high hill on the site of an iron age fort. The views over the Aljezur plain and Monchique highlands are quite spectacular and can be admired with the naked eye or, with the aid of a coin operated telescope for close ups. Entry is free and a visit is highly recommended.
If you like museums, Aljezur has four very distinctive buildings that will keep you busy for a good few hours.
At the Municipal Museum, located in the old Aljezur Town Hall building, you can buy a ticket that gives you entry to all four museums.
This small but very interesting museum has three distinct spaces: the Archaeological Nucleus, the Ethnographic Nucleus and the Islamic Room of the "Andalusian Legacy". The Archeology Center presents an array of objects that testify to over 10,000 years of human presence in the region.
The Ethnographic Nucleus is made up of a valuable collection highlighting implements used in the 19th and twentieth centuries in agricultural, livestock and fishing activities. The Andalusian Legacy Room is part of the Islamic period and focuses mainly on material collected at Sítio da Barrada, especially ceramics.
Next you can visit the 18th century built Sacred Art Museum – a religious art museum that is annexed to the Igreja da Misericórdia on the site of the old hospital. The museum is dedicated to Monsignor Manuel Francisco Pardal - a locally born priest, teacher, and writer who died in 1979. His donated collection includes sculptures and paintings among other artefacts which are all showcased according to the liturgical seasons of the Catholic Church.
The Antonian Museum is the third with entry on this single ticket and is housed in a former 17th century chapel - paying homage to Santo António. This museum houses a collection of mostly contemporary sacred art in the form of paintings, books and coins dating between the 17th and 20th centuries.
This is the final stop in the museum tour. This local painter left his quaint house and all his possessions to the town of Aljezur, on the condition that they be used to set up a museum to preserve his memory and work. Here you will find a valuable collection of crockery, sacred art, sculptures and furniture as well as a collection of paintings and drawings – some of his own and some of international artists.
The beaches in this region are popular with sports enthusiasts looking for a memorable surfing location. The water in Western Algarve is cooler and the beaches themselves are quite ‘raw’ as they still hold on to their beautiful natural features – being less ‘touristy’ and more picturesque. Therefore, when you visit beaches in the Aljezur region, you are in for a unique treat.
If you like a beach which is less windswept, this is the beach for you. From the beach, you can admire the high schist cliffs whilst strolling along the sandy shore that stretches for over half a kilometre forming a small bay at the cliffs.
Here you can enjoy water sports such as diving or bodyboarding. If you like surf and are looking for a surf school, Arrifana Surf Lodge is ideally located for your convenience.
At Arrifana, you will also benefit from one of the best perspectives from the ruins of the old fortress as well as a selection of lovely restaurants and cafes to feed your appetite after a day of beach activity.
Located near the village of Carrapateira, Praia do Amado is the southernmost beach in the municipality. If you are a nature lover, you must visit Pontal da Carrapateira - a rocky platform located at the northern limit where you will find priority habitats for conservation.
This extensive sandy beach is bounded to the south and north by high cliffs that enter the sea and provides ideal waves for surfing. If you are a beginner or are looking to brush up on your surfing skills, Amado Surf Camp is well worth a visit.
When it comes to beaches that have retained their natural beauty and have managed to stay untouched by over-development, Monte Clérigo is certainly within this category.
This beach is set towards the north-western corner of the Algarve in the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, benefitting from some of the most outstanding natural beauty you are likely to experience in this area. Despite being slightly off the beaten track (around 10km from the village), thus giving it a uniquely cosy feel, this beach is relatively easy to get to. Monte Clérigo is clean and well equipped with cafes, toilets and its own Surf School.
For a location with different swimming options, due to its location by Ribeira do Seixe, this unique beach offers a choice of sea or river bathing. Situated at the northern end of the municipality, Praia do Odeceixe offers some rare and stunning views from the cliff tops as well as some excellent conditions for bird watching. As with many other beaches in this popular surfing area, Odeceixe is no exception when it comes to the surfing facilities offered by Odeceixe Surf School.
Are you’re looking for a beach with strong winds where you can enjoy a spot of kitesurfing and other water sports? Well, consider your search over. With its strong north-westerly winds, Praia da Bordeira is the one for you. Located north of Carrapateira, this beach stretches for 3km and is the longest in the municipality. As well as the water activities, there are many different habitats here to be discovered along the many dune levels – perfect for those looking to explore and get back to nature.
If you like hiking, you will not be short of options in this part of the Algarve as there are many wonderful trails for you to experience.
The 400km Rota Vicentina is popular with hikers starting just below the Aljezur municipality, in Cabo de São Vicente, and crossing Aljezur on its way northwards.
Another good choice would be the 300km-long Via Algarviana which also starts at Cabo de São Vicente and travels eastwards across the Algarve. Although this particular trail doesn’t cross Aljezur, it passes very close by and is only a short drive away in one of our trusty vehicles.
Although you may not wish to follow the entirety of either trail, they both have some breath-taking hotspots within the local area that are highly recommended.
As well as the above mentioned, a couple of other hiking trails (amongst many) that have also received great reviews are Pontal da Carrapateira and Fisherman’s Trail - both well worth a go.
The beauty of having a hire car is that no matter where you are staying when on holiday, you have complete flexibility when it comes to hiking. You are not restricted in any way and can simply drive further out to your chosen location, park up and enjoy your hiking experience from there.
There are many places to stay in Aljezur - depending on your budget and preference. Here are just a few ideas to consider.
Herdade Monte do Sol – In this villa, you will have access to wonderful countryside views whilst enjoying the tranquillity, lying on one of their hammocks or sitting by the outdoor swimming pool.
Casas do Moinho offers five-star accommodation with panoramic views and all the other amenities you would expect such as a restaurant, bar, pool, play area, etc. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, this is the place to stay.
If you’re looking for a hotel, Vale da Telha provides comfortable rooms at an affordable rate with access to a sun deck and outdoor pool. It is also ideally located to visit the Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina.
For a stunning location with stunning mountain views, a stay at Colina Calma hits the mark perfectly. This B&B is ideally located for a visit to the nearby castle and provides a buffet breakfast as well as access to a swimming pool and barbecue facilities.
For something a little more low key, you may want to consider the well located Daguasoul Hostel. This hostel has some very good reviews on TripAdvisor – specifically related to how warm and welcoming it is.
Another good hostel option is Endless Summer Surf House. As well as offering accommodation, being so closely located to Arrifana Beach, they also have partnerships with local surf schools!
For a ‘get down to nature’ option, Camping do Serrão is what you are searching for. Ideally located in the Costa Vicentina, this site has various options. Here you can stay in their hostel, rent a house or pitch a tent.
Portugal is well known for its traditional cuisine and Aljezur certainly has some excellent options to give your taste buds a treat.
For Mediterranean cuisine, Gulli Bistrot is a great option with its ravioli being of great acclaim. However, if you’re looking for something a little closer to home, Pont’a Pé is a cosy family-run restaurant that serves delicious traditional Portuguese flavours and has received many great reviews.
For a nice selection of seafood in a casual environment, Restaurante III Geração is a good option as are the various other seafood restaurants on the road above the beach at Praia da Arrifana.
Vale da Telha also houses a variety of places to eat and drink including the Restaurante Vale Da Telha in the aforementioned hotel in that location.
On the food vein, if you are around at the end of November or beginning of December, you must visit the Sweet Potato Festival (Festival da Batata-doce). Aljezur is famous for its desserts and puddings made from sweet potato and once you’ve had a taste, you will understand why!
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