Experience Transat

Discovering Alentejo: Portugal’s Tranquil Coastal Retreat

Share the article

In addition to having exceptional cultural cities, Portugal boasts an unsuspected natural heritage. The sublime beaches of the Algarve overshadow the coastline of the Alentejo region. However, it has no reason to be embarrassed by the comparison. Less known and therefore less frequented, it is a wise option for nature lovers.

The coastline of Alentejo, a beautiful alternative to the beaches of the Algarve

La plage de Samoqueira sur le littoral de l'Alentejo, au Portugal
Photo credit: Sébastien and Laura

We invite you to discover the Atlantic coast from Sines to Zambujeira do Mar. Jagged and topped with cliffs, the coastline of Alentejo is a wild beauty. The beaches are protected by impressive rocky enclaves. This mineral presence gives them a strong and singular character that invites contemplation. We start this walk on Samoqueira beach near Sines. Huge rocks face the cliff that defines the beach. The pure beige sand is untouched, and we are the only ones enjoying this natural wonder… Even in January, the sun is generous, already hinting at the promise of the coming spring.

Les rochers de Samoqueira, sur le littoral d'Alentejo, au Portugal
Crédit photo : Sébastien et Laura

In a different but equally beautiful style, the shores of Porto Covo consist of dark rocky headlands. In front of one of its beaches, the small Passengers Island is drawn on the ocean like a painting. Sitting here and admiring the view is a pure moment of serenity.

Plage de Porto Novo, sur le littoral d'Alentejo, au Portugal
Crédit photo : Sébastien et Laura

But this apparent tranquility should not make us forget the power of the waves crashing on the shore. Further on, at Malhao beach in Villa Nova de Milfontes, the sight of a fisherman facing the onslaught of the rollers is striking. Impassive and firmly gripping his rock, he tirelessly casts his line again and again. Meanwhile, we enjoy the warmth of the late afternoon sun. Its declining rays magnify the heart-shaped patterns of the surrounding rock.

Beautiful wildlife observation spots

Plage de Malhao, sur le littoral de l'Alentejo, au Portugal
Crédit photo : Sébastien et Laura

The beauty of this coastline also lies in abundant and colorful vegetation. A moorland covers the sand. It consists of heathers, gorse, and succulents that are tinged with mauve, ocher, and carmine. This plant carpet invites us to take time for observation, with the highlight being in Almograve. Sitting on the dunes, we contemplated the horizon and the perspective of the coast.

La flore d'Almograve, sur le littoral de l'Alentejo, au Portugal
Crédit photo : Sébastien et Laura

The fauna is not left out in this mineral and vegetal landscape. The Alentejo region and its coastline are renowned for birdwatching. Storks are numerous and build their nests in unusual sites. It is in the crevices of the Cabo Sardao cliffs that their presence is most surprising. The spray is powerful, but the birds do not seem disturbed. It is one of the few places in the world where you can appreciate this scene.

Nid de cigogne sur le littoral de l'Alentejo, au Portugal
Crédit photo : Sébastien et Laura

We end this nature escapade in Zambujeira do Mar. At sunset, one can fully appreciate the vastness and beauty of this landscape. The schist cliffs soon blend with the darkness of the night. We were not dreaming; this magical coastline indeed exists. You will find it in Alentejo, Portugal.

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

You may also like

Make a day trip to Ericeira, a small Portuguese town known for its beaches, small coves, big waves and tranquil atmosphere.
Explore below some of the best kept secrets and recommendations of our colleague Caroline, who was introduced to Lisbon and the poetry of saudade at an early age thanks to her Portuguese mother.
Welcome to the enchanting city of Évora, a captivating gem of the Alentejo region, with a picturesque landscape and a rich history.
Fado is Lisbon’s version of the blues and Senhor Vinho is known as one of the best places to hear this music live.

Travel with Air Transat