Beaches of Portugal - Some of the Best Beaches in the World - Part 2
The Beaches in Aljezur
The coastline is mainly rocky, interrupted by long stretches of sand around the mouths of major rivers, places where fresh water dilutes the salty mists and opens possibilities of landscape and life forms. The cliffs are lofty, carved in schist and greywacke, dense and gray in color, with contrasting tone pearl sand beaches. This vast coastal plateau, shaped by the constant advance and retreat of the sea over countless eons, is exposed and vulnerable to waves and wind sailors, providing a wide range of curious rock formations.
The county's coastline, Costa Vincentina, forms part of a Natural Park with natural heritage and some cases untouched by man. The practices of adventure sports are particularly favored in these beaches, from surfing to scuba diving, paragliding and fishing. The mist of the Atlantic coast invites you to discover the beaches in Aljezur...
Praia de Odeceixe & Praia das Adegas
The road to Praia de Odeceixe is three km long, across a green valley with marvelous views and a river called Ribeira de Ceixefollowing you side-by-side until the beach when it merges with the sea. As you drive closer to the beach you'll notice the fertile fields are gradually replaced with marshland. On the slopes of the valley, you can see cork-oak groves that, as you draw nearer to the beach, give way to coastal scrubland where sweet-smelling aromatic plants abound.
The wide beach has clean and white sand and makes its way through the married waters from the Sea and the River, creating some nice lagoons with low level water where the sand took the water's place making it a desirable place for the children to play safely.
You can bathe all along the banks of the Ribeira de Ceixe, which is particularly recommended at high tide.
You can also rent canoes and paddle up the river, the home to an amazing animal natural habitat such as the otter, the grey heron or the brightly coloured kingfisher.
South of Praia de Odeceixe, behind the huge oddly-shaped rocks that set a natural boundary to it, there's another beach called Praia das Adegas which is a nudism beach. When the tide is high, it can be reached by a footpath running down the cliff from the viewing point.
You'll also have Restaurants nearby and lifeguards during the bathing season which makes this a good candidate to a memorable day at the beach.
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Praia do Vale dos Homens
Located in the Vincentian plateau, a large area of farmland and pine cones cut from time to time by deep green canyons is a quiet and wide.
Lofty cliffs of shale line the beach, with access to the beach performed by a huge wooden staircase. The smell here is intense and the rock rose from the sand, or climb over a few tens of meters, the valley in the rock torn from a small, clear water line. The arrangement of rocks in the sea provides quiet baths at low tide.
Praia da Carriagem
The path to the beach takes you through pine forests and extensive dune fields dotted with pink color due to the abundance of sand cloves, plant form typical of coastal sands.
The beach access is made through a network of trails that descend the cliff, not suitable for children or people with reduced mobility.
The beach is very narrow and still evident detachment from material of the cliff, which has virtually no vegetation, so it is advisable to avoid the track near the cliff.
In northernmost beach in low-water situation, it is possible to observe a curious natural amphitheater carved in schist. The beach is very quiet and almost always deserted, being used mainly by fishermen.
"Lightweight. Compacts into a little bag. Sand shakes off very easily"
"Perfect for when it's windy. Easy set-up."
Praia da Amoreira
This beach is born associated with the the mouth of the Ribeira de Aljezur, which forms a lagoon system of great natural beauty. Following on the beach to the interior there is an extensive dune field that evolves into a salt marsh habitat, typical of these systems, where there are still animals like otters, gray heron or the colorful kingfishers.
Two imposing visions mark the landscape. To the north, a black cliff that resembles a giant lying over the sea. To the south in the green valley slop, outcrops impressive rock formations, traces of an ancient dune, now fossilized and home to unique plants in the world. At low tide extensive lagoons are formed on the beach, very attractive and safe for children.
Praia do Monte Clérigo
This beach has long and wide sands to the north and an interesting rocky platform at the southern end, where they can observe several marine organisms at low tide, from crabs, starfish, starfish and octopuses in the indentations of rock, bare with the retreat of the tide.
Despite the relative exposure to winds from north and west of the extremes the beach are sheltered. To the interior lies impressive dune fields that surround a beautiful valley associated with an ephemeral water line.
In this beach there is a small village consisting of summer houses and a pine forest with a picnic area.
The descent to the beach provides a fabulous panoramic view.
Praia da Arrifana
This beach rises in a beautiful shell shaped cove, sheltered from cold north winds and the undulations from the north. The beach is long but narrow and lies bordered by towering cliffs from black tone, especially the "Pedra da Agulha" (translates into Stone of the Needle), a huge stone with a particular form, which became an icon of the southwest coast.
There are good conditions for practicing surf body board and also diving at the northern end of the beach. A panoramic view of the "Fortaleza da Arrifana", a fortress currently in ruins, is breathtaking.
Further north, at "Ponta da Atalaia", there is what's left from a Muslim Ribat, a convent-fortress building of great archaeological value.
"Ideal For beginner skimboarders."
"Compact (shorter) for fitting in your gear bag, and great power for moving in the water."
Praia do Canal
Praia do Canal appears just south of “Arrifana”, having a privileged view over the "Pedra da Agulha" stone.
The beach is mostly pebble and develops in the mouth of a valley where a water line remains ephemeral, bordered by thick vegetation riverside.
Next to the sea the valley opens up, large and very exposed. The vegetation (endemic juniper bushes and plants resistant to salt spray) lies carpeted, shaped by strong winds. The pebble rolled beyond the reach of the sea lies colored by lichens of warm colors, which contrast with the black background.
When the sea is rough, it moves the pebbles vigorously, producing a hollow sound.
Although very popular for surfing and fishing, it's a quiet beach.
Praia de Vale Figueira
The path to the beach takes you along a narrow valley, whose slopes are densely vegetated by tall grass where you observe heather, rock roses and trees.
There is an incipient water line on the site, which reaches the beach in the rainy season. The beach is vast, both north and south and very quiet. The cliffs from shale rock roses here are covered by which release aromatic oils into the air and glisten in the sun.
Along the beach you can observe the overlapping blades of rock walls, intensely folded and deformed, evidence of the incredible strength from that the rocks were subject to.
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Praia da Bordeira
In Bordeira, the black shale breaks off to make way for calcareous cliffs, of bright colors and warm, making possible the diversification of the vegetation.
On the beach, the extensive sand dune, advances inland to the village of Carrapateira
To be noted as well, the pine dunes with huge and ancient trees which some of them are used as an agricultural warehouse given the diameter of its canopy.
The beach is vast, with more than three km long, but exposed to sea winds and goes, mostly desert, until the "Pedra de Matez", a huge boulder from reddish hue to the north. The cliffs of Bordeira are famous for their fish almost inaccessible and highly sought after by various seabirds, which find refuge here.
"A very entertaining game to play when you're on the beach with friends."
"It sets up easily and breaks down just as easy."
- Beaches of Portugal - Some of the Best Beaches in the World - Part 1
You do not need to die to glimpse paradise, and in Portugal you may well find that paradise, down to the south of the country - in the Algarve, where there are some of the best beaches in the world.