With over 300 days of sunshine a year, breathtaking landscapes and clean beaches Algarve is definitely the best holiday destination to choose. Aljezur is a town located on the West coast of Algarve, in the stunningly beautiful natural park Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. You won’t find here big hotels and touristic crowd, instead you will get the nature, peace and remarkable seaside landscapes.
The historic part of the city with steep cobbled streets and whitewashed houses is partially pedestrianized. Aljezur was founded by the Moors in the 10th century, the castle (Castelo Mouro de Aljezur) towering over the old town dates from that period. The Portuguese captured the city in 1249. Aljezur also owes its name to the Moors, it comes from the arabic word al jazair, plural of al jazira, which means an island or a peninsula.
Aljezur town is the best location for holidays accommodation for those who want to explore the west coast of Algarve or learn to surf.
Are you going to Algarve? Do you want to see the real Portugal without the crowd of tourists, try local food, do some sports? Want to know what to do in Aljezur and what attractions to expect? Discover seven things that you can do in Aljezur.
What to do in Aljezur
Visit the Moorish Castle
Castelo Mouro de Aljezur was built by the Moors in the 10th century to guard the village when it was a river port providing direct access to the sea. The Portuguese captured the city in 1249. Take a walk from the center of Aljezur to the ruins of the fortress, the distance is small and the way is marked by the signs. From the top you can enjoy nice views of the village and the surrounding meadows and hills. Entry to the castle is free.
Visit the Museums
Museu de Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art) has an interesting collection of liturgical costumes, religious items and sculptures.
Museu Municipal (Municipality Museum) has archaeological collection (from the Neolithic and Bronze epochs) and ethnographic collection with objects from everyday life from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Casa-Museu Pintor José Cercas – Painter José Cercas (1914-1992), born in Aljezur, left his home to the municipality of Aljezur, on condition that a house-museum was installed there to preserve his memory and work. Apart from the artist’s works there is a collection of pieces of crockery, religious art, sculptures and furniture, there are also several paintings and drawings by international artists.
Rent a bike and take a ride
Explore the beauty of the Western Algarve on a bike at your own pace. Reach places that are difficult to reach by car, and enjoy the countryside from a different perspective. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, breathtaking landscapes and almost unlimited terrain ready for exploration, the Western Algarve is definitely one of the best areas to practice all kinds of cycling. Combine a pleasant sightseeing with sport. Along the Atlantic coast, on the Costa Vicentina there are many marked trails that are suitable for both hiking and biking. There is a bicycle rental in Aljezur: Hashtag Bike Rental Aljezur.
Explore beaches near Aljezur
Aljezur is close to a number of spectacular beaches, all of them make a part of the stunningly beautiful Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. Check out Praia da Amoreira and Praia de Monte Clérigo. Spend a day on the beach, enjoy the views and don’t miss the sunset! The best places for this spectacle of nature are on the viewpoints on the cliffs between Praia da Amoreira and Praia de Monte Clérigo. Both beaches have lifeguards during the summer.
Try Surf or Stand Up Paddle
You can rent a board or book classes with an instructor. There are many schools where you can try surf, bodyboard or Stand Up Paddle (SUP). Doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an expert, you will find something for yourself. Some schools organize tours to visit beautiful caves. There are camps where you can improve your skills under the supervision of stars like Benoit Carpentier: SUP World Champion 2019: check out Sygma SUP School!
Boa Onda Surfschool offers also yoga classes.
Aljezur Surf is a surfschool and a shop with surf clothes.
Visit a local market in Aljezur
Mercado Municipal is a small covered market, located near the bridge in Aljezur. It is a good place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. You can get olive oil, honey, jams, cheese and other specialties from local producers. You can buy here fish and seafood caught in the area. Try the traditional sweet Algarve delicacy: Morgado do figo, which looks like a black cake and is made from natural ingredients: toasted fig mass, toasted almonds, honey (or sugar) and chocolate powder.
Aljezur regional gastronomy
Aljezur is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in Portugal, so this vegetable is present in soups, stews, cakes and even has a festival in his honor – Festival da Batata-Doce (the Sweet Potato Festival) which takes place in October. The ocean brings other regional delicacies: percebes (goose barnacles), collected from the rocks by fearless local fishermen. Fresh grilled fish and a wide variety of seafood, including clams, sea urchins and crabs, make up delicious caldeiradas de marisco (seafood stews).
Where to eat in Aljezur
There are some cafes and restaurants in the city, try one of those:
Pont’a Pé – it’s a traditional restaurant, the specialty is polvo à lagareiro (baked octopus) and for dessert you have to try Torta de batata-doce e amêndoa (sweet potato cake with almonds).
Cervejaria Mar – Delicious seafood and other Portuguese dishes. Try percebes (goose-barnacles), my favourite marisco.
MÓ Bistrô vegetariano – a modern vegetarian restaurant.
Museu da Batata Doce – the “Sweet Potato Museum” is a restaurant where you can taste local delicacies served with sweet potatoes and sweets, also made of this vegetable.
Where to stay in Aljezur
The accommodation offer is quite interesting, there are no huge hotels in the Costa Vicentina nature park so most of the accommodations are private apartments, houses or villas. There are also hostels.
Amazigh Design Hostel – perfect for backpackers, solo travelers and for those looking for the lowest price. Hostel offers private and shared accommodation. Free WiFi is available in common areas only.
Anchor House Portugal – provides accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen.
Herdade Monte Do Sol – self-catering villas with private terraces, hammocks, and views of the countryside. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool.
Visiting Aljezur is an opportunity to regain balance, to discover the silence that is only cut by the singing birds and the melody of waves crashing against the rocks. I highly recommend the Western Algarve and the wild Costa Vicentina coast to enjoy the landscapes, the ocean and the green fields.