Get Off The Beaten Path To Explore This Pretty Village With One Of Portugal's Best Beaches

A far-flung jewel in the Portuguese Algarve, Odeceixe is a dreamy patch of paradise that meets every standard for a picturesque surf town. This small civil parish, pressed against the Seixe River, is a hidden gem to the rest of the world. Odeceixe was first founded by the Moors, who later inhabited Iberia's southern peninsula. Over time, the town came alive with the vibrant laid-back culture that made its way to this small strip of coastline. Today, it remains a sleepy coastal town renowned for its golden sand beaches. Located two and half hours south of Lisbon, it's secluded, yet still close enough for a day trip to neighboring coastal cities.

Residents in Odeceixe embrace a culture the rest of the world has mostly cast aside — surfing at the break of dawn and living off the fresh catch of the day. Seafood is the local fare of choice in Odeceixe, marked by a thriving fishing industry. While it may not boast miles of buzzing promenades or endless rows of restaurants, Odeceixe more than makes up for it with a relaxed ambiance and long sets of waves rolling in from the Atlantic. It's home to streets of whitewashed abodes with red-tiled roofs sticking out over the city. Pops of blue and yellow from scattered flower pots add a whimsical ambiance to one of Portugals's most picturesque towns. April, May, and October promise the best weather, with moderate temperatures that rarely reach above 77 degrees Fahrenheit — picture-perfect beach weather, if you ask us! 

Surf, eat, repeat!

Let's be honest — most anyone visiting the shores of Southwest Portugal can be considered a beachcomber, surfer, or any category of "ocean lover." Odeceixie certainly matches the personality of beach-goers, with miles of golden sand backed by towering cliffs. Praia de Odeceixe in particular is one of Algarve's most picturesque beaches. The horseshoe-shaped cove is framed by the Seixe River, which loops around the bay and gradually feeds into this salt water haven. As part of the Costa Vicentina National Park, its enamoring presence earned it the Seven Wonders of Portugal Award in the "Cliff Beaches" category in 2012.

All that time under the sun is bound to leave you ravenous for some authentic Portuguese fare. Just 3 miles inland from Praia de Odeceixe, Ao Largo Odeceixe awaits with a scrumptious selection of brunch bites and pastries. While this surf shack of a café might be small, it more than makes up for its size with flavor! The outdoor terrace boasts reclaimed wooden seating underneath a canopy of cloud-white umbrellas and a cozy interior with small potted plants and simple menus featuring specialty smoothies. 

Speaking of food, Odeceixe locals live off of the harvest of their hometown. While their organic diets are simple, their gastronomy scene is diverse. Typical dishes of Aljezur cuisine include Moorish porridge with pikes, grilled sea bass, fried black pudding, and cabbage with sweet potato. Muscat wine, arbutus brandy, and peanuts (all native to the Aljezur region) serve as exceptional complements to meals and desserts.

Explore the untamed wilderness of Odeceixe

Given Odeceixe's abundance of nature, getting outside and exploring the region's flora and fauna is an essential bucket list excursion in this region of Portugal. Rota Vicentina comprises a stunning network of nature trails that wind along the coastline, totaling an astounding 466 miles  of scenic landscape and captivating terrain.The Fisherman's Trail is one of the most popular within the preserve and is considered one of the best coastal trails in the world. This 140-mile trek contains 13 stages that guide travelers along the rugged dunes, rocky bluffs, and through small neighboring villages. The nature reserve is also home to 24 shorter loop trails across the southwest of Portugal, ranging between an hour and a half and five and a half hours completion time, curated to suit a diversity of fitness levels. 

For those wanting to dive deep into the locale of Odeceixe, is the bread and butter of this region's coastal beauty. The Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park covers a vast stretch of coastline from Porto Covo in the Alentejo to Burgau in the Algarve. The preserve houses several exotic wildlife species and indigenous plants adorning the untamed woodland and flowering dunes along the ocean's edge. White storks, in particular, are a frequent sighting, as the towering cliffs are the only place on earth where these sea birds build their nests. Between the soothing sandbars and extravagant vistas, this natural park is considered one of the most sacred pieces of Odeceixe culture.