The Algarve has many good beaches. You will find the picture postcard type, with grottos, cliffs and golden sand at low tide, around Lagos. However, when you want something different, head 30 miles north-west to the small town of Aljezur, close to the wild Portuguese Atlantic coast, which is designated as the Vincentina Coast Natural Park. Aljezur is a good looking and interesting historic town with a Moorish castle set in a productive green valley. It has a nice hostel, a market (to buy picnics) and good places to eat, but the real treat is at the end of an attractive five mile drive along the winding road west following the valley of the Ribeira de Aljezur. This takes you to Praia da Amoreira, which has all the components of the perfect beach, but with no crowds and commerce, other than a nice looking shack which, by reputation, has excellent fresh fish in season. You will be able to enjoy the fantastic, weirdly contorted, rock formations in the cliffs and on the foreshore, explore hundreds of rock pools, watch the ever optimistic local fishermen perched in precarious positions rods in hand, ride the surf, run free on the wide expanses of sand, picnic amongst the dunes or splash around in the quieter waters of the estuary.
If you are driving, 1/2 mile north of Aljezur, on the N120, turn left (by the swimming pool) and follow the narrow winding road along the river valley. Praia de Amoreira is at the end of the road. Alternatively up to eight buses a day run from Lagos to Aljezur.
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