Costa Vicentina On a Budget
The climate in Costa Vicentia is Mediterranean, meaning it is fairly warm and sunny throughout the year. June-September tend to be the warmest months with temperatures ranging from 85-95° Fahrenheit and November-March being cooler and rainier with temps in the 50's and 60's.
SightsFor a little history lesson and incredible views, head to the Aljezur Castle on top of the hill in Aljezur. The Castle dates back to the 10th century and offers stunning views of the whitewashed houses below and the Monchique Mountain in the distance. Aljezur is also home to sandy coves, dunes, fields, and valleys, making it the perfect place to enjoy all of the natural beauty Costa Vicentia has to offer.
From Aljezur, head to Sagres where you'll find a medieval fortress, a beautiful chapel, and a 140 foot Rosa dos Ventos, or compass rose. Head to the cape to view the beautiful, and powerful, lighthouse and revel in the sight that was once considered to be the world's end in medieval times.
CitiesCosta Vicentia is divided into many small villages, although with so much agriculture in the area, some villages are more tourist friendly than others. These villages and towns offer some of the best experiences for visitors:
Odeceixe: A small beach town which marks the northernmost point of the Costa Vicentia coastline.
Burgau: A small fishing village situated on top of a hill, with a lovely beach located at the bottom of the hill. The village marks the southernmost point of the coastline.
Vila do Bispo: A village best known for their tiled covered parish church
Sagres: A popular town on the cape which was once thought to be the world's end in medieval times.
Aljezur: A beautiful small village with classic Portuguese architecture and stunning natural scenery, making it a fantastic place for walking and hiking.
ActivitiesThe main activities in Costa Vicentia involve hiking or spending the day in the sea. For hiking, there's the Rota Vicentia, which is a network of hiking and walking trails along the incredible coastline of the area. All of the trails are very well marked and venture through both small villages on the coast and the wild coastline itself.
When it comes to spending time in the sea, you have countless beach options running up and down the coast. If you want something more secluded, head to the Praia das Adegas which is hidden behind cliffs. Vale dos Homens, Amoreira and Monte Clerigo are more popular beaches set along the cliffs and offer great views of the coastline. Then there is Praia do Amando who has hosted many international surfing competitions, making this the prime beach for those looking to learn how to surf. Throughout many of the beaches you'll find companies offering activities such as scuba diving, windsurfing, and explorations through the underwater caves.
Food and DiningThe Costa Vicentia area is famous for their sweet potatoes which they incorporate into many of their dishes. One such dish is Broa Castelar which are delectable sweet potato cookies which can be found at restaurants and bakeries around the Coast. Fish and seafood are also very popular, with barnacles, mussels, white bream, and bass being common menu items. While in the area, be sure to try some of the Algarve and Alentejo wines and beers which can be found at nearly every shop and restaurant. The majority of restaurant options are in Odeceixe and Aljezur, most of which cater to Portuguese tourists, which means plenty of traditional fare!
TransportationThe best prices for buses and trains in Portugal can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.
The easiest way to get into Costa Vicentia is from Lisbon, which is about 2.5 hours north. It is often easiest to rent a car and drive yourself. There are also a few bus options running from Lisbon that will take you to some of the larger villages throughout the coast.
If you plan to hop from village to village, you'll find that having a car makes the trip much easier! Otherwise, you can walk the trails to each village or use the public buses. There are some tour companies that operate throughout the Coast who offer tours to the various villages. When touring the individual villages, you can easily get around on foot.