♥ by Eva
Needless to say that since we’ve started to travel we’ve seen some really breath-taking beaches. And in Portugal we’ve come across some that deserve a post all for themselves. It’s going to be mostly pictures, and I hope you’ll enjoy these, even if reality – as so often – is much more stunning.
We stayed on this beach not too far from Coimbra for two nights, spending time with our new-found friends: playing Frisbee, playing cards, playing at the beach. You see – all we do now is play! Finally we’re children again J The weather left a lot to be desired; all we had was fog, mist, steely grey sky, slight rain. At the same time, we used a clear stretch to stroll along the beach, looking at the waves and the dunes (a protected area), getting lost in the mist and finding treasures on the beach.
When we arrived at this beach in the evening, the first thing we did was to help an elderly Spanish couple, whose car battery had emptied completely, to restart their car. It was already dark so we postponed admiring the beach to the morning. This beach is famous for having the biggest waves in Europe (due to an underwater canyon just before the coast) and staging the Surf World Cup. And we were not disappointed! Against a bright blue sky huge waves were crashing on the beach. The few surfers who dared to face the waves had to be towed in with jet skis, because it would have been too hard/too dangerous to try and reach them from the beach.
We also went into Nazaré town, had a stroll along the promenade and enjoyed the weather. The beach there is also nice, but the waves are way tamer. However, you get to see the stalls where the fishermen dry their catch – apparently the smell is horrible in summer!
To get to this beach was an adventure (the path to get there can’t even be described as a road anymore, but was literally a dirt hole), but boy – it was so worth it! You’ve got red, orange and ochre sandstone cliffs sloping down to the water, shaped into the most impressive sculptures, rocks, caves and canyons by the steady movement of the ocean, coupled with very fine sand, rather high turquoise waves, and a great view on the peninsula Peniche.
At this beach we first met an Irish surf teacher who works in Ireland for a couple of months and then spends his time living near this beach and surfing. And then a camper parked right next to us in the evening. Turns out in the morning that it’s two Germans who’ve met in Peniche where they were building their own surfboards and who are now travelling the surf sites together. In the meantime, our paths have actually crossed again at the praia Fonte da Telha, South of Lisbon.
Random beach South of Ericeira
A little bit South of Ericeira, there’s a wonderful, lonely parking lot hidden away right at the top of the cliffs, and there are some hiking paths along the edge of the cliffs which will lead you down to the beach if you’re up for a bit of a climb. Apart from a lonely fisherman and quite a lot of seagulls we were the only ones on the beach and we enjoyed the solitude. You also get a great view of Ericeira, and we really enjoyed the hike and the striking, towering stone walls surrounding us.
Okay, so this is officially my favourite beach up to now. It’s in the Sintra National Park for one – one of the most enchanting places I’ve ever been to. To get there, you pass through Almoçageme, a lovely, white-washed village with a cute plaza and inviting cafés. It’s quite busy actually, and very relaxed at the same time. We also saw that it had a market with home-made and local goods. And then you arrive at a small, well-done parking lot with the beach stretching out in front of you, steep cliffs on either side, a cave on one, huge rocks on the other. And then the sun sets and everything starts to glow pink. While we were here, we were doing some bouldering on the rocks on the beach (carefully though, the sandstone tends to come off easily). Also the GR is passing through here and you can walk it in either direction from the beach. We took it direction Cabo da Roca (a famous lighthouse) and walked (sometimes rather adventurously) along the cliff’s edge. The views left us speechless. I’m running out of superlatives here. I’ll be back to this one, I’m in love.
This beach is located in the National Park just South of Sines, Vila Nova de Milfontes. We passed it while moving towards Aljezur, and since it had been recommended in the park4night app, we took the time to explore. It is so impressive! Huge, bizarrely shaped rocks and boulders scattered everywhere. A small blue lagoon. Lovely waves. A cave through which you can pass and explore a stretch of untouched beach. Rock that looks like a watercolour painting in soft ochre and metallic anthracite. Huge cliffs with glittering veins of white, purple and rose quartz. I felt like I entered a different world.
We were supposed to meet my parents at the famous sea food restaurant in Azenha do Mar on the 22nd, and since we got here on the 21st already, they recommended us this beach nearby to spend the night at. It’s a lovely, cosy beach, framed by high cliffs on either side. And the best thing is that there’s a small river which meets the sea here and which creates a little fresh water pond. So when you go for a swim in the Atlantic, you can wash the salty water off after. The parking is hidden away, quiet and flat (that’s quite important for a good night’s sleep), and there was only one other couple, really nice people from France actually. In the morning, some crab fishers arrived and that was it. The only thing is that I lost my lens cover while taking artistic (ehem) pictures of the beach, and even though I tried to trace my steps, I couldn’t recover it. A good reason to come back!
Probably every beach is worth writing about and showing pictures of, they are all different, and they are all wonderful in their own way. And there are surely more beach posts to come!