In the most north-western part of the Algarve, separated from the Alentejo by the river Seixe, you’ll find Odeceixe. This town is famous for being a part of the Costa Vicentina natural park and for having a river-wrapped beach. Enjoy the Algarve has a look and discovers what else there’s to do in the area.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2017


Check out the town

At the time of visiting, colourful plastic decorations were hanging all over the streets of Odeceixe because of the Santos Populares festivities. But also without these adornments, the village is worth strolling through. It isn’t big, but home to some nice cafés, restaurants and shops. There’s also a wine museum, but, contrary to what it says on the door, it’s only open occasionally and in high season.


Admire marine-inspired designs

A mouse mat that looks like a crab, a starfish-shaped coaster, a pen case formed like a razor clam and a wallet in the shape of an oyster. Using recycled banners, tires and coloured threads, designer Noé Portugal makes items that are inspired by marine creatures. Also in his shop Ode6xe: ethnic jewellery, bags made out of recycled goods, and quirky Medronho sweaters.

(Ode6xe, comunidade criativa, Variante 19 de Abril, LB. 8670-320, Odeceixe)


Climb up to the windmill

Getting to the moinho de Odeceixe, located at one of the village’s highest points, is quite a climb. But worth it as along the way, you’ll see very small and very cute houses, all painted white with blue, yellow or purple lines around windows and doors. Also, the moinho gives you a great view over the valley. The Mediterranean windmill was built around 1898, out of masonry and wood. Although not in use at the time of visiting, it’s apparently still working and mills corn and wheat, powered by the wind via its four sails.


Catch some waves on the beach

You might want to get into your car first as it’s about 3km from Odeceixe town to Praia de Odeceixe (although it’s a great walk if it isn’t too hot). The Ribeira de Seixe wraps around the beach, so you’ve got Atlantic waves on one side and calmer, river-like conditions on the other. Apart from the large Blue Flag beach, Praia de Odeceixe also offers facilities (such as restaurants, toilets, bars) and holiday cottages for rent. Getting to the beach is easy, just follow the crowds and walk down the wooden steps.


Get naked

There’s no need for clothes at Praia de Adegas, one of the Algarve’s three official nudist beaches. That makes it the perfect place to work on your all-over tan. (Want to know more about naturism in the Algarve? Click here). Adegas is located just south of Odeceixe beach and at low tide it’s possible to walk between the two. To get there from the car park, it’s a short but steep walk down a dirt road, followed by some wooden steps. The beach itself is just lovely; small and sheltered by rocks on either side. Beware: it’s unsupervised, so there’s no lifeguard to save you from the dangerous currents.


Walk the fishermen’s trail

Running along the coast, the fishermen’s trail follows the paths that locals used to get to the best fishing spots. Nowadays, it’s mainly used by walkers. It consists of four sections and five additional circuits, 120km in total, and is signposted. Seeing as it’s a single track along the cliffs, don’t walk it if you’re afraid of heights. In that case, better follow the Caminho Histórico, which links towns and villages by a rural trail. Together, these paths make up the Rota Vicentina. Whichever trail you choose, the natural park is a great place to go for a hike. If you don’t want to walk alone, consider taking a donkey.


Paddle on the river

Whether it’s Stand Up Paddleboarding, canoeing or kayaking. But also fishing, swimming, horse riding and bird spotting (especially ducks and kingfishers) is possible in the tranquil surroundings of the river Seixe, that’s bordered by farmlands. Paddling is possible from the sea mouth until a few kilometres east of Odeceixe’s bridge that links the Algarve with the Alentejo. When going there, keep an eye out for the tortoise family that lives near the bridge.


Visit Aljezur

Sweet potatoes, ruins with a view and more amazing beaches; you’ll find it all in the area of Aljezur, about 16km south from Odeceixe. Also worth a visit is surfer-town Carrapateira (distance from Odeceixe: about 37km). And if you want to explore the entire length of the natural park, head all the way south to windy Sagres (59km).


Explore the Alentejo

When you’re in Odeceixe, you’re almost in the Alentejo. Just cross the bridge (or swim across the river) to get to Portugal’s least crowded region. A large part of the Costa Vicentina natural park is in the Alentejo, in the Beja district, so expect more eco trails, beaches and rivers. Apart from nature, there’s the town of Odemira, about 28km north from Odeceixe. Want an alternative to the Algarve’s Cabo de São Vicente? In the Alentejo, they have the lighthouse of Cabo Sardão.


See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2017

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