It streches for over 100 kilometers. Endless cliffs, wild, powerful ocean and open empty spaces all around, where the wind can really gain momentum. This is Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vincentina. For us — utter beauty. Then… could anyone say any different?
It begins in the Alentejo region, just south of Sines, and that’s where we entered it. It was rather rainy and even more windy. We stood at cliffsides, while waves broke over the rocks below and the splashing water went higher than our heads. We couldn’t stop looking.
Rode bikes along the coast to Vila Nova de Milfontes. There for two days, unsuccessfully, we tried to set out further. And that’s a good thing because the place was fantastic. Lonely Planet was not our guide on this trip; we were following our instincts. Going away from the town let us find the most beautiful cliffs that lead back to Milfontes and the wide river-mouth it overlooks.
In Milfontes we also said adieu to the coast. We’d meet again in the sunny Algarve, this time on a car trip. First Aljezur, then along the coast almost all the way down, popping into famous Arrifana and picknicing on a beach near Vila do Bispo. Being on bikes, as always, felt better, but we take what is given and make the best of it.
The road along Costa Vincentina is a few kilometers away from protected areas and the beaches, meaning bumpy roads down and wicked uphill returns. More often than not, there are no roads between beaches, so it may take some time and effort to find a favorite one. Nothing to worry, though, as each of the seven we’ve visited was worth it.
The weather also isn’t something to worry about. The sun tames the ocean, exposing its friendlier face. The dark clouds though, create stunning spectacles and strong winds give birth to waves which in turn, hypnotize. The powerful elements draw you in and stun, but may exhaust you with their sheer force. In the face of the ocean, words come out rather bleak. We’re leaving you with the pictures then, hoping they will tell you about the things we’re not able to describe.