Do you want to see the place, where the colour of the deep blue sky matches the bright paint of the buildings? Where the redness of the door and the window shutters contrast with the whiteness of the little houses? Come and visit Porto Covo! (There are very nice beaches, too)
We visited Portugal out of high season – in March 2017. Check our full route HERE.
When we planned our trip to Portugal, I was a bit disappointed, that we won’t be able to visit the northern town Aveiro, full of beautifully painted houses. However, while searching through internet for the places to see in the south of the country, I found the city of the red doors – and I knew that this is going to be our must see stop.
Small but mighty
Porto Covo, located on the Alentejo coast of Portugal, is a tiny fishing village. Populated only by over 1000 people, it’s a hidden gem. With the access to the beautiful beaches, sheltered by the jagged rocks and colourful old quarter, it makes a nice place to visit during the road trip around Portugal.
The town was rebuilt in 1755 after being hit by the earthquake. In the center there is a main square – Praça Marquês de Pombal, designed by the first Baron of Porto Covo. That’s, where you can find the prettiest white houses with the bright red door and blue paint. Most of them were shut when we were visiting, but they looked like restaurants and small local shops – in the high season they should be open and bring more life to the square.
The town also has a harbour and a fort, partially destroyed during the earthquake. In the sea, around 250 meters from the shore you can see the small uninhabited island Pessegueiro. It was one of the first center of activity of the region leading back to the Roman trade. There is also a fort there, that can be seen from the land. The island can be visited, however there are no organised trips, so you would need to arrange it yourself.
If you are looking for some place to relax (it’s Portugal after all), Porto Covo will not disappoint you either. All the way along the coast is full of peaceful sandy beaches hidden in between the cliffs, where you can slow down and enjoy the views.
Few steps away from the market square there is located Praia dos Buizinhos, small beach surrounded by natural cliff rocks. We met there a local guy collecting tiny shells for his home collection. He explained to us the town history and invited us to come back again for the big Easter celebrations, during which the locals eat the sea urchins (that black spiky sea animal – I think I understood correctly, if someone knows otherwise, please correct me).
Another beach is just few minutes drive away from town – Praia Grande de Porto Covo with a fine sand and yellow cliffs towering above it. It was entirely empty when we arrived – you can feel like it’s your own paradise, and so we did with our wine in a box (yay).
Oh, give me more
And then the food comes. Oh man, just to be able to eat there more, I would want to stay longer. It was just A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We chose one random restaurant and it turned out to be one of the best meals ever (and all the food in Portugal has been delicious so it was very hard competition). I can definitely recommend restaurant Ze Inacio . We ordered Octopus „A lagareiro” and Pork meat „alentejana” with clams – both were perfect, but I was dreaming about the octopus during the night – it was that good! It could even compete with Moroccan tagine, which we had in Silves, yum.
Just outside of town, you can see some… ostriches. Because why not?
If you like the peaceful and calm feel of tiny towns, small beaches and cute colourfull buildings, accompanied by the delicious food, then Porto Covo is the one for you. Would you go? Have you been? Let me know in the comments!
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