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Aljezur is a hidden gem situated on the West Coast of the Algarve, Portugal. Anton, our host from Aljezur who does jeep, walking and bike tours around the area, loves the little town that he calls home.
‘The area takes things quite slow and that’s the beauty of it, it’s not fast and not overrun with people. There is definitely a community spirit in this area. It’s physically beautiful, the weather is good, the people are nice, the food is fantastic, it’s really a good place to be. If you are going to be trapped anywhere, this is the place to get trapped.’
‘The coastline itself sort of speaks for itself as an attraction. I think it has got seven blue flags so the beaches are absolutely incredible. You won’t be packed in like Sardines or anything like that. There is still a lot of space and a lot of beaches that are still secret from the mainstream. You’ll need to go down a bumpy old track to get there or something like that. There is still a bit of adventure. The beaches are amazing.’
‘We have a castle. On the Portuguese flag there are six castles and we have one of those castles. So there is a lot of local history, people don’t know it so we have spent a lot of our time researching the local history of this area. When we do jeep tours we’ll add a historical twist and teach people about the local history. We tell people about the Moorish occupation and incorporate a lot of those types of things into our tours.’
‘Generally a lot of people come to this area to discover the nature. The nature speaks for itself, the forest, the ocean, the rivers all combine into this little spot. It’s just really pretty and people come for that prettiness. People come here to just sit and have some fresh fish and watch the sea and the nature. People come to chill out for a day.’
‘We have a few museums but this is just a gorgeous place to come and relax in a very quite little old village that has cobbled streets and a castle just to enjoy the local area. There is no big attraction, the landscape is an attraction in itself. The mainstream tourism is on the South coast of the Algarve where you have night clubs and bars. If you come here to the West coast you come here to see a different part of life. Everything is a bit slower and a bit calmer. People still say good morning and stop you in the street for a chat even if you don’t know them. It’s just a good vibe.
Aljezur is the fastest growing town in Portugal because people have gotten to know the secrets. So recently, I’d say probably 30% of the town is now foreigners from all over the world. From Australia, North Africa, America and Brazil because of the Portuguese connection there. This brings a vibrant energy to the area but the town still retains it’s slow small town atmosphere.’
‘The best place to see the sunset? On a jeep tour with me, of course! They can be quite romantic. On the jeep tour we would take you out onto the coastline on the cliffs to watch the sunset. We do a sunset picnic. It is quite amazing. Even with days off from touring, my wife and I would go to the same spot and enjoy the sunset with just us two. It really is a stunning place. When I do the jeep tours we do proper off-roading. I would recommend us for the sunset.
But there are a lot of restaurants on the West coast that are on the seafront and are also a really good spot to watch the sun go down whilst eating some fresh food. Also, not far away from us, is the most South-Westerly point in the whole of Europe called Sagres, otherwise known as the end of the world. This is another spot that a lot of people go there to watch the sunset. It’s the West coast so any spot along the coastline is perfect to watch the sun go down. Perhaps even whilst surfing. We have some staggering sunsets when it happens.’