And we’re………. back at the beach! Couldn’t resist! The weather has drastically improved and looks settled for a few days and so we’ve followed the coast down in a southerly direction to Porto Covo. We’ve done around 145 miles, over the big bridge at bustling Lisbon and past Setubal. Bear in mind my Motorhoming buddies that, if you decide to come here, the old Aire mentioned on Camper Contact near the campsite is now closed. Follow the blue signs to the new Aire which is at the former sports stadium. For €3 per night you get secure parking, toilets and fill and dump facilities. There are several spots to wild camp though, particularly if you take the coast road from Sines. I’m told this will be stamped out in the near future but as long as you tuck away and don’t display camping behaviour ie peg your washing out etc. it is tolerated out of season.
Porto Covo is a former fishing village built on a series of pretty coves, as it’s name suggests. It’s lovely.
The town itself is quite tiny with whitewashed cottages and cobbled streets leading off from an attractive central square. The old fishermen’s houses are single storey but over the years it has become a popular resort for the ‘Lisboetas’ as it’s only a short distance for them to get away for the weekend, and so smarter holiday villas have sprung up, on the outskirts spreading the town outwards.
We are camped right on the edge of Praia Grande so could literally dip a toe in the sea. It’s so gorgeous, honestly, and the sunsets are incredible. We loved it here last year and our views haven’t changed. There’s a nice little restaurant down on the beach but it only opens at weekends out of season. We like the bar overlooking the harbour at the opposite end of town for a sundowner. There are worse places to watch the sunset and the drinks are ridiculously cheap. It’s also pretty damn good for morning coffee. Take your own cake from the Padaria just around the corner.
There is a little indoor market daily. Nothing special but does the trick. There are two small but well stocked supermarkets, a good Butchers and a bakery. There are a handful of cafes and a couple of restaurants, one doing half decent looking pizza. We have only eaten at the beach one so I can’t really recommend anything else. That was ok, not exactly amazing but the owners are a small family and are so nice and obliging, I’d definitely go back there.
We spend our days at the beach living very simply whilst we’re here. I take a long piece of bamboo down to the sands with me in a morning and my mat. I sit/stand looking at the turquoise ocean and exercise for about 20 minutes. It really makes me feel better. I then stick on my headphones, blast up my music and if there’s no one around, have a crazy dance!! I just love to dance, it’s very liberating. If anybody is watching they would think I was completely bonkers but it’s my way of keeping fit and I love it! Nothing wrong with a bit of bonkers.
The dog has lots of freedom here. He loves it too. He’s never on the lead and just runs around making friends with everyone, dipping in and out of the surf. What more could you want if the sun is shining and you have a glorious blue Portugal sky! Good food, a plentiful stock of wine and the ocean. Does it get any better? I don’t even need the shops (although, that said, my hubby has promised to treat me tomorrow from a little boho chic boutique we spotted on the way back from the market! Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean!!).
So we’re going to hang around here until the weather spoils our fun.
There’s a great walk heading south around the cliff tops, past the harbour and around to the beach at Ilha do Pessegueiri (Peach Tree Island). There’s a Bronze Age burial site and an actual island with a 16th Century Fort standing on it. I’m told the fishermen will take you out to it when the seas are calm. It’s only about a mile and a half along the coastal path. Well worth the effort. Going to give that a go tomorrow.
We’re going to spend a night on the Aire tonight so we can clean up the van and get the Cadac Grill out. Not really wild camping etiquette to set that up and you’re asking to get moved on by the GNR (boys in blue!) It’s absolutely fine to take the barbecue down to the beach on an afternoon if you can be bothered though. The fishermen often cook what they catch and it smells amazing! Mark is fancying a juicy pork steak and sausages for supper tonight so I shall oblige seeing as he’s taking me shopping tomorrow!!
I’ll sign off for now then folks. Will try and send some sunshine back to you guys at home, my Mum tells me it’s cold and miserable in the UK ☀️☀️☀️. Bet you’re all gearing up for the festive period, I just can’t get my head around that at the moment!! A very weird thought.
Sending our love to everyone, I know some of you need it more than others right now, you know who you are, you’re always in our thoughts. take care. TTFN. M, M and D xxx