Vila Nova de Milfontes

Back in September, I went on a little last-minute adventure to Vila Nova de Milfontes. The weather was warm and there were still a few tourists around but it was very peaceful.

I stayed at Blue Guide guest house which was a little hard to find as there is no sign on the door and you have to call them to come and let you in (which I only discovered through serendipitously bumping into other guests on their way out). Once I was in, everything was good. A clean, pleasant space with a cute little garden and use of the kitchen. It overlooks Largo do Rossio, a gorgeous little square with bougainvillea-covered buildings just a couple of minutes walk from the beach.

The town is situated on the Mira River Estuary and the nearest beach to the pretty old town is Praia da Franquia. You can also walk around to Praia do Farol which is a great spot to watch the sunset.

One day I took a little hike over to the other side of the river, which began with walking on the hard shoulder of a big road but ended with a pretty hiking trail and gorgeous views of the Mira River, Praia das Furnas and the old town on the other side. I sat on the beach for a while, sketching the view and admiring the clear turquoise water. You can also get a ferry over the river.

Some places I’d recommend to eat are Tasca Celso (cosy restaurant with lovely Alentejo food – make a reservation), La Bella Pizza (great service and pizza), 18 e Piques (healthy, tasty breakfasts and lunches in a modern yet cosy setting with an outside area on Largo do Rossio) and Stress Free (for a beer or quick bite, and there’s also accommodation with free bike rental for guests).

You can get to Vila Nova de Milfontes by bus from Lisbon. If you have a car, you can also easily visit other pretty places nearby, such as Porto Covo. The area is part of the Rota Vicentina hiking route and there are plenty of beautiful trails running along the coast and thereabouts, reaching down to the Algarve.

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