During my fun time in Lisbon, while I adjusting to the new time zone, I found a great little place to rent for a month in Almoçageme, a small village on the coast. I chose this location as it was near to Sintra and Cascais-Estoril, but away from the tourist madness. When I saw the listing for the studio apartment situated behind the main family home, and messaged the couple who owned it, I knew it was the right place for me to relax for awhile.
I arrived on a Sunday afternoon after a train and a bus ride. Walking in down the winding footpaths from the main road filled my heart with a peaceful excitement. It was so cute and full of character, and so calming with wildflowers lining the path and birds chirping all around me.
When I reached the house, Luci was just arriving home, and welcomed me in as she was pulling in the driveway. Her husband Charles and the dog Luna then came out to meet us, and they showed me around, instantly making me feel at home. Luci is from Kansas and Charles from the UK, so we laughed about travel stuff as they introduced me to the area and I got settled in the beautiful property. I even had a welcome sign and fresh herbs for cooking on my counter! And to top it all off, I have a private patio for yoga and there’s a nice little pool too!
Once I was unpacked, I went for a walk to get my bearings. I visited the small town center just up the road, and was greeted by a marching band. I’m not exactly what was going on, but many people gathered in the church parking lot where they stopped and played a couple of songs before moving on.
Next, I made my way around to the other side of the house where I found the local weekend market. I had a lot of fun buying fresh veggies, fruit, olives, cheese, and wine. Later, I made the perfect meal to enjoy the sunset over the sea on the patio outside of my room,with my new friend Monti, the crazy little house cat! So beautiful!
The following day I was excited to walk down to the closest beach, Praia da Adraga. Wow, what a beautiful little beach with amazing rock formations and a cute local seafood restaurant and snack bar. I spent the morning enjoying the scenery, a couple brave surfers, and doing a little people watching as the waves rolled in.
When the afternoon came, I was hungry, so I grabbed a quick tosta (sandwich), and then carried on to explore the coastline. I had seen a trailhead on the way down, so I decided to check it out and see where it took me. AMAZING! I broke off the main road onto a small trail which let me to the first viewpoint! My heart was bubbling with so much excitement I wanted to scream! Rugged cliffs, huge rock outcroppings, and gorgeous sparkly blue water! It was definitely a bit of heaven on earth!
After dancing around and taking some photos, I anxiously carried on down the coast, constantly being amazed by the spectacular views! Over one hill and on to the next, the trails got steeper and rockier, but I could not stop. Luckily I had worn my trusty hiking skirt and sandals for the journey! When I looked down from the top of the second hill, I spotted another beach, and a lighthouse ahead on the third hill. I determined this was Cabo da Roca, the lighthouse at the westernmost point of Europe, and made it my goal.
Little did I know the trail would lead me down to the beach first, before I could climb the next steep hill. When I arrived at the final decent to the beach, the trail just ended, and there was a cliff dropping down to the beach. Although it looked sketchy, I decided I had made it this far and there was no way I was hiking back, so I had to figure it out. I slowly slithered my way down to a little nook in the beach where a few topless and nude sunbathers relaxed, and made little notice of me making my climb down. Finally, I made it! It felt good to pull of my dirty sandals and make my way into the fresh, cool water!
This is the final cliff I climbed down to get to the beach and looking back up once I made it!
After walking the beach and exploring a rocky cove with the most impressive cat arch (okay, maybe I was a bit delirious from the sun and the hiking, but I swear it was a cat! I also thought the rocks in the above photo made me look like I had cat ears!), it was time to continue the journey so I could reach the lighthouse and return home before it got dark. As it turns out, the beach was Praia da Ursa, the locals unofficial nude beach, and the only way out was a steep hike up the rocky hill. I strapped my sandals back on, and headed up, finally connecting back with the trail leading past the next beach and on to Cabo da Roca.
Can you see the cat arch and the trail of people hiking up from the beach in the photos below?
I had only seen a couple of people on the coastal hiking trails, so I was shocked when I reached Cabo da Roca with the lighthouse and the cross marking the westernmost point of Europe. It was swarming with busloads of tourists pushing their way in to get their photos at all of the typical photo spots. It really made me laugh inside seeing the madness, and knowing what none of them realized the real views were just a few hundred meters down the coast off the hiking trail! I’m grateful most will not make the effort and the truly gorgeous scenery is preserved for the few that will venture out into the unknown and seek out the treasures. These are my people!
I went into the little gift shop/snack bar, and after being cut off my a large rude family in need of huge ice cream cones, I was able to get a bottle of water to keep me hydrated on my hike home. I did not go back down the coastline, but instead opted for the rocky, dirt roads/paths, winding thorough the countryside back to town. The entire way, I passed only one guy out for a run. It was so peaceful!
Making it home just before night fell, I happily cooked some dinner and relaxed on the patio with a nice glass of wine. Everything was perfect!
During the next few days, I wandered around town and hiked over the hills to nearby towns, enjoying every minute of the quaint winding roads, colorful old homes and buildings, and the stunning views over the country.
Oh, and I made quick friends with Monti when I found some treats for her in a local shop!
I’ll see you again soon my friends! Peace, Love, and Hugs!
6 Replies to “A Month in Almoçageme, Portugal Part 1 – The Coastal Hike and Around Town”
Michelle, these views are so amazing. It’s so fun that you are sharing all of your adventures with us.
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Beautiful photos and you looking so peaceful and happy. Of course you finding the only naked beach in town!! Enjoy
Portugal is on my #1 bucket list to stay for awhile so you are doing all the checking out for me 🤣thanks
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Hi Blu! Haha, no problem. I’m happy to share all I learn with you! Miss you! Hugs!
Wonderful. Really awesome photos of the rocks. I do see the cat arch. You’re not seeing things!
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Oh good, glad you see it too! 🙂
Awesome very cool, looks like a great spot, beautiful locale with fabulous beaches! Enjoy Cheers
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