We are continuing with our theme of sharing some real gems and hidden places with you. This is one of our favourite places to go and hide when the Algarve gets really busy, or the sun gets too hot for us.
We fell in love with the west coast many years ago, and delight in exploring all that it has to offer. As well as its many beautiful beaches there are also some pretty little villages that are well worth exploring – and Odeceixe is right up there amongst our favourites.
Drive through Aljezur, keep going through Rogil, and then watch out for some eye-wateringly hair-pin bends that will drop down to the left hand turning that leads to Odeceixe – it’s not for the faint-hearted! Follow the signs on your left to the free car parking and then wander down into the village past the local market building.
We always manage to time our arrival to coincide perfectly with lunch .. and here’s our first secret spot for you – the unassuming-looking but rather amazing snack bar and restaurant Retiro do Adelino
Tucked away from the crowds, this really is a treat – although don’t be fooled by the exterior and tables – the food is amazingly good and great value. I had a beautiful freshly cooked polvo com batata doce – octopus with sweet potatoes – for 8.50e
And Dave had a wonderful bacalhau for 10e
They also have set menus each day for about 8e and the menu is very varied – and if it’s winter time and they have rabbit stew on the menu .. then all we can say is – go for it – it’s amazingly good!
After the owner had walked past us from the kitchen outside carrying a still warm home-made honey and coffee cake .. well it would have been rude not to try a piece with a coffee …
After all that food, it was time for a wander around the village – it’s the sort of place you just have to amble around, enjoying the streets and shops and village life
The church is easy to find – the doors were locked (of course) so we will have to come back another day to have a look inside:
The gardens of the church have a lovely old-fashioned country cottage feel to them, full of plants and flowers:
And the view from the end of the path is wonderful:
Many of the houses have been sympathetically restored – like these pretty holiday cottages with their colourful doors and windows:
All roads will eventually lead you to the top of the village and its impressive moinho – or windmill:
We went up there on a windy day this week and it was almost eerie as the wind was blowing through the sail masts and making a loud almost haunting musical sound – something we have never heard before.
There are plans afoot by Aljezur Council to further renovate the windmill to make it more of a tourist attraction, and allow easier access up to the top of the hill. The views from the top are quite spectacular – let’s hope they keep something of the natural beauty of the spot when they do the work though.
Back down in the village you can spot so many little features – like this pretty tile painting on the side of a house, the flowers are all raised up and the surrounding tiles of the house all match beautifully – we’d love to know more about this one:
The main square is a tranquil spot to sit and watch the world go by slowly – you get the feeling that nothing would happen very fast here!
There are enough coffee shops and cafés here to keep you company too
A real delight was this lovely little gift and craft shop near the centre – we waited around for it to re-open after lunch at 3pm (most shops are shut here between 1 and 3pm) and it was worth the wait.
Arte Natural is a real delight a treasure trove of gifts, jewellery, arts and crafts to explore:
I picked up three new bracelets for 11.50e – the prices are very reasonable and the quality and range of products on display was a real surprise for such a sleepy little village:
The village gets much busier in the summer months – it’s a haven for surfers and people looking for a relaxed holiday – and one of the reasons why has to be the Seixe river which meanders down to the beach and the sea – it’s stunningly beautiful
Beware the signs from the village marked Praia though – don’t be fooled into thinking you can walk there in five minutes .. our advice is take the car – it’s a lot further than you think!
Odeciexe beach village itself is a quiet little place, a couple of streets, a few houses and a café or two, and a tourist gift shop. The real treat is the beach, which is wide, sandy and inviting – but no dogs are allowed on the beach. The view from the bench at the top of the hill though was pretty spectacular!
To the south of the main beach you will find a separate small cove called Praia de Adegas, which is a designated naturist beach.
We are planning a trip back to Odeceixe for its Saints Day festival, which we think is the 29th June. Last year we just happened upon it by chance on the way to somewhere else, the streets were lined with an amazing display of paper flowers strewn above the pavements:
Everyone seemed to have played their part in decorating the village, the saints celebrate both marriage and fertility and wonderful characters made from recycled materials lined the streets:
One of the highlights were the brides and grooms that led up to the church – they were fabulous:
The preparations were in full flow for the music and dancing – and street barbeques were planned for that evening – sadly even though several local people asked us to stay – we had another appointment and couldn’t make it back there in time – but this year it’s in our diary ready! Let’s hope this busker will be there entertaining the crowds again:
For such a small place there is so much going on – good food, a friendly welcome, excellent shopping, and the most beautiful beach imaginable. If you want a day out with a difference, then head west – and make sure Odeceixe is on your route!
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