ALJEZUR, THE HEART OF THE VICENTINA COAST
In the heart of the Costa Vicentina, Aljezur is distinguished among the best European destinations for Nature Tourism. With stunning landscapes, between the mountains and the sea, which shelter different natural habitats and a high biodiversity, a coast that hosts the best beaches in Portugal and a geological, fauna and floristic heritage of high scientific value, Aljezur arouses emotions.
In addition to an overwhelming natural heritage, the cultural heritage of Aljezur is extraordinarily rich and diverse. From traditional architecture to churches worthy of a careful visit, to museums and museums that faithfully portray the life of these people, to the most striking archaeological remains that attest to the importance of this territory since prehistoric times, including gastronomic gems and excellent local products.
Land of fish and abundant meat, as well as rich vegetables, it is impossible to resist the sweet potato of Aljezur (PGI), which deserves honors in one of the best gastronomic festivals in the Algarve region, the Sweet Potato Festival of Aljezur. Wonderful sea bream, sea bream and sea bass cooked or grilled over charcoal, Moorish porridge with “pikes”, the cabbage or beans with sweet potatoes, the octopus in sauce or in salads, the excellent perceptions and mussels from the Costa Vicentina, the fried moray e sausages, are very popular dishes and snacks. Not forgetting the famous sweets, based on the main local product: cake, pie, pudding or sweet potato pastries and the fried Aljezur, among other delicacies, combined with an aromatic medronho spirit, produced for centuries in this region of the country, they delight many who come here to enjoy them. Divine knowledge and flavors, in fact!
Aljezur, a natural and cultural treasure to share, all year round.
PLACES TO VISIT
Castle of Aljezur
This Moorish castle dating from the 10th century was built to guard the old river port that once served as access to the sea, and was one of the last Moorish fortresses in the Algarve to be captured during the Christian reconquest in the 13th century. Two towers, the walls and a cistern still remain in their top position on the hill, offering fabulous panoramic views of the surrounding spaces.
Church of Mercy
Located in the historic center, this original church from the 16th century was rebuilt in the 18th century after the 1755 earthquake. It still maintains its Renaissance door.
Parish Church of Nossa Senhora da Alva / Igreja Nova
This 18th century church was built by order of the Bishop of the Algarve to replace the original parish church that was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. Inside, the statue of Nossa Senhora de Alva – patron saint of Aljezur – stands out, behind the altar- mor, the 16th century Manueline baptismal font and two 17th century statues in the side chapels, originating from the Monastery of Nossa Senhora do Desterro, in Monchique.
Located in the building of the old town hall of the 19th century, this museum displays works of art, archaeological remains discovered in the region and an ethnographic section containing examples of agricultural implements and a reconstruction of the interior of a traditional house in Aljezur.
Museum of Sacred Art Monsignor Manuel Francisco Pardal
Attached to the Igreja da Misericórdia, this museum is named after an important patron of Aljezur and displays an excellent collection of sacred art.
José Cercas Painter House Museum
This museum contains several antiques and works of art belonging to the local artist José Cercas, donated to the municipality after his death.
Ribât de Arrifana
Located at the top of the cliffs of Ponta da Atalaia and with excellent panoramic views over the coast, this 12th century Moorish fortress is one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula. It was built for defensive and religious purposes, and excavations revealed the existence of several mosques, a minaret and a prayer wall in the direction of Mecca.
Seasonal Islamic Fishermen’s Village
The remains of this 12th century Moorish fishing village can be seen at Ponta do Castelo, near Carrapateira. Several fishing instruments, ceramics and traces of fish and animals were discovered.
Corte Cabreira Necropolis
It is believed that the tombs dated from the Bronze Age next to the village of Aljezur date back to 1800 BC. Most of the objects found on the site are visible in the Municipal Museum.