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19 Cool Swimming Spots in Alentejo

Did you know there are 19 cool swimming spots in Alentejo? Alentejo is a region known for its fantastic landscapes, medieval villages and castles, as well as the rich food and wine. Did you know that it is also home to some of the most unusual swimming spots? It’s a bit hard to choose a top 10, when the Alentejo covers one third of the country, so we have put together our top 19 unusual places to swim! These include river beaches, waterfalls and beaches with a little special something that sets it apart from the rest. Read on and plan your next holiday in Alentejo!

River beaches

River Beaches are all the rage at the moment, and also a great place to go if you’re not really into waves and crowds! The Alentejo offers a wealth of spectacular river beaches including:

1. Monsaraz River Beach – Monsaraz

One of the many beaches along the Alqueva Dam, it has also been named a Blue Flag beach, Accessible Beach and Safe beach! A great place for families as you can find an on site restaurant, playground and picnic area!

2. Portagem River Beach – Marvao

With the Marvao Castle in the distance, plenty of trees and grassy areas, this is a wonderful option for nature lovers who are looking for a bit of sports as well! With a picnic area, children’s playground and sports complex, this river beach is an amazing location!

3. Tapada Grande River Beach – Mertola

Near Mertola, you will find this lovely river beach complete with straw umbrellas to protect you from the sun! A great place for all ages, you’ll find a communal BBQ area with picnic tables. If you’re not quite in the mood to cook, you can also enjoy a light meal at the on site restaurant! There are also kayaks and pedal boats for rent so you can go off exploring on your own!

4. Gameiro River Beach – Mora

In beautiful natural surroundings, you will enjoy swimming in clear waters. There is also a playground and onsite bar for snacks and drinks. While you’re in the area, you may want to check out the local aquarium, Fluvial de Mora. Here you’ll find a wide variety of animals from fish to otters!

5. Ribeira da Venda River Beach – Portalegre

If you love greenery, this is the beach for you! With vast grassy areas and shady trees, this is the perfect place for taking a dip in the river! With a snack bar, kiddie pool, and walking trails, it’s a great family friendly place! Oh did we mention that there is also a roman bridge on the grounds?

6. Montargil Dam – Ponte de Sor Portalegre

Lay your towel under a tree and enjoy the warm waters! There is a local camp ground where you can access this beach, but if you want to get away from it all, you can move a bit further down where there are less people. There are no lifeguards on this beach, so caution is advised, particularly if you are coming along with children.

7. Almal River Beach – Gaviao

A lovely beach. bathed by the Tagus River. It is easily accessible by car and makes you feel like you are at a normal beach! With umbrellas, lounge chairs, bar and restaurant, as well as nautical activities, it is a location that is perfect for families or those looking for a comfortable experience!

8. Mourao River Beach – Mourao

One of the largest beaches of the Alqueva dam, it has been built to give you a feel of a sandy beach, but alongside one of the Alentejo’s most loved areas! With picnic area, diving board and slide, it’s like a natural water park! There is also a lovely picnic area for a leisurely lunch under shady trees.

9. Pego das Pias River Beach – Odemira

Our TOP River beach in Alentejo! A true natural work of art, you will find yourself bathing in the waters surrounded by a ring of natural rock formations! The whole trail is surrounded in lush greenery and unusual rock formations making this our absolute favorite river beach!

Waterfalls

Waterfalls, the ultimate nature experience! Surprisingly, Alentejo also has quite a few! Surrounded by greenery and spectacular rocks and boulders, you’ll love these hidden treasures in the Alentejo!

10. Pego do Inferno – Sao Mamede Natural Park

In the heart of the Sao Mamede Natural Park, you will find four fantastic waterfalls! The first and easiest to find in Poco do Inferno (Hell’s Pit). Trust us, this location is more paradise than hell and only 5 minutes of walking from car to waterfall! Here are the GPS coordinates:

Latitude: 39°11’52.0″N

Longitude: 7°17’11.0″W

11. Arronches Waterfall – Sao Mamede Natural Park

Another lovely waterfall in Sao Mamede is the Arronches River Waterfall! A bit more difficult to reach, but well worth the hike! Getting to the bottom of the waterfall is a challenge, so it’s not the best option for children or people with limitations to their mobility. Here are the GPS coordinates:

Latitude: 39°17’42.1″N

Longitude: 7°20’15.2″W

12. Cabroeira Waterfall – Sao Mamede Natural Park

Right next door to Spain, you’ll find the Cabroeira Waterfall. Tricky to reach as you’ll have to hike approximately one kilometer each way, but totally worth the effort! This waterfall is unlike anything you will normally see in the Alentejo and the surrounding area is quite breathtaking! Here are the GPS coordinates:

Latitude: 39°17’42.1″N

Longitude: 7°20’15.2″W

13. Sao Juliao Waterfall – Sao Mamede Natural Park

A picturesque waterfall in amazing natural surroundings! Getting to the waterfall is all downhill, so it’s pretty easy. The return can be a little more challenging as it will be all uphill! All in all it is well worth the trip to truly get away from it all! Here are the GPS coordinates:

Latitude: 39°18’57.5″N

Longitude: 7°19’54.3″W

14. Cobras Waterfall – Amalia Beach in Odemira

On the famous Costa Vicentina, you will find the Cobra Waterfall, or Snake Waterfall in English. Though technically on a beach, it is a true waterfall and home to many (harmless) water snakes. If snakes aren’t your cup of tea, you may want to skip this one! Amalia Beach was also named after the world renowned Fado singer Amalia Rodrigues! At the top of the cliff you’ll see her house and stone staircase leading to the beach

15. Furnas Waterfall – Vila, Nova de Milfontes

Along the Mira River, leading to the Furnas beach, you’ll find lush green areas with a variety of small trickling waterfalls! Enjoy the the calm surroundings and cool waters! Access to the waterfall can be a bit tricky!

16. Pulo do Lobo Waterfall

An untouched region where the river flows among breathtaking rock formations! Located in Mertola, you’ll have to enter the Pulo do Lobo homestead to reach it. With the ricks forming a variety of natural pools, you’ll find it is a fantastic natural work of art! There is also a river beach for safe swimming, so if you’re in the area, you’ll want to check this out!

Unusual Beaches

There are many amazing beaches in Portugal, and some of the most beautiful are located in the famous Costa Vicentina in Alentejo! We’ve put together a list of Alentejo beaches that offer you a bit more than the standard sun, sand and waves!

17. Sao Torpes Beach – Sines

If you’re not keen on diving into the cooler waters of the Atlantic, you may want to try the Sao Torpes Beach! Known for warm waters reaching up to 30 degrees Celcius /86 degrees Farenheit. The heat of the water is due to its proximity to the local thermal power station. Don’t worry, there are no effects on the safety of swimming in these waters!

18. Samouqueira Beach – Porto Covo

An unusual beach as it is surrounded by amazing rock formations! Access is a little tricky, but the surroundings are so worth the effort! A rugged beach with lots to explore including rock formations and also a waterfall! Low tide is the best time as you can take advantage of the tide pool.

19. Furnas Beach – Milfontes

Visiting Furnas beach guarantees you a two in one experience – river beach AND sea beach! The best time to visit is at low tide, when a natural lagoon is formed, which makes for a fun kiddie

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