Odeceixe Beach & Coastal Walk
Discover Dragons And Beautiful Beaches
There’s a little slice of heaven on the west coast of Portugal that blends bucolic countryside with a magnificent coastline, all of which I discovered on a coastal walk from Odeceixe. The village itself is about 3 kilometres inland and has a relaxed, non-beachy charm all of its own.
The River Seixe not only lends its name to this lovely spot, it forms the border between the Algarve and Alentejo regions at this point. It runs past the village through farmlands and wetlands then swirls across a great expanse of sand into the ocean at Praia de Odeceixe, creating a constantly shifting beachscape.
Circular Odeceixe coastal walk
At 13 km, the circular Odeceixe coastal walk sounded ideal.
It’s a circular route that starts in Odeceixe and should take you along the Fisherman’s Route and connect you with the Historical Trail to bring you back to the village.
The circular walk starts in Odeceixe’s main square, Largo 1 de Maio. Take the road that’s signposted for the praia (beach) at the side of AliSuper. As you leave the village, look out for a road sign and a path leading into the fields. It’s marked with the blue and green Rota Vicentina waymarkers.
If you only have time or energy for a short walk, just do this section. You can drive the 3 kilometres from Odeceixe, or take the tourist train in summer, park up and walk along the sandy paths through beautiful flowers as far as the dragon-shaped cliff.
You’ll see what I mean when you get there; the rocks curl round in the shape of a sleeping dragon which even looks as though it has scaly skin wrinkled around its shoulders. It’s a good job it’s not real as 3 brave fishermen were standing on its head.
Just in case you don’t spot the dragon, the marked trail veers away from the coast at this point, which is your cue to turn around and retrace your steps if you’re not doing the circular walk.
I was in nature heaven, and stopping every few seconds to take photos so I have no idea how long it would take you to do this linear section. Distance-wise, it’s about 3 km each way.
The attractive village of ODECEIXE tumbles down a hillside opposite the broad valley of the Ribeira da Seixe, below the winding, tree-lined main coast road. Sleepy out of season, its character changes in summer when it attracts a steady stream of surfers, campervanners and families, lured by a superb beach and a very laidback atmosphere. Everything centres on the single main street and a small square, Largo 1 de Maio, where you’ll find some lively bars, plenty of cafés, a couple of minimarkets, post office, bank and craft shops.