Porto Covo, Portugal
Here’s how to find Porto Covo and the Mermaid Retreat. Please ask us anything at all!
Located just 8 minutes from Porto Covo, our community of old family farms is called Cabeça da Cabra.
Distance to services + airports via car:
Mostly highway or well-maintained tollway with services. Easy drive at night.
Winding, narrow roads through picturesque farms and villages with limited services. Challenging drive at night.
Our quaint historic fishing village on the coast offers restaurants + cafes, shops, ATM, grocery, bookstore, pharmacy, ice cream, bakery, family beaches, walking paths, and a park with playground.
Vila Nova de Milfontes
All sorts of restaurants, shops, banks, and services including a tourist center, medical + dental, pharmacies, post office, and of course – ice cream. There is a large outdoor market every 2nd + 4th Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Food is available on site and sold for takeaway.
It is the closest thing to a city with all of the chain stores, the only McDonald’s, and a real movie theatre. It is the home of the famous explorer Vasco da Gama. You can visit the castle (a fort, not a palace) where he grew up. It has a fabulous view of the harbor and coastline and is home to the annual World Music Festival.
Santo Andre is not very interesting as towns go. Past the town is the Lagoa de Santo Andre (10ish minutes beyond Santo Andre) and a huge beach worth visiting. There is a visitor center (that’s not open very often) where you can picnic and walk along the east side of the lagoa. It is very interesting and worth the short detour to visit and traipse around.
Several restaurants + cafes worth experiencing, good place to walk + hike. There is a fun + funky flea market every 3rd Sunday from 10am – 3pm. Food is available on site and sold for takeaway.
Odemira is located at the head of the Rio Mira with a beautiful park and walking paths along the river. It is the largest town in the area with a wide variety of shops, services and restaurants such as a handmade chocolate shop and a movie theatre. At the top of the hill is a working windmill (moinho de venta) with a stellar view. While tourists visit there, it is far less touristic than towns along the beach. Odemira is the equivalent of the county seat for the municipality.
Other Historical Villages:
There are many, many more towns and villages suitable for day trips. Here’s a short list to get you started:
Local Markets Abound!
Markets are a way of life in the Alentejo. There is some sort of market every weekend throughout the year. Some offer everything you can imagine – fruit + vegetables, hardware, clothing, cheese, furniture, housewares, honey + sweets – the works! Others are low key with a high funk factor selling handspun and organic items like handmade baskets, olive oil soap, incense + tinctures, socks from the wool of local sheep, gluten + dairy-free baked goods, handmade jewelry, and vegetables with fresh earth from being harvested that morning. All markets are magical! Come and enjoy them.
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Each Season is New