Peace and quiet on the shores of Salema, Portugal

While the Costa del Sol in Spain gets all the publicity, there are a number of quiet, beautiful beaches just across the border in Portugal in the Algarve region, located on the south coast of Portugal.  My tip for a relaxing Algarve beach vacation to get away and enjoy the sun and the water is the village of Salema.

best Algarve beaches

A view of Salema from above the cliffs

While there are more popular and bigger towns on the Algarve, Salema is a small fishing village made up of both locals and tourists. Half of the people in Salema are fishermen and kids. The other half include the tourists who have stumbled across this beautiful stretch of coastline on the south western tip of Portugal. Salema doesn’t have much to offer and don’t expect much of a nightlife. While the fishermen enjoy the daily life of fish and octopus, tourists enjoy stretching out on the beach or hiking along the cliffs.

Salema consists of a couple of streets, three hotels, a few restaurants, and a number of rooms for rent.  There is an internet cafe, a market, and some tourist shops but there isn’t much to see and do.  And that’s exactly why Salema is a great getaway.

best Algarve beaches

Walking along the beach

Because it is a fishing village, Salema offers some great seafood restaurants including The Atlantico which is right on the beach and provides lifeguard service for beach goers.  Other restaurants include the Boia Bar and Restaurant, Mira Mar, and Restaurante O Lourenço.  Try some cataplana, some fresh seafood, or a dessert wine.  While there are other local options available for dining, these offer the best views.

If you need a place to stay, check out the Pensión Mare, Romantik Villa, or the “big” hotel, Hotel Residencial Salema.  If you want to rent a room, there are plenty of quartos available as well.  You can reserve rooms in advance or look for quartos when you arrive, all with decent prices.  Be aware that July and August are very crowded so plan your trip wisely for the best rates and places to stay.  Germans and Brits have made this popular but it can still be a nice Algarve beach vacation for those looking for something a little different.

best Algarve beaches

Hiking along the cliffs

If you want to explore, get out and hike along the cliffs above Salema.  There are some great trails, homes, and some of the best Algarve beaches along the path and you might find a great spot to enjoy away from some of the crowds.  A 30 minute hike from Salema even leads you to a clothing optional beach if you choose to explore.  Regardless of your beach preferences, the hike along the cliffs offers some fabulous views of Salema.

Salema is located between Lagos and Cape Sagres and is accessible from the train station in Lagos by bus.  It’s a 15 mile drive or 30 minute bus ride from Lagos.  So explore, relax, and enjoy doing nothing on a beautiful stretch of Algarve coastline in  Portugal.