The Alentejo Coast
Monte das Nespereiras is a 7,5 ha secluded property within the Grândola Mountain Range, in the Alentejo Coast. The general atmosphere is a mix of casualness and understated style in a unique hideaway and countryside retreat within a very exclusive and hip touristic area.
The Alentejo coast and its historic towns, such as Grândola, have been moulded across centuries, first by the Phoenicians, then the Romans, then the Moors and later from the 13th by the Catholic Reconquista, each leaving an important print on the landscape. There are traces of forts and settlements from as early as the 6th century BC. The area became quite important in the Roman times due to the culture of salt, and there are Roman ruins and monuments scattered from Tróia in the north to Santiago do Cacém in the south, which are worth a visit.
Closest to Monte das Nespereiras, is the pretty village of Melides. It has a lovely church, a small market and supermarket, and some fabulous beaches. The Lagoa de Melides is stunning, especially in summer, when the rice fields become bright green. You can’t miss it!
Just to the south is the town of Sines, which is known for its geographically important port. It has a beautiful well preserved small Castle overlooking the narrow streets of the pleasant old centre. Sines hosts an excellent world music festival at the end of July. It has several small beautiful beaches usually with great panoramic views of the west coast. Also to the south is Santiago do Cacém, a lovely town full of character and its Roman ruins, and with a few nice traditional restaurants. To the north is the medieval town of Alcácer do Sal which is a little gem and definitely worth a visit. From there you can rent a boat and go up the river Sado.
Tróia, at the end of the peninsula, with its resort, golf course, casino, lovely quiet beach, restaurants and night clubs is a 30 minute drive to the north. Across from the beautiful peninsula, Setúbal and the Arrábida National Park are within easy reach via a ferry boat across the Sado Estuary, from which you can occasionally spot dolphins and flamingos. Setúbal has a nice historic centre and very good vegetable and fish markets. Beyond Setúbal, on the coast, Portinho da Arrábida and its National Park is a beautiful day trip, but should be avoided on summer weekends.
Comporta is an exclusive and understated resort for Portuguese and foreigners alike who enjoy and value their privacy – small secluded houses done in the traditional fashion are hidden away between pine trees or along the lovely green rice fields. Comporta, a quiet village with nice boutiques, is half way up towards Tróia. The area is situated in the limits of the wonderful Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, which allows the region to preserve all its astonishing natural beauty. The beaches combine the charm of its dunes, the extensive pine tree area and the refreshing ocean. There are several beaches to choose from all with nice restaurants and good parking facilities.
The beach which spans from Tróia to Sines, is the longest sandy beach in Europe: 100 km of protected and unspoiled coastline in a still undiscovered area! Even in August the beaches are not crowded, and if you are prepared to walk a mere 10 min to a beach with less access, you can have the beach to yourself. Both Melides and Aberta Nova beaches are located 8km from us. Both have small bars where you can get a simple meal and drinks for very affordable prices. The beaches towards Comporta have better facilities but are also more crowded; the further north you go on the Peninsula the flatter the waves.
- Water sports – The Alentejo coast is considered an excellent surf destination, combining consistent swells with perfect wind conditions. There are plenty of breaks to choose from, and the low-density tourism guarantees the absence of crowd. You can find surfing schools in both Pego beach in Comporta, and S. Torpes in Sines. Sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and rowing are also popular activities you can find in Tróia.
- Social events – From June to September local hip beach clubs host regularly trendy night beach parties with guest DJs. The “hippy chic” atmosphere is both casual and refined in Comporta, and more relaxed in Tróia. The traditional Fair of the Monte in Santiago do Cacém has its roots in the 16th century and happens in the 1st weekend of September.
- Cultural events – The renowned world music festival (Festival Músicas do Mundo) takes place every July in Sines. The Festroia International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the region and usually takes place in June.
Gastronomy and Wine Tasting
The region is famed for its gastronomy, with its fresh grilled fish being an inexpensive delight. The Alentejo is one of the most important wine regions in Portugal and you can find excellent wines at affordable prices. Five formal wine routes have been devised in the Setubal peninsula by the ‘Rota de Vinhos’ association, combining wine tasting with sightseeing, arts and nature. Excellent fresh fish and seafood restaurants are easy to find and inexpensive.
The Troia Championship golf course is 40 km away (30 minute drive).