the serra´s in the southwest of Portugal
beaches in the southwest of Portugal

The climate in the Wild Southwest of Portugal is among the best in the world, with over 3000 hours of sunshine a year – even Christmas can be sunny and warm! 

Along the coastline is the best conserved nature reserve in Europe – the Parque Vincenta de Alentejano, an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

Check out the rocks when they are exposed at low tide to discover starfish, barnacles and  whelks. Explore the cliffs to find storks, hawks and swifts. The miles of sand dunes offer a special habitat for rare plants. Several rivers flow into the Atlantic ocean here, creating a breeding spot for fish, molluscs and crustaceans which are served in the seaside restaurants. Try the clams with coriander – delicious! Or share a very large sea bass! 

See Food and Drink for a selection of places to eat. 

This plaintive Song of the Sea is sung in Fado, the blues of Portugal, by Dulce Pontes.

Inland there is great biodiversity – with much of the land uncultivated in the rolling 'serras'. Forests of oaks, pine and eucalyptus are home to eagles and wild boar. 

The arbutus bush (strawberry tree) grows wild, the local firewater Medronho is distilled from its fruit. Some of the plant species here cannot be found anywhere else in the world! 

In the valleys self-sufficient farmers live as they have always done – growing olives, fruit and vegetables and keeping 'black' pigs and a wide variety of poultry.

Visit the yearly festivals which range from celebrating the local sausages to the largest world music festival in Portugal.  Go glamping or hire a campervan, stay in a Pousada or rent your own holiday villa. From water sports to quiet retreats the Wild Southwest has something for you. 

If you fall in love with this region and want to stay longer see our Buy or rent page. 

World class wine is now being produced here so why not visit a vineyard or two and sample the range of robust reds typical of the region – or taste the delicate and fragrant whites from the coastal areas around Setúbal.

Away from the coast a set lunch can cost as little as seven euros for a three course meal! Or just take a break and order coffee and the nation's favourite cake – Pastel de Nata – a delicious rich custard tart. Download the recipes by clicking on the dishes above or visit Food and drink for more

Campaniça viola music – these strange shaped guitars are made and played
in the Wild Southwest. 


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Pastel de nata © Jessica Spengler 
Seafood rice © Cayetano Delgado