Being Francisco (my boyfriend) from Portugal, it was fair that I spent a few days in Portugal to know his country. So the past summer we took the car and drove from Madrid to Oporto, slept at his mother’s house and from there we started our road trip along the SW coast of Portugal.
Here is the map I created for you to follow our road trip:
Day 1: From Oporto to Carrapateira
Day 3: Aljezur – Odeceixe
Day 6: Peniche-Óbido-Oporto
I have been in Portugal a few times I had the impression that Portuguese, in general, are very welcoming and nice, but after this trip I noticed there is a difference between the North and the South of Portugal (my impression was from the North).
The Alentejo coast might be a hidden gem for the surfers, with beautiful windy beaches but since it´s still hidden, I got the impression that all the little towns are not properly prepare to receive tourist yet. They don´t treat you well, the service is really bad, a simple meal that can take you 30 minutes in any other place, here it will take you an hour and half, including chasing the waiters to pay the bill. This happened to us in all the restaurants we visited during the week.
ATM are rare in the area, and almost everything have to be paid in cash. It´s rare to be able to book in a restaurant, so don´t be surprised if you have to wait a while before getting a table.
We didn´t have any of these in mind before going to the Alentejo. We assumed (shame on me!) it was more or less the same as in Oporto or in Algarve, when it wasn´t. Also, we had an unexpected foggy weather that brought us down.
So, my recommendation is that if you love to surf, and your budget is a little tight, Alentejo could be a good option…bearing in mind that you´ll work on your patience at dinner time.
Here are the expenses per person of our trip, including the tolls and gas from and to Madrid, divided by 2 since we were 2 in the car. We used our car so we didn´t paid any extras on that. This expenses also included all the food expenses (water, snacks on the beach, coffee, restaurants, etc.).
|Others (parking, neoprene rentals, etc.)||40,5 €|