The UK’s Financial Times has named what it considers to be the best Portuguese beach. And far from being one of the names usually trotted out, this one is in the extreme west – on the coast that leads up to the Alentejo.Praia de Castelejo has been described by the FT’s travel journalist Paul Richardson as “a perfect beach”.
“The south coast of the Algarve might have been my travel disappointment of 2015,” he wrote after a weekend visit to Portimão. “But from Portimão I turned tail, drove to Cape St Vincent, Portugal’s south-westernmost point, then rounded the corner and came upon a different world.
”The Algarve’s western seaboard, running from Sagres to Odeceixe, “may be the best preserved 60km of coastline anywhere in southern Europe”, he adds, with beaches like Bordeira, Amado and Arrifana “for connoisseurs of real beaches”.
But none were as “flagrantly fiercely beautiful as Castelejo, a few miles out of Vila do Bispo” – a place for those who crave “primitive wildness …not massages and Magnums”.Anyone who knows and loves Castelejo, and its neighbour Cordoama, can only agree with Mr Richardson, and say: “Shhhh….This is one of those secrets you don’t want to share”.