Facelift for west Algarve beaches

t’s a massive €47 million scheme, stretching up the coastline from Burgau in the western Algarve to Sines, and taking in 9,500 hectares – but for now, it is starting with small steps, and these include renovation works to the beaches of Ingrina, Martinhal and Boca do Rio.
The overall scheme of “Polis Litoral Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina” also envisages upgrading work to the Vila do Bispo beach Castelejo (on the west coast), and the southern coast’s Sagres favourite Mareta.
Polis administrative president André Matoso told Lusa news agency that the scheme incorporates improvements to the Sagres port of Baleeira, as well as work on the beachfronts of Burgau and Salema.
Elsewhere, dunes and clifftops will be secured, particularly around the windblown Forte de Almádena, which overlooks Boca do Rio, and natural vegetation protected around Sagres Point and Cape St Vincent.
The full extent of work in the Vila do Bispo area comes to €7.8 million euros, of which as much as €2 million has now become available. This will be used on the first three beaches to benefit from the scheme to “promote the conservation of nature and biodiversity, defend the coastline, protect people and property, as well as economic activities along the coast”, explained Matoso.
Much of the funding will go towards coastal protection as it wasn’t so long ago that Salema beachgoers were terrified when a thunderous 10-metre chunk of cliff crashed onto the beach early evening, narrowly missing a concession of sunshades. Fortunately, almost no one was on the beach, and there were no injuries – but the noise as the huge expanse of rock hit the sand was something few will ever forget.