The attractive village of ODECEIXE tumbles down a hillside opposite the broad valley of the Odeceixe River, below the winding, tree-lined main coast road. Sleepy out of season, its character changes in summer when it attracts a steady stream of surfers, campervanners and families, lured by a superb beach and a very laidback atmosphere. Everything centres on the single main street and a small square, Largo 1 de Maio, where you’ll find some lively bars, plenty of cafés, a couple of minimarkets, post office, bank and craft shops.

The beach, Praia de Odeceixe, is 4km west of the village, reached down a verdant river valley, the fields either side neatly cultivated with corn. A road-train trundles between village and beach during July and August (approx hourly 10am–5pm), but it’s a lovely walk along the road as well, following the river to a broad, sandy bay framed by low cliffs. It is one of the most sheltered beaches along this stretch of coast, offering superb surfing and relatively safe swimming, especially when the tide is out. There’s lots of parking above the bay, as well as a cluster of houses and cafés, some offering quartos.

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