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Beaches and field in Setúbal and Alentejo

This is a traveling story in Setúbal and Alentejo lands in Portugal about beaches and relaxed places of excellence, for travellers looking for something different and special.

The places for visiting are: Melides beach (horse riding), Grândola, Comporta beach and Alcácer do Sal.

Our traveling has taken off from Lisboa up to the horse riding in Melides, about 130kms from Lisbon. Melides is a small village of Grândola in Alentejo Litoral. We have travelled in a hot day crossing the Vasco da Gama bridge, following by the 5 and 10 National roads.

Once in Center of Melides we have noticed the calmness of the local people. The route up to the horse riding is done by an unpaved road but suitable for cars. We have observed from one side, a vast green area of field rice, the extension of Melides lagoon and the other side typical holm oak trees from the Alentejo Liitoral forest.

Arrozais meliides
Landscape of field rice

Azinheiras Alentejo Melides
A set of holm oak trees

Upon arrival at the horse riding it reminded us the cowboy movies where the horses were waiting for the visitants. Our guide Mr. Tiago, has given an induction what would be the horse riding adventure.

Picadeiro cavalos Melides
A view of the horse riding (I)

cavalos Melides
A view of the horse riding (II)

Cavalo solitario Melides
A solo horse

It was my own ride with an imposing and nice horse called Polo and then we have started the ride along an area of natural reserve with diverse vegetation in particular exotics species at sands environment.

Horse riding at natural reserve

It was a route of about of 2kms very peaceful until we start to see the Vigia beach. Going down the sand dunes we ride along the shoreline. Immediately we have noticed we were in an endless virgin beach without or few human presence in particular fishermen. It is a beautiful beach with Sun shining, extensive sandy and with blue-greenish transparent waters .

dunas cavalo Melides
Approaching to Vigia beach

Dunas Melides
The dunes and the sea of Vigia beach

 Cavalos Melides MarHorse riding along the shoreline

Mar MelidesThe sea at Vigia beach

Cavalos praia Vigia
In a relaxed atmosphere

Cavalo montado MelidesMe and my friend Polo

Grupo cavalos MelidesThe group walking away from the beach

Once again we move away from the shoreline in direction of Melides lagoon, a paradise of nature. From greenish colours, it is composed by small islands. It is well known by its eels and by the sea bass fish being one of Alentejo gastronomic plates . I have seen some herons but take binoculars with you if you want to see them.

Lagoa cavalos Melides
The lagoon of Melides

Lagoa MelidesThe lagoon seen from the top

Some pine forest and the lagoon at the bottom

From my experience is, a pleasant horse riding tour with a beautiful landscape.

Of course, after those energies fading away our stomach was claiming and we ended up with a deserved lunch at Melides beach.

Almoço Melides
The deserved lunch. At the bottom the Melides beach

After we finished the lunch, we have travelled to Grândola city about 23kms of Melides. We have visited a hosting house in rural tourism of Mr. Luís linked to nature. We were astonished by the ostriches. It looked we were in Africa. It was time for eating while were keen to feed the ostriches. Their beaks got close to our hands swallowing the corn. The operation was perfect and everything was done with smoothness giving us too much pleasure. It is also an excellent place for walks.

Avestruzes GrandôlaThe famous ostriches

Avestruzes Grandola 1Eating time

Turismo rural GrandolaThe natural fullness of the accommodation

Alojamento Local GrandolaWhen the temperature rises

Yet in Grândola, the next stop was about 25 minutes. We climb the mountain driving by a narrow road up to the Santa Margarida da Serra where Mr. Luís has other local accommodation. We love the silent of the mountain and its natural landscape mainly covered by Montando de Sobro and Azinho trees.

Serra Santa Margarida GrandolaLandscape at Santa Margarida da Serra

Yet, we went to bath at Comporta beach about 30kms of Grândola. Believe, this is one of best beaches in Portugal. The water temperature is excellent for people less comfortable with cold waters. Also, yours feet will feel, the seafloor for some long distance.

ComportaBath at Comporta beach

Praia ComportaRelaxing at beach

After we have spent good time in Comporta beach, we want to taste the famous gastronomy of the region and, nothing better going for a dinner in the Alcácer do Sal city about 30kms from Comporta beach. On the way, the sunset looked to rest over the field rice.

Por do Sol Arrozais
The sunset behind the field rice

Once at Alcácer do Sal, we have crossed the metallic bridge over Sado's river. We parked the car next to square Luís de Camões and walking between some narrow streets, we ended up to Pedro Nunes square. Pedro Nunes was a famous mathematician of XVI century inventor of nonious linked to the a navigation at time and the city has a museum to visit with his name.

Praça Pedro NunesPedro Nunes square in Alcacer do Sal

Ponte pedonal Alcacer do SalThe pedestrian bridge in Alcácer do Sal over Sado’s river

We have opted dinning in the restaurant A Papinha in outdoors with sight to the river. The dishes were pork meat of Alentejo and Secretos of pork. They were a delicious.

Carne de Porco AlentejanaPork meat of Alentejo

Secretos de carne de PorcoSecretos of grilled pork

Melides, Grândola, Comporta e Alcácer do Sal are places with local people, inspiring calmness and affection as well as the horse riding, the beaches, the contact with nature and gastronomy as a whole are for us the bigger attractions of those places.

We are very grateful sharing with the travelling lovers this our fantastic experience. We hope you may have the opportunity and pleasure travelling for those spots.

Thanks to Manuel Manero for blogging recommendations

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Rui Vasconcelos

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