The next morning, not so bright and early, we hopped into our car (after another decadent breakfast at the Four Seasons), said farewell to Lisbon and headed off in search of more of more of what Portugal had to offer.
Our base for the next few days was one I’d honestly never really thought about visiting or even really heard of till we found this amazing hotel in the national park.
Let’s face it – most people tend to visit Portugal either for its amazing beaches/coastline or for its beautiful towns and cities – not so much so its national parks so while this wasn’t the most obvious choice, I was very intrigued and rather excited to explore a totally different part of Portugal.
Our home for the next few days was the Enigma – Nature & Water Hotel in Odemira.
Despite the hotel being in a national park, Odemira is one of those places in the South of Portugal that isn’t too far from the coast so you really get the best of both worlds here (as we got to find out over the next few days.
But first, let me show you around what would be our home for the next 5 days…
Due to a mix-up, the actual rooms we had reserved were unavailable for the first couple of nights – which would have been a bummer but was certainly no issue whatsoever when we got shown into a 2-bedroom apartment that would be replacing our initial reservations. 😀
(*The rooms we booked were amazing but getting a fairly spacious apartment most certainly felt like an upgrade!)
We decided to just kick back for the rest of the afternoon by the pool and make the most of the sunshine before the sun finally set at which point we drove into Odemira’s quaint little centre for dinner and drinks. The entire day was nice and lazy, just the way any good holiday should be. 😀
The following morning, we decided to head off in search of the coast and its beaches – which we found in no time whatsoever.
The scenery around here is absolutely gorgeous and you start to get a taste of that famously jagged and dramatic Portuguese coastline within minutes from the hotel.
By the way, nudity on the beaches here is also not unusual – something I found out later on when looking through photos on a bigger screen and realising that empty golden sandy beach in a desolate cover served as perfect camouflage for a golden-tanned naked sunbather. 😆😆
After wandering around the beach for a while, we hopped into the car and headed in no direction in particular till we came across Aljezur with its castle perched at the top of the mountain.
We made our way through the empty quaint streets intent on walking all the way up to the castle before our innate holiday laziness kicked in and we decided to drive (thankfully, its relative emptiness meant that driving up was no problem whatsoever – same with parking right next to the castle).
The castle itself is of Moorish origins and is over 800 years old and has pretty epic views of the surrounding villages and countryside – a view which looked even more dramatic with the impending rain.
There isn’t a whole lot to do around the castle so after checking out the view for a bit, we hopped into the car (escaping the rain by all of 5 minutes) and headed down to the coast.
The coastline here is absolutely spectacular! It looked great in the sunshine but in the rain, with the waves crashing into shoreline, it’s truly a thing of beauty.
You then turn literally 180 degrees to the other side where the beach is and it’s just so much calmed – almost like it’s from a different source.
For dinner, we had our sights set on a restaurant in Aljezur which it turns out was fully booked for the evening and with that, we went for our second choice Pont’A Pe – which was also busy but thankfully had a table clear up ready for us within 15 minutes.
Thirsty, I wasted no time in getting what miiiight have been a sharing jug of Sangria all for myself! I know we’re not in Spain but that stuff is really good here (I got a taste before deciding to get it).
The meals in Pont’A Pe are not necessarily the “prettiest” when you see it all laid out but don’t be fooled for a second – they taste incredible! Like seriously sooooo good! (My recommendation here, it would be to go with pretty much anything off the grill menu. It’s what they’re known for).
My lambchops came out seasoned to perfection, Lloyd wouldn’t shut up about his peri peri chicken. I kid you not, I had major cravings to return here over the next few days we spent in Odemira.
A few Sangrias later (with dessert thrown in for good measure), we decided to call it a night. Odemira so far has turned out to be a far better for a seaside holiday than I could have anticipated and I couldn’t wait to explore even more of it and its surrounds! 😀