Vila nova de Milfontes
Vila Nova De Milfontes is a charming town that lies on the western edge of the Alentejo coastline partway between Lisbon and the Algarve. Surrounding Milfontes is a stunning coastline of rugged cliffs and sandy beaches both of which are constantly pounded by the ferocious Atlantic Ocean. The town of Vila Nova Milfontes is situated on the Mira River and this, historically, provided shelter for the town’s fishing fleet.
Vila Nova De Milfontes is a popular holiday destination with the Portuguese families and young couples but is completely undiscovered by non-Portuguese tourists mainly due to the distance from a major airport. As the resort is designed for the Portuguese there are many reliable and inexpensive coach services connecting to the major towns and accommodation, restaurants and bars in Milfontes are all good value.
The final advantage of being aimed at the Portuguese is that their summer holiday season is very short, outside of this beaches are deserted and hotels have plenty of space. Vila Nova De Milfontes has been developed in a responsible manner, there are no major apartment blocks engulfing the coast, everything still retains the Alentejo small town atmosphere.
This lack of development has extended to the regions beaches where as in any other country there would be mass tourism in Milfontes the coastline is wild and rugged. The beaches are ideal for surfing or body boarding due to the massive swells that originate from the Atlantic Ocean and all surfing equipment can be easily hired. Other activities away from the beach include cycling or hiking through the national park that surrounds Milfontes and there are many good coastal walks that start from Vila Nova. For the less energetic, there are cafes and bars to spend the day relaxing. Vila Nova is also an ideal base to explore the westerly region of the Alentejo including the cliff hanging town of Zambujeira do Mar, the regions capital of Odemira or the fortified town of Sines.
Lisbon to Vila Nova de Milfontes
he simplest method of transport to reach Vila Nova De Milfontes, for those without a rental car, is by coach. The main coach operator is Rede Express with the journey originating from Sete Rios(Seven Rivers bus station) in Lisbon. This bus station is served by Jardim Zoológico metro station on the blue metro line. The journey is surprisingly long at 3.5 hours with fast progress for the first 150km along the toll motors ways but slows dramatically down for the last 70km connecting all of the smaller towns of the route.
Lisbon To Vila Nova Milfontes Timetable
This date is provided for information and was accurate at the time of writing (2013) but always check seasonal and annula variations. Lisbon To Vila Nova de MilfontesDeparture timeArrival timeInformation07:30 10:30Daily10:3014:00Daily15:0018:55 Daily17:0020:30DailyVila Nova de Milfontes To LisbonDeparture timeArrival
timeInformation08:4512:15Daily09:3513:35Daily17:0520:45DailyDuring the summer months there is up to 3 buses departing for the 17:05 service back to Lisbon.
Praia do Malhao Beach
The Praia do Malhao is a stunning and expansive beach that is situated to the north of Vila Nova de Milfontes. The isolated beach is set amidst the Sudoeste Alentejano national park and this has protected this beautiful coastline from development. The Praia do Malhao beach has absolutely no development and this adds to the remote and natural allure of the region, which is the main attraction of the beach.
Praia das Furnas Beach
The Praia das Furnas lies on the opposite bank to Vila Nova da Milfontes on the mouth of the Mira River. Half of the beach opens onto the Atlantic Ocean and is great for surfing and body boarding while the other half faces the River Mira. This beach has many of the same characteristics as the Farol Beach, the main beach of Vila Nova, but as on the opposite bank it is always much quieter. Praia das Furnas is the largest beach within easy reach (when the ferry is working) of Vila Nova, that has clean bathing waters and a rugged non-developed atmosphere. The Praia das Furnas is the place to head during the busy summer season.
Sights of Vila Nova de Milfontes
Many tourist visit the small town of Vila Nova De Milfontes for the beaches and the stunning natural scenery but the town also contains a few historic and noteworthy buildings and this guide will detail them. Milfontes many be relatively small but the protection the estuary provided from the Atlantic Ocean helped maintain a thriving fishing town since the era of the African Moors in the 9th century.
Saint Clement's Castle
Vila Nova De MilfontesThe monument which is referred lovingly by the locals as the castle is more of a fortified house perched overlooking the harbour. It was constructed during the reign of Filipe in the 17 century to guard the estuary from pirate attacks which had blighted the area. Recently the castle has surrender to both ivy and the need to convert monuments into exclusive hotels, which are general off limits to majority of tourists.
The Light House, Vila Nova De Milfontes
The location of the light house
is the draw here not the actual building. The light house perches high up on the cliffs above the mouth of the Rio Miro Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. To one direction the massive Atlantic rolling waves crash against the rocky outcrops and the other side the calm water of the estuary. From the light house there is a pleasant walk north to the harbour.
Church of Nossa Senhora da GracaThe Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça (Church of Our Lady of Grace)
in dates from the beginning of the 16th century, though very little apart from the foundations remain of the original church, which under went a major renovation in 1959. The original Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça was destroyed first by an earthquake and then burnt by Moorish pirates who plundered the coast. After each reconstructions the design of the church was significantly altered so that little of the old church remains. The bell tower of the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça dates back to the end of the 19th century. Presently the church belongs to the Order of Santiago da Espada, whose cross is engraved on the front door.