Zambujeira do Mar Travel Guide : What was Once Horizontal is Now Vertical
If you like to get away from crowds, Zambujeira do Mar Portugal on the southwestern Atlantic coast is a hidden gem (except August) that offers visitors a chance to view wild storks on pyramids of fossilized sand dunes and enjoy the natural beauty of the Alentejo region.
Crave the Planet is reader-supported and this post links to products and services I love, which I may make a smalll commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
I happily discovered this area because it’s also one of the stops along the Fisherman’s Trail, a scenic 4-day hike along the wild Portuguese coastline. It’s definitely my favorite hiking area along the trail.
- Dramatic Oceanside Cliffs with Epic Waterfalls
- Wild and Empty Sandy Beaches
- Storks Nests!!!!!
- Rope assisted climbs – like a dangerous Klettersteig
- Raspberry Farms – Fresh Pressed Juice
- Annual music festival : Imagine a GOOD Coachella, but if you want peace don’t go during this week in August – it’s a party!
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker searching for a winter thru-hike or simply looking for natural beaches with stunning day walks, surfing or just a place to party in summer – Zambujeira do Mar offers plenty of places to stay and a lively atmosphere next to stunning wild scenery.
Overview Zambujeira do Mar Travel Guide
When to visit: Mid-September to Mid-June – August to party
Must do Multi-day Hike: Fisherman’s Trail
Where to stay: Favorite: Monte das Alpenduras (Mid-Range), Hakuna Matata Hostel (budget), Camping Villa (Camping), Zambujeira Spot (Luxury)
Preserve: Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina
Only have one day from Lisbon? Private full day van tour of Alentejo Coast
Crave the Planet is reader-supported and this post links to products and services I love, which I may make a smalll commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
What You Will Learn in This Article
Where to Stay in Zambujeira do Mar
There are a variety of accommodation options in Zambujeira do Mar, from raspberry farms to budget-friendly hostels. Some of the best places to stay are:
|👎🏻 Click here to check price||⭐️ Why Stay Here?|
|Monte das Alpenduras||Fresh pressed raspberry juice, peace and quiet|
|Hakuna Matata Hostel||Super Budget friendly and you can cook yourself|
|Camping Villa||All range of stays with an outdoor pool|
|Zambujeira Spot||Be ON the ocean.|
Zambujeira do Mar Map
How to Use This Map:
Click on the icon on the top left-hand corner. You will now see an interactive list.
For more info on each, click on the map icons.
To see the map in more detail, click on the [ ] in the top right-hand corner. This will open a larger map where the details of each point can be found by clicking on the location point name in the list on the left.
You can also save the map for your own use by clicking the next to the map name. This will save the map to your Google Maps, where you can make a copy and use it for your own trip planning.
To view the saved map on your phone, open Google Maps, click “saved” on the bottom, and then “maps” on the lower right.
Zambujeira do Mar Portugal : Wild Cliffside Village on the Atlantic
How to Get to Zambujeira do Mar from Lisbon
Zambujeira is just a two and a half hour drive from Lisbon, making it the perfect day trip destination. You can also take a bus from Lisbon to Porto Covo, with several daily connections available. Alternatively, if you want to explore the surrounding area and enjoy the scenic drive, you can rent a car.
- Take a flight to Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS)
- From Lisbon airport, make your way to Lisboa Sete Rios station using the subway, taxi or uber
- Take the “Rede-expressos” bus from Sete Rios station to Vila Nova de Milfontes (20 euros) or private car
- Book your bus tickets ahead of time online at Rede-expressos website
- If you prefer to travel by train, you can take a train from Lisbon to Funcheira and then take a bus to Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Note: Bus schedules may change with the seasons, so plan ahead and allow at least 2 hours of commute time from the airport to the bus station to avoid missing the bus.
If you’re flying into Lisbon on the same day you plan to leave for Zambujeira do Mar, consider arriving in the morning to allow enough time to reach the town before the late afternoon bus.
Zambujeira do Mar Accommodation
Monte das Alpenduradas wins my affection due to it’s stunning raspberry breakfast juice. It is located outside town a bit so you’ll have to get a taxi or hitch a ride. Yes! I totally hitchhiked here when I did the Fisherman’s Trail hike as a 40 year old woman for the first time and I wasn’t afraid. At all.
The hotel is quaint, secluded near a raspberry farm and has all the comfort you’d want. I loved the hostels along the fisherman’s trail but once in awhile you want a place to have your own quiet and a place to recover from the action of your trip.
If you have a car, there is plenty of parking and if not, you can walk alongside the road and in this area someone is going to offer a ride when they see you.
Hakuna Matata Hostel Zambujeira do Mar is the place if you’re looking for a seaside property with free WiFi and a good price.
They offer private rooms and dormitories, with private or shared bathrooms, and all dorms have access to a shared bathroom. Plus, guests can take advantage of the communal kitchen to cook their own meals.
Camping Villa is situated in the heart of Zambujeira do Mar, this vacation property offers a serene garden and year-round outdoor pool. There’s also a games room and an on-site bar where you can enjoy a drink or two.
Camping Villa Park Zambujeira do Mar provides a range of accommodation options to suit every need. From cozy studios to spacious two-bedroom homes, each unit comes with a living room, dining area, and a kitchenette that is equipped with a microwave and refrigerator.
You have the option to cook your own meals in the full kitchenette provided in your unit. However, if you prefer a more laid-back approach, you can always visit the on-site snack bar, which serves light meals, snacks, and refreshments. And, for those who like to cook, the property also features a mini-market where you can purchase fresh ingredients.
Zambujeira Spot can offer solitude on the Atlantic ocean. It’s not super fancy. But it overlooks one of the most beautiful Natural spaces in Europe.
PDF Download of the best accommodations on the entire Fisherman’s Trail Hike.
Top 4 Things to do in Zambujeira do Mar
Zambujeira do Mar is a small town in the Alentejo region of Portugal, famous for its stunning beaches, wild nature, and stunning opportunities for adventure. Whether you are a beach lover or an adrenaline junkie, Zambujeira is the perfect off the beaten path destination for you.
4 Best Things to Do in Zambujeira do Mar Portugal
1. Hiking & Swimming Along Natural Beaches
Zambujeira do Mar is famous for its beautiful beaches, and there’s no better way to enjoy your vacation than spending time on the sand. Here are the top beaches you should definitely check out:
- Praia do Carvalhal – This stunning beach boasts clear blue waters and golden sand. It’s perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
- Praia do Tonel – This popular beach is known for its excellent surfing conditions. If you’re a surfer, this is the place to be.
- Praia dos Alteirinhos – This beach is a hidden gem that offers stunning views and a peaceful atmosphere. It’s perfect for those who prefer a quieter, more secluded beach experience.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Click here ➡️ to Plant trees with travel purchases to remove carbon and create animal habitats to balance your carbon from the comfort of your home.
Benefit: WILD CLIFFS and storks
Hiking – The Rota Vicentina is a network of hiking trails that covers over 400 km of coastline in the Alentejo region. The trails offer stunning views of the rugged coastline, cliffs, and beaches.
One of the most popular hikes is the Fishermen’s Trail, which starts in Porto Covo and makes it way through Zambujeira do Mar and takes you along the coast to the town of Odeceixe.
2. Beach Zambujeira do Mar : Go Birdwatching
Okay, I’m not really THAT old. But it’s really cool! I’m a convert.
One of the most impressive aspects of walking along the ocean by Zambujeira do Mar is the incredible cliffs and pyramids of fossilized sand dunes filled with massive birds’ nests.
They sit on the peak of the pointy rocks that make you feel like you can reach out and touch them if you were the mom from the Incredibles. But you definitely don’t want to fall down. It’s super high.
However, if you keep your eyes open you’ll see a plaid-shirt wearing Portuguese fisherman/woman that somehow transported him or herself (they are too far down to make out for sure gender) to an impossible place on the grey striped cliffs. Cliffs that are somehow in the wrong direction.
3. Zambujeira do Mar Festival – Music and Camping
I watched the Pixies make their comeback in 2003 at Coachella. It was amazing. Each year after it just got worse and worse with “fest” clothing making it less about the music and more about being seen.
Each year, Zambujeira do Mar hosts the MEO Sudoeste music and art festival that is what Coachella should be like. Past guests include David Guetta, Steve Aoki and Timmy Trumpet and besides the music concerts, taking place on four different stages, you can also find services such as free Wi-Fi, lots of activities, food outlets, a crafts fair, ATMs, phone charging points and anything you may need.
This tiny village comes alive with this incredible music festival and it’s not the shitshow that Coachella has become.
4. Visit the Local Market
Who doesn’t love a legit farmer’s market, especially when there are raspberry farms nearby? On Thursdays, the village holds a local market where you can find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and traditional Portuguese goods.
✅ Monte das Alpenduradas is slightly outside town but offers the kind of peaceful surrounding the Alentejo excels. It literally sits inside a raspberry farm and you get a quart of fresh pressed raspberry juice for breakfast.
4. Zambujeira do Mar Restuarant
Zambujeira do Mar is a foodie’s paradise. With its abundance of fresh seafood and local produce, there’s no shortage of incredible dining options in this charming town.
From beachside cafes serving up traditional Portuguese dishes like grilled sardines and seafood stews, to upscale restaurants offering a modern twist on regional cuisine, Zambujeira do Mar has something to satisfy every palate.
Be sure to try the local specialties like percebes (gooseneck barnacles), octopus salad, and clams Bulhão Pato style, and don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of crisp vinho verde or a refreshing caipirinha.
Zambujeira do Mar Weather
Zambujeira do Mar is a popular travel destination in Portugal known for its beautiful beaches, stunning natural scenery, and outdoor activities. The weather in Zambujeira do Mar is mild and temperate, with comfortable temperatures throughout the year.
Based on historical averages, the summer months of June through September are the warmest and driest in Zambujeira do Mar, with average high temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). The summer season is also the busiest time of year for tourism, as visitors flock to the beaches to enjoy the warm weather and clear skies.
In the spring months of March through May, temperatures in Zambujeira do Mar start to rise, with average high temperatures ranging from 17°C to 21°C (63°F to 70°F). Spring is a beautiful time to visit Zambujeira do Mar, as the surrounding countryside is in full bloom and the beaches are less crowded than during the summer months.
The fall months of October and November are slightly cooler and wetter, with average high temperatures ranging from 20°C to 23°C (68°F to 73°F). Despite the cooler temperatures, the autumn season is still a great time to visit Zambujeira do Mar, as the town is less crowded and the surrounding countryside is filled with colorful fall foliage.
Finally, the winter months of December through February are the coolest and wettest in Zambujeira do Mar, with average high temperatures ranging from 14°C to 17°C (57°F to 63°F). While the weather may not be warm enough for swimming or sunbathing, there are outdoor activities to enjoy during the winter months, such as hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the local markets.
Overall, the weather in Zambujeira do Mar is mild and pleasant year-round, with a Mediterranean climate that makes it an ideal destination for outdoor adventure and beach travel. Visitors should be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially during the winter and fall months, but the mild temperatures and beautiful scenery make it a worthwhile destination no matter the time of year.
Hiking the Fisherman’s Trail is best Sep-December and March-May.
Geology of Zambujeira do Mar
The coastal stretch along Zambujeira do Mar offers a magnificent view of high cliffs that are exposed to constant salty ocean winds. These cliffs are the nesting sites of over twenty species of birds, including jackdaw, shag, common kestrel, “pure” rock dove, white stork, peregrine falcon, and black redstart.
During spring, it is worthwhile to take the time to stop and watch these birds, especially around the Cape Sardão area. The rock doves are particularly fascinating as they are the original species from which all the feral pigeons in the world descend.
Looking carefully along this coastal stretch, you can see past climate change written in the rocks. The sandstone was formed when the sea was at least 100 m (330 ft) lower than at present, with the beach over 60 km further west. Prehistoric settlements have been found here, with remains of colder climate animals and shellfish, clear signs of a colder, drier past.
It is also possible to find signs of times when the climate here was warmer, wetter, and more tropical, displayed by impressive reddish tones in the sand and sandstone, resulting from the accumulation of iron oxides. The stunning rock formations, combined with the diverse bird species and the evidence of past climate change, make the Cape Sardão area a must-visit destination for those interested in the beauty and history of the natural world.
Other Fishing Villages Nearby to Explore
There are several other beach towns nearby Zambujeira do Mar in Portugal that you may also want to explore:
- Porto Covo – a quieter fishing village with stunning, sandy beaches and beautiful scenery and the first stop on the Fisherman’s Trail hike.
- Vila Nova de Milfontes – a busy vacation area for families
- Zambujeira do Mar – a picturesque town with a long sandy beach, perfect for surfing and windsurfing, day 3 on the fisherman’s trail hike.
- Sines – a historic town with a stunning harbor and nearby beaches such as Porto Covo.
- Odeceixe – a small town located at the mouth of the river Seixe, with a long sandy beach and a beautiful natural setting, day 4 of the Fisherman’s Trail hike.
- Aljezur – a town with a stunning coastline and several secluded beaches, perfect for those seeking a quieter beach experience.
The Fisherman’s Trail: A Breathtaking Journey Through Portugal’s Coastline
Starting in Porto Covo and ending in Odeceixe, the Fisherman’s Trail is a 4-day hike along the Portuguese coastline. It’s a moderate hike, with some sections that can be challenging, but the stunning views of the ocean and the unique landscapes along the way make it well worth the effort.
Fisherman’s Trail Summary with Travel Guides for Each Village
Arrival Day: Get to Porto Covo: (Lisbon to Porto Covo 2.5 hours bus)
Stage 1: Porto Covo to Vila Nova Milfontes 12 miles, 20 km
Stage 2: Vila Nova Milfontes to Almograve 9 miles, 15 km
Stage 3: Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar 13 miles, 21 km
Stage 4: Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe 11 miles, 18 km
Download: ➡️ Fisherman’s Trail GPX
➡️ Minimalist Packing List
Ultimate Guide : Rota Vicentina Fisherman’s Trail
The fisherman’s trail is very well marked, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and rest along the way. Click here for the GPX of the Fisherman’s Trail.
|Stage||Distance Walked||My Favorite Places to Stay on the Trail|
|Day 0||Porto Covo: Mute|
|Day 1||12 mi||Vila Nova de Milfontes: Vila Eira Boutique House|
|Day 2||9 mi||Almograve: Almograve Beach Hostel|
|Day 3||13 mi||Zambujeira do Mar: Monte Das Alpenduradas|
|Day 4||11 mi||Odeceixe: Bohemian Antique Guesthouse|
|Travel Days||Lisbon, Lagos|
|Get a full list of Accomodations|
Zambujeira do Mar Fisherman’s Trail
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a change of pace, Zambujeira do Mar and the Fisherman’s Trail have something to offer every traveler. So why not pack your bags and head to this off-the-beaten path destination that’s perfect to pair with a trip to Lisbon.
Here’s a Fisherman’s Trail spreadsheet I made of the accommodations I stayed when I hiked the fisherman’s trail to make it easy for you to plan your own hike.
What to bring? Read my detailed post on what to pack for the fisherman’s trail hike.
FAQ Zambujeira do Mar Fisherman’s Trail
What is the best part of the Fisherman’s Trail?
The section between Porto Covo and Odeceixe is the best 4 days on the Fisherman’s Trail. It is part of the larger Rota Vicentina hiking network.
Where does the Fisherman’s Trail start?
The Fisherman’s trail section of the Rota Vicentina hiking network starts in Porto Covo Portugal, just 15 minutes drive from Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Europe Travel Planning Guide
Hey there travel enthusiasts! Looking for a one-stop-shop for all your trip planning needs? Look no further! Here’s a list of our go-to resources for all our Outdoor wanderlust adventures.
And the best part? If you use any of these links to book or sign up, we’ll get a small commission (which we super appreciate). But don’t worry, your price stays the same.
Should I buy Europe travel insurance?
100% YES! — Europe has many different healthcare systems but it’s only for citizens! Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit.
I recommend Hey Mondo Travel Insurance – they have a 5% discount for the readers of Crave the Planet!
How do I pay mountain huts and other places that don’t do credit cards?
Wise is the absolute bomb for international banking. With this awesome tool, we can send and receive money in multiple currencies, convert to even more with no extra fees, and withdraw or pay with local currencies. Click here to signup for Wise, a must-have! FAR better than paypal.
Can you drink the water in Europe?
Yes — In all major cities in Europe, you can drink the tap water. However, you should never drink river or lake water, there are cows doing their business in streams everywhere! I recommend a Lifestraw water filter for long hikes and backcountry camping to stay safe and hydrated.
Is it safe to rent a car in Europe?
Yes — Renting a car is safe, but not a necessity in most of Europe. However, if you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, you’ll find it easier to get to trails and need to rent a car.
For booking trains, buses and flights, ➡️ OMIO offers incredible deals.
What’s the best way to book my European accommodations?
My go-to for European hotels, hostels and vacation homes is Booking.com as it’s more transparent and safe than Airbnb. Read my full Booking.com review here.
What’s the best site to buy European Tours?
Ready to explore the world with a local guide? Get Your Guide has a massive selection of tours, activities, and adventures waiting for you!
Do I need a visa for Europe?
Likely Not — US and UK passport holders don’t need EU visas. However, some other countries do. And if you plan to stay for more than 90 days (an average tourist visa length), you will need to look into visas to live in Europe.
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a passionate hiker and writer, physical therapist, and photographer. She has a doctorate in physical therapy and is featured giving science-based hiking tips and advice.
When not out exploring the mountains or sea, she’s writing articles and gear reviews to empower Outdoor Journeys that include family and good food.
With 💞, Crave the Planet
Thanks for reading! Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures or ask questions from the community over on our facebook group Untold Outdoor Europe Travel Planning.