The Magical Village of Porto Covo, Portugal

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Where should you go on your Solo Portugal Trip?

Porto Covo, Portugal!

Are you ready for dramatic views, beautiful beaches, and a gorgeous walk along the Costa Vicentina? Porto Covo is a small fishing village with white-washed houses that sit nestled atop a hill overlooking the raging Atlantic Ocean on the Alentejo western coast.

If you go off-season, you will get a taste of “old Portugal” and what it is like to live in a quiet village by the sea. It’s gorgeous!

Is Porto Covo, Portugal, safe to travel alone?

Yes! Porto Covo is an excellent place for solo travelers and, single women travelers.

Portugal is one of the safest countries to travel alone, but always be safe, take care of yourself, and be attentive to your surroundings.

From Lisbon to Porto Covo

The best way to get to Porto Covo is to rent a car. It will allow you to be more independent and visit the other beautiful areas around Costa Vicentina.

Where to rent a car in Lisbon

Rental Cars

Discover Cars

Hertz downtown Lisbon

Directions from Lisbon to Porto Covo

Directions from Lisbon to Porto Covo by Car

When is the best time to go to Porto Covo?

Spring and summer are the best times to go to Porto Covo because they are dryer months.

Fall and Winter in Porto Covo

I went on my solo trip to Porto Covo during the fall when it was chilly, cloudy, sunny, and sometimes hot! I love to travel off-season because I like to walk and hike when the weather is cooler.

Is Porto Covo a good place for a solo over 50 travelers?

Yes! Go alone or go with a group of over 50 travelers. Porto Covo is a fun, beautiful place to visit, and it’s away from all the touristy beaches and locations. You will love this beautiful fishing village in Portugal.

Beaches near Porto Covo Portugal

Photo by Marguerite Beaty On my way to Porto Covo Portugal

Things to do in Porto Covo, Portugal

Road trips around Porto Covo

Porto Covo has the most beautiful coastal views, so get your car and drive up and down the coast, stop at different places, take a break, have a picnic, sit on the rocks with an ocean view, and watch the sunset.

Places around Porto Covo: Sines, Vila de Milfontes, Aljezur, and other towns going south or north of Porto Covo.

Hike, walk and cycle

You can hike or walk the Rota Vincentina for one hour or a week. Hire a guide or go with a group should you want to hike for a few days.

Photograph and sketch

Go on slow walks on different trails to photograph or sketch. You will enjoy photographing this charming fishing village! Photography and drawing are great ways to take in the scenery and relax.

Visit Porto Covo Beaches

Surfing is big in Porto Covo!

The beaches are down the hill and are all within walking distance. I shouldn’t say hill because these are all cliffs: Easy to go down and a slow climb but very doable—lots of beautiful beaches to visit.

Picnicking

Go to Porto Covo’s market and stores and buy delicious local bread, cheese, olives, and other goodies for a great lunch—picnic on the tables by the beaches or on the beaches. Go hiking and eat on a rock while you listen to the ocean and the birds.

I love to picnic in different places and enjoy the environment- the wilder, the better, and you will find wild places around Porto Covo.

Tips for the over 50 hiking travelers

  • If you are an experienced hiker and love a challenge, you will love the trail by the edge of the cliffs! The views are beautiful, and you may be lucky to see birds, but you will hear seagulls!

  • If you are not an experienced hiker, I suggest that you work with a guide or a company that can help you organize the trip. I added several companies that work around the Porto Covo area below.

  • If you want to hike to Sagres, you can hire someone to drive your stuff to the following towns so that you can focus on walking and photographing without worrying about your travel backpack or case.

  • Before starting your adventure, map out your hike and send a copy to a friend or family member.

  • Remember to take plenty of water, snacks, and money should you want to return to your hotel by bus or taxi.

    What to wear and take on a hike around Porto Covo and the Costa Vicentina

  • Shoes: Wear shoes with great grooves! I like waterproof hiking boots, and I always wear them before hiking.

  • Clothes: Sunscreened shirts and pants, lightweight waterproof jacket, thick socks – some people like to wear two socks at once, a hat, and glasses.

  • Accessories: Walking sticks, binoculars, camera/phone, plastic or waterproof bag for electronics, plastic bag to be used as a garbage bag.

  • Backpack: Lightweight, waterproof backpack.

  • Map: Offline map.

  • Food: Water and snacks.

  • First Aid: Bandaids! (plasters).

  • *Keep your backpack light and only take what you need.

O Lugar Porto Covo.jpg My bedroom at the hotel in Porto Covo: O Lugar

O Lugar Guesthouse in Porto Covo

My lodging was a modern but charming family-owned 6-room guesthouse. O Lugar is in the historical center of Porto Covo. The interior is decorated with Nordic and Portuguese influences, featuring simple and clean lines paired with neutral colors.

My room had a balcony that faced the Costa Vicentina trail, from where I enjoyed the sounds of the ocean and the birds. Mornings were beautiful.

Photo by Marguerite My bedroom view
Photo by Marguerite My bedroom view: Lugar Guesthouse Porto Covo

Breakfast was served at a communal table. Highlights were the fresh bread made by the owner’s family, tart jams, and local cheeses. While I ate, the kind woman who made breakfast shared local information.

Rota Vicentina Trails, Porto Covo Beaches or Inland?

There are differnet hiking possibilities and paths for the Vicentina coast. You can go on the dramatic cliffs, hike the hills, or walk beautiful views inland. I suggest you look at the links below for more information.

I did a little of each!

Photo by Marguerite Vincentina Trail Photo by Marguerite Vincentina Trail

My solo trip hiking experience on the Porto Covo trails

I loved my solo hikes, but one day, I found myself on the edge of a narrow path on a cliff by the sea. I am dreadfully afraid of heights, and I was struggling while having doubts about continuing my solo hike for fear of falling. It had rained the previous nights, the paths were slippery, and I didn’t feel safe.

I saw a group ahead of me, who must have noticed my difficulties, and they invited me to join them. It was the perfect moment because I was considering returning to the hotel. I latched on to them for a few hours; we chatted, photographed each other, and exchanged travel stories.

It was great!

At some point, they took a different route, and I returned to the hotel on an inland path just in time for a picnic with a sunset view.

I enjoyed meeting my fellow hikers, and I love to hike alone, but going with a guide or a group may be a lot safer for over 50 solo travelers.

costavicentina portocovo.jpg

Hop from village to village

For the more adventurous, you can walk the path and sleep in different villages along the way. The towns have street signs with maps of the routes, providing plenty of direction.

CostaVincentina walk.jpg

sunset portocovo.jpg

photo portocovo.jpg

Resources for Porto Covo solo travel

Nature Trekks

Rota Vicentina walk: This site has information about several trails and tips about walking and hiking the area.

Vicentina Travel offers group tours.

Road Trip: Porto Covo to Vila Nova de Milfontes

Do you miss being around people or want to see a larger village? Head onto Vila Nova de Milfontes, a popular summer destination only 20 Km from Poto Covo.

Driving directions

Milfontes.jpg

Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal is excellent for a day trip and a lovely town to walk around. Visit the fort, enjoy the cobblestone streets, and walk by the water. You might be tempted to spend the night! It’s that charming.

Solo lunch at the Paparoca

I had lunch at the Paparoca Sanduicheria; it’s in many tourist guide tips, and friends recommended it, and I’m glad I went there. My lunch was delicious.

The restaurant was packed, but after a short wait, I was seated next to a charming couple who started to speak to me immediately. They had moved to Porto and were on a camper van trip around Portugal. They said Vila de Milfontes is a popular camper van destination, and they had met many Europeans from different countries at the camper van site.

We exchanged Portugal traveling tips, and I told them about my solo travels while they told their camper van adventures. I would love to go on a camper van trip someday.

O Lugar, Porto Covo

Porto Covo

Solo travel off-season

Traveling off-season has its perks and disadvantages. I am a massive fan of going to the more popular places off-season to taste local life.

There are more perks for off-season travel: Hotel prices are lower, and you don’t have to get in lines. The disadvantage is that some restaurants and stores close during the off-season months in the smaller villages.

Off-season travel requires flexibility and creativity

When I was in Porto Covo, most restaurants were closed, so I had to be creative.

I had a massive breakfast at my hotel, bought food and drinks at the markets, and picnicked by the sea. I purchased my bread at the local bakery got to know a few tiny stores, spoke to people at the market, and got a taste of the local life in Porto Covo.

Porto Covo Hotels

Porto Covo hotels, hostels, and house rentals are plenty, but you must book ahead of time- it’s becoming a popular place!

O Lugar

O Lugar is a small 6-room hotel in downtown Porto Covo, where I stayed. This hotel is an excellent option for the solo traveler, and if you are traveling with a small group, You can book all the rooms and have the house to yourselves!

Porto Covo Hotels on Booking.com

Article written in September 2023

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Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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