Zambujeira do Mar is a small seaside town on the coast of the Alentejo, in western Portugal. It has some fine sandy beaches and picture perfect traditional architecture, making it a small but well loved destination for visitors. Zambujeira's coast is part of the Nature Park of the Southwest Alentejo.
In 2011, it was home to about 900 people.
The coast of Zambujeira is included within the Nature Park of the Southwest Alentejo and St. Vincent Coast (Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina), covering the various folding clifftops and small beaches/coves of the coast. In addition to the central coastal beach of Zambujeira, the beaches of Alteirinhos, Nossa Senhora, Arquinha and Tonel are geologically significant, as well as attracting summer tourists and vacationers.
The principal activity in the parish is tourism, although agriculture, cattle breeding and fishing are common activities for the industrial sectors of the economy. There are four ports along the coast that shelter the fishery ships in the area called Entradas da Barca. By the last half of the 20th century, rural tourism began to punctuate some of the areas of the parish, concentrated on providing quality leisure services associated with rural/farm activities.
If you're staying in the village, it's easy enough to walk around. If you're staying further of, e.g. in one of the many "rural tourism" holiday houses out of town, you could opt for a taxi. You can usually find one at the entrance of the beach, where the main street ends.
The town has some charming traditional buildings. Among the most notable ones are the fountains of Amores and Santa Catarina and the small, whitewashed chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mar.
There are several festivals worth visiting in summer:
- Festival Sudoeste. One of the largest music festivals in the country, Sudoeste lasts five days and features three stages, on which artist from different musical styles perform simultaneously. The festival receives many well-known international artists. It has been organized since 1997 and usually takes place in August.
- Religious festivals. August is also the time for religious festivals in town.
- Zambujeira do Mar: One of the best known and most frequented beaches in the region and one of its main business cards. Protected by high cliffs, it is at the mouth of a watercourse, next to the town. At the south end where a chapel was erected, dangerous currents are formed that can drag the most unsuspecting. Very popular for bodyboarding.
- Alteirinhos Beach: This sandy beach protected by a high cliff. During low tide you can appreciate all its originality: the small coves widen, forming a huge beach sprinkled with rocks, pools and ponds, full of limpets, mussels and shrimp. The rock that stretches across the sea (Lajão) is one of the region's favourite fishing grounds. Access: follow the dirt road south of Zambujeira do Mar beach. At the top of the cliff, next to the pines, turn towards the coast. Then go down the existing wooden steps.
- Nossa Senhora Beach: At the northern exit of Zambujeira, on the dunes in front of the last houses, a staircase on the cliff leads to this short, sandy beach.
- Tonel Beach: Inlet set in a high cliff, the descent to the beach is made by a steep trail. The rocky wall and the walk to the beach are impressive - the beach is at the foot, crushed by the stone blocks. From the top of the cliff, next to the cable of the Penduradoiro, there is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the region. Access: follow the dirt road that begins on the municipal road between Cabo Sardão and Zambujeira do Mar, next to the Herdade do Touril hill.
- 1 Hostel Nature, R. 25 de Abril nº9, ☏ . It's pretty casual and easy-going, and you can get a massage here as well. $45.