Best Things To Do in Salema

Positioned in the heart of the Algarve, Salema is a town steeped in history, once thriving as a traditional fishing village. With its alluring white-washed houses, meandering cobbled streets, and sun-kissed golden sands, Salema offers a perfect blend of cultural charm, relaxation, and adventure. What’s more, this gem is conveniently situated within the pristine Costa Vicentina Natural Park, a protected sanctuary of unparalleled natural beauty in Portugal’s western Algarve. Whether you’re seeking a taste of local culture, a serene escape from the hustle and bustle, or a dash of adventure, this quaint village has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the best things to do in Salema…

Embrace the Beach Life

Salema’s magnificent beach is a kilometre-long stretch of golden sand, perennially awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification for exceptional water quality, accessibility, and family safety. To add to its acclaim, Praia da Salema was recognised by the Guardian as one of the 50 best beaches in the world in 2016. During the summer, lifeguards keep watch, and it’s possible to rent sun loungers and parasols. The gentle waves make it perfect for families and young swimmers, and when it’s time for a break, there are a number of cafés, bars, and restaurants nearby offering refreshments with a sea view. For the more adventurous, there are convenient rentals for bodyboards, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards, adding an extra layer of excitement to your beach experience. 

Salema Beach Algarve Best Things To Do In Salema Portugal

Discover Dinosaur Footprints

Aside from its azure-blue water and soft sand, Salema Beach is also a gateway to the ancient cliffs of the Algarve, where you can discover 150-million-year-old fossils and even dinosaur footprints, especially visible at the western end. Scattered across rock slabs near the wooden walkway connecting the beach’s car park to the sand, these imprints are believed to have been created by three-metre-tall herbivores that once roamed this region during the Jurassic era. For history and nature enthusiasts, exploring these fossils stands out as one of the best things to do in Salema.

Salema Beach Algarve

Savour Fresh Seafood Delights

As a fishing village, Salema is renowned for its seafood. Take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey as you savour the catch of the day at the local seafood restaurants. Most of them are lined up along the beachfront, such as the popular Casa Pizza Salema, so you’ll be treated to an Instagram-worthy view of the coast while you eat. Enjoy the ocean’s bounty, including grilled sardines, octopus salad, and the quintessential Portuguese dish, bacalhau à brás. A glass of local wine and the sound of the waves make for the perfect dining experience. 

Casa Pizza Salema

Photo Credit: Casa Pizza Facebook

Stroll the Cobbled Streets

Wandering through the charming cobbled streets of Salema is like stepping back in time. The village’s authenticity is preserved, allowing you to experience the Algarve’s rich culture and history. Admire the traditional white and blue houses adorned with vibrant flowers, and make sure to stop by the local market to find unique souvenirs and crafts made by talented artisans.

cobbled streets in salema portugal

Visit the Fortaleza de Sagres

Just a short drive away from Salema, you’ll find the historic Fortaleza de Sagres. This iconic fort offers a glimpse into Portugal’s maritime history and provides spectacular views of the coastline. As you explore the fort’s rugged cliffs and ramparts, imagine the brave Portuguese explorers who once set sail from these very shores, forging paths to the New World.

Fortaleza de Sagres

Discover the Secrets of Nature

Nature enthusiasts will be thrilled by Salema’s proximity to the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, renowned for its unspoiled natural beauty, including rugged coastal cliffs, pristine beaches, forests, wetlands, and rolling hills. There’s a network of hiking trails that wind through these amazing landscapes, taking you to hidden coves tucked away amidst those imposing, craggy cliffs. This park is also a bird paradise, with a diverse and colourful avian population. From seagulls soaring gracefully above the cliffs to the melodic songs of little birds filling the air, there’s a bird-spotting moment for everyone. You may even spot storks nesting atop the village’s chimneys!

Costa Vicentina Natural Park

Explore the Nearby Towns

Salema’s strategic location allows for easy exploration of neighbouring towns and villages. The historic town of Lagos, with its ancient city walls and stunning beaches, is a must-visit. Or head east to the charming town of Praia da Luz, where you can meander through cobbled streets, savour fresh seafood, and explore the Roman ruins.

Lagos Portugal

Golf with a View

Golf aficionados will appreciate the opportunity to play a round or two at the Santo Antonio Golf Course. Set amid a scenic landscape, the course provides a challenging yet rewarding golfing experience, as well as the chance to tee off against the backdrop of breathtaking ocean views. Several other prestigious golf courses are also within a short distance of Salema.

Unwind in Your Private Villa

At the end of the day, there’s no better way to relax than in the comfort of your own private villa. At The Villa Agency, we offer a selection of stunning villas in Salema, each with its own unique charm and amenities. Whether you desire a private pool, a stunning view, or a spacious garden, our villas provide the perfect retreat to recharge after exploring the best things Salema has to offer.

Villa Mar Azul The Villa Agency

Villa Mar Azul 

6 Bedrooms | Sleeps 14


Get in touch today and let us help create your dream villa holiday. 

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Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any of these businesses. This information is gathered from client and staff experiences and feedback and we are happy to share as a helpful guide. We do not vouch for or recommend any service or establishment.