Odeceixe, a Wonder in SW Portugal

The Odeceixe beach is one of the most popular ones in SW Portugal. In fact, a few years ago, it was awarded the prize of “best beach with cliffs” in a “7 wonders contest”. Located at the estuary of the river Seixe, it is characterized by a large body of sand. Where it faces the ocean, the sea can be rough, with tricky currents; the more protected river side is excellent for families and small kids. I hadn’t visited this beach for several years, but recently I had the chance to spend a nice afternoon in there. The name Odeceixe originated from the Arabic, with “ode” coming from “wadi”, or river.

To get to the beach, you pass through the picturesque village of Odeceixe, with its windmill in the top of a hill. Last August, the area suffered a violent forest fire, so the surrounding landscape is still covered by burnt trees and dark soil. It always saddens me when something like this happens… close to the beach, there are a few houses that hug the southern cliffs; here, you can find numerous cafés and restaurants, plus plenty of accommodations to rent. These are busy all year round, especially with the local surfer community, and visitors walking the trails of the Rota Vicentina.

General view of the beach from the river. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.
Sweet potato plantation, a famous product from the region. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.

After spending a few hours in the beach, I drove to the northern margin of the river, where I left the car. From there it is possible to walk along part of the Rota Vicentina coastal trail, to reach the northern promontory. This is where you will have the best view of the beach. I spent the next hour or so, until sunset, taking many photos. You can appreciate how the interaction between the river and the ocean has created the large beach, thanks to the accumulation of sand. After walking around for a while, I merely sat down and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the tranquility.

From the cliffs. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.
Erosion. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.
Coastline. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.
Fellow photographer. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.
Golden hour. Fujifilm X-T4 and Fujinon 56mm f/1.2.
View from the top. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.
Panorama of 2 photos. Fujifilm X-T4 and Fujinon 56mm f/1.2.
Panorama of 5 photos. Fujifilm X-T5 and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4.
Sunset. Fujifilm X-T4 and Fujinon 56mm f/1.2.
Clouds. Fujifilm X-T4 and Fujinon 56mm f/1.2.

This is indeed a beautiful area, and I think the award was well deserved.

The Magic of Cabo Sardão, SW Alentejo Coast

It is rare for me to visit this area, and not spend some time in the Cabo Sardão cliffs, simply to enjoy the place. The view along the coastline is magnificent, and sunset is special. It is common for both locals and visitors to gather and admire the scenery, as the sun slowly sinks into the horizon, bidding farewell to another day. In early October I took a few days off to spend some days in the region, and one of the afternoons found me once more in these cliffs.

I arrived about one hour before sunset, and took a stroll in the vicinity of the lighthouse. The weather in the beginning of Autumn feels like a hot summer, but the days are starting to get shorter, and the light has acquired a stronger golden tonality. There were some clouds in the sky, so I was hoping for some interesting color. While waiting for the sunset, I went to a few favorite spots of mine for some photography time; some of these locations are a bit more tricky to access if you are afraid of heights, so please be careful. All the photos were taken with the Fujifilm X-T5 camera and Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 lens.

I made a few photos to the north of the lighthouse, following the signaled path. There are several small hidden beaches that were completely empty. After that, I went to another location, facing the cliff, which offers the classic view of the lighthouse on the top, with the precipitous rocks descending into the ocean. Because there was no wind, it was safer for me to walk down a little more than normal, and thus obtain a more unusual angle over the scenery. I like how the lines from the rocky layers seem to guide the viewer to the distant lighthouse.

Small beach to the north.
Shaded cliffs.
Lower #1.
Lower #2.
Classic view.

As the sunset time was approaching fast, I more or less remained in this location, but turned west. The clouds were reflecting interesting and rich warm colors. As the sun disappeared, the lighthouse keeper turned the light on, a moment that is always interesting to photograph.

Looking south.
The lighthouse.
The light is on.

I never tire of going to this special place and admire its beauty, it truly is magical.