Back in mid-March 2020, I had a business trip to Comporta, Portugal, booked to go and view villas with my wife. As soon as we arrived, it was clear the COVID-19 crisis was escalating all over Europe, however, luckily, we were still able to view properties and explore this beautiful, and increasingly popular, corner of Portugal. After a couple of days viewing villas in Comporta, with lockdowns being imposed and flights cancelled, we decided to drive down the West Coast of Portugal to the seaside town of Salema in the Algarve, which we’d previously visited in 2019 and where we feature a selection of fantastic properties.
What was originally a planned two-week stay, ended up being a three-month hideaway and we absolutely fell in love with this wild but wonderful part of the Algarve.I would highly recommend Salema to anyone looking for a European summer getaway. Located just over an hour from Faro Airport, it offers a less trodden but more beautiful part of the Algarve away from the busy crowds of Quinta do Lago and Val do Lobo. The beach is stunning with crystal clear blue sea, and the town offers various fantastic restaurants serving up fresh fish and traditional Portuguese fayre.
FAVOURITE RESTAURANTA Boia, situated right on the beach in Salema was by far our favourite restaurant and we ended up going again and again over the summer. All tables overlook the beautiful sandy beach of Salema, and perfect for settling in for the afternoon.The menu offers delicious fresh fish daily, including an Algarve favourite – Dourada (golden bream), as well as stone bass, fresh tuna, shellfish and much more. A must-try for a starter is the prawns wrapped in local Jamon which I’ve tried to recreate many times!
FAVOURITE ACTIVITYWith restaurants and bars closed for the first two months of our stay, our favourite activity was to explore the various coastal walking paths you can take from Salema.These are easy to trek in trainers and take you hopping along the various beautiful coves between Salema and Sagres. The beaches here are some of the most stunning I’ve seen in Europe, and completely isolated, offering the perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing.
FAVOURITE STAYSAll of our 6 properties in Salema are perfect for a stay in this charming town. For a couple, I would highly recommend our Salema Beachside property which is a delightful 2-bedroom house located right on the beach at Salema. For a group, there’s no better than our Villa Salema – a striking glass-built four-bedroom property right on the cliff with stunning views, situated just a two-minute walk from the centre of the village.
LATEST TRAVEL REQUIREMENTSA trip to Portugal would definitely be for future planning in the summer. The Portuguese Government has announced that from 1 January 2021, travel by UK nationals to Portugal will not be permitted, except for essential purposes.On arrival in Portugal, you will be required to provide a certificate confirming a negative RT-PCR test result for SARS/COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of departure (not required for children aged 2 or under).