- 25 minutes from Porto Covo
- 20 minutes from Almograve
- 35 minutes from Odemira
- 35 minutes from Zambujeira do Mar
- 45 minutes from Odeceixe
- 1 hour from Aljezur
Once Upon a Time
For a long time, the name Vila Nova de Milfontes was associated with three peculiar lies. It was actually a village, which in Portuguese would be “aldeia” and not a town (“vila”). Since “Nova” means “new”, this counts as a second lie, because it was founded in 1486 by D. João II. Last but not least, there aren’t a thousand fountains (“mil fontes”), although a lot of people believe that there were indeed several water springs spread across the region in the past.
This small fishing village, regarded as Alentejo’s Princess, belongs to the Municipality of Odemira and is part of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. The town grew and developed next to the mouth of the Mira River as a port, emphasising the commercial role of the river, since it worked as a trade route, essential to carry regional products such as cereal, wood, honey, wine, coal and cork.
Apart from being in a privileged position for its proximity to the River and the Ocean, offering a great diversity concerning nautical activities, the town is embed in a Natural Park where there are some unique characteristics regarding common areas, that not only must be looked-after but also well-preserved, and others yet to discover.
Therefore, it combines an urban environment, which is filled with restaurants offering regional gastronomy, accommodation enhancing the most picturesque settings and evening entertainment urging the interaction between locals and visitors, with an outstanding natural heritage, laden with breath-taking views along the coastline.
Largo do Rossio: for a while, it undertook the role of a local market, where some important tasks took place during the 40s, namely fish and vegetable daily market, butcher, post office, and the headquarters of the community centre with a medical facility.
Forte de São Clemente: it is located in Largo da Barbacã and was built during the realm of D. Filipe II between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century. With a military architecture, its construction worked as a defence against pirate attacks and plundering of products traded in the Mira River.
Estátua dos Aviadores: also in Largo da Barbacã it’s possible to find a monument that marks the first flight between Portugal and Macau in 1924, which took off from Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Praia da Franquia AND do Farol: with almost any swell, perfect for boat trips, canoeing and stand-up paddle tours, being also a great spot to catch sight of Furnas Beach on the other side of the Mira River. In the beginning of Franquia Beach, there’s a small pier where it’s possible to catch a ferry boat to the other side. It should be noted that these beaches even received the Award “Qualidade de Ouro” by Quercus, the Portuguese National Association for Nature Conservation.
Rio Mira: it is considered to be the cleanest river in Europe; it extends through the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, crossing the entire Municipality of Odemira and flowing into Vila Nova de Milfontes. It’s where the canoeing Olympic Athletes usually workout and, in general, the water is clear and calm, with almost any swell.
Portinho do Canal: it’s the biggest fishing harbour in the Municipality of Odemira, and it’s located around 2Km to the North of Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Rota Vicentina: the Route crosses Vila Nova de Milfontes and includes a wide network of hiking trails along the southwest coastline, with marked tracks, reaching 450Km between Santiago do Cacém and Cabo de São Vicente. It includes the Historical Way, the Fishermen’s Trail and several Circular Routes that enlighten the authenticity of the rural culture and a striking wild coastline.