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A traditional fishing village

If you’re looking for a slice of the Algarve that’s been unspoiled by tourism, you’ll strike gold in Salema. This dinky town is a breath of fresh air compared to the built-up resorts along the rest of the Algarve’s southern coast. It’s a whitewashed fishing village that’s retained its traditional look and feel. Expect a jumble of miniature blue-trimmed houses and latticed chimneys, bobbing faded fishing boats, and a deliciously slow pace. Follow the cobbled Rua dos Pescadores and you’ll come to Salema Beach – a gorgeous sandy number washed by see-through waves, and awarded a Blue Flag for cleanliness. Holidays to Salema will land you in a protected area of rich wildlife and miles of craggy coastline. The beach is bookended by yellow limestone rocks said to be around 150 million years old. Walk where the dinosaurs once did and hunt for fossils to take home.

Your Salema questions, answered

Salema is on the Algarve’s south-west coast, just over an hour’s drive from Faro Airport.
Between May and September this part of the Algarve is blessed with brilliant sunshine and lovely warm temperatures.
It’s a 25-minute drive to the historical city of Lagos, where age-old ruins sit within the stone walls of the old town.

Best things to do in Salema

Enjoy the cuisine

Salema’s restaurants are really authentic – converted fisherman houses transformed into cosy eateries. Try salty sardines soaked in lemon, or charcoal-grilled chicken in spicy sauce.

Laze on the beach

Salema’s Blue Flag beach is a half-mile crescent of powder-soft sand. It’s brilliant for windsurfing and one of the Algarve’s sleepiest swathes.

Get back to nature

Costa Vicentina Natural Park is well worth exploring, and one of the best-preserved coastlines in Europe. Its pristine beaches and craggy cliffs are a wildlife hotspot.