Portugal Hideaways: Odemira

Come and visit Odemira, a Portuguese village belonging to the Alentejo region

Conquered from the Moors by the first Portuguese king D. Afonso Henriques, only after the reign of D. Afonso III, who gave him a town charter in 1257, did it come to be definitively populated. From this historical past, Odemira has not preserved any important traces.

Even from the castle, at its highest point, nothing remains, not even the name of the street that gave it access (Rua do Castelo), renamed Sarmento de Beires, in honor of this Portuguese aviator born here, who in 1924 left Vila Nova from Milfontes, in a small Bréguet, towards Macau, where he landed 115 hours after having covered more than 16,000 km!

In one of the village’s gardens, a curious painted statue resembles another person from the land: Damiano, an apothecary who in the 19th century. XV wrote a book to teach how to play chess!

The charm of Odemira lies in its location on a small hill in an amphitheater, where there are very white houses facing the Mira River, born in the interior of the Serra do Caldeirão and which, from here, can be navigated to the mouth, in Vila Nova de Milfontes, in a course of about 30 km, beautiful scenery for walking, rowing and canoeing.

The region is very attentive to the preservation of handicrafts, with several artisans of basketry, furniture, ceramics and weaving.

This entire southern strip of the Portuguese coast, from the village of Sines to Cabo de S. Vicente, in the Algarve, is part of the Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina Natural Park, a region where rare species of flora and fauna are found and the only place in the world where the white stork nests on sea cliffs.

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