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What to do in Vila Nova de Milfontes?

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Last updated at 16/06/2024, 12:15

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

This post has been created in collaboration with Selina, a network of hostels in special places around the world.

Looking for a pleasant and relaxing place to stay in Portugal? Look no further! Vila Nova de Milfontes is the perfect place for a holiday for you. It’s a lovely little town, which has plenty to offer. Here are a few things to see and do while vacationing in Vila Nova de Milfontes.

I first heard about it from a friend of mine, who goes there regularly for some small breaks during the Summer. She said she loves it there. I was very keen to check it out. My expectations were quite high and I was looking forward to relaxing somewhere nice. I think Vila Nova de Milfontes exceeded my expectations. I had a great time there and I will be back for sure!

I can’t say that there is plenty of things to see and do in Vila Nova de Milfontes, but you can spend your days in a very nice way. I made a short list for you with some useful tips. I’m sure you’ll have a great time there!

Boats on water in Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal.
It’s so peaceful here!

Vila Nova de Milfontes – Basic inforamtion

The town is located on the west coast of Atlantic Ocean and in the north of the Mira River in Alentejo Region. It is in a very close proximity of the Nature Park of Southwest Alentejo Region and Vincentin Coast. The location is truly stunning and it’s not a surprise that so many people come here for holiday.

Vila Nova de Milfontes seen from a hill in the evening.
The evenings here are so beautiful.

The town has good facilities for tourists, including shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. There is also plenty of accommodation to choose from.

Vila Nova de Milfontes enjoys good weather most of the year. The best time to come is April – November.

My first impression of Vila Nova de Milfontes

I was lucky to be invited for a weekend by Selina, a network of hostels located in very special destinations.

In Vila Nova de Milfontes Selina is located on a small hill, overlooking the river. I was blown away by the view and the little garden they have. So, I must say, thanks to that, my first impression of the town was very positive.

When I set out to see the rest of it, I was also pleasantly surprised. The little, narrow streets were lovely, quiet and clean. Most of the houses were nicely renovated in bright colours.
There were little cafes everywhere and some nice places to sit around and enjoy the Summer weather.

The beach area in Milfontes is also extremley pleasant. The water here is calm and clean, perfect for paddle boarding or swimming.

My first impression of Vila Nova de Milfontes were great and they stayed like that throughout my stay in the town. This was a totally different experience than my stay in Peniche.

What to see and do in Vila Nova de Milfontes?

Here are a few things for you to enjoy this little town even more!

Relax on the beach

A beach in vila nova the milfontes.
There are a couple of beaches here. The one nearest to town is very quiet and calm.

Do you like to lay on the beach and not do much during the day? Well, this is the place to do it!

I really liked the beach in Milfontes. It was clean and very quiet. Quite different from the usual chaos of Costa de Caparica near Lisbon.

The water here is calm, but (as it usually happens in Portugal) it is very cold. To me it is always a bit too cold to swim, but it can be very refreshing on a hot day.

Kayaking and paddle boarding

Clear water in vila nova de milfontes.
The water here is very calm, so you can kayak and paddle board safely.

Because the water here is so calm, the most popular sports are kayaking and paddle boarding. You can rent a kayak or a board for about 15 Euros per hour.
On the other side of the river there is another quiet beach, which can be reached by a kayak, too!

Check out Fort St. Clement

St Clement Fort in Vila Nova de Milfontes.
The fort is a nice area for evening walks.

The main part of the town is taken by a big fort built on a hill, overlooking the river. It has a lovely area around with some benches. I really liked the white stairs leading from the bottom to the top of the fort.
Unfortunately, you can’t go inside.

Walk along the beach

White stairs and a fort at vila nova de milfontes.
I think this was my favourite spot in the town.

There is a very nice walkway near the beach that leads along the river straight to the beach. I recommend it for night and day walks, too.

Find out a few things about aviation history

This monument is located on a very nice viewpoint near the fort.

Next to the fort there is a small monument – Monumento aos Aviadores. It is dedicated to the first pilots that took a flight from Vila Nova to Macao. The place is also a nice viewpoint.

Walk around the streets

A street in Vila Nova de Milfontes.
The whole town is kept in a similar colour scheme.

Vila Nova was created in the 15-16th century and the streets here show the history. It is a very lovely town to walk around.

See the sunset at the Lighhouse Beach

A woman walking on the beach in vila nova de milfontes.

The Lighthouse Beach is located on a very end of the town. It is the place where the river connects with the ocean. It’s a lovely spot for a sunset. When you get to the beach, check out the rock formations just next to Choubana Restaurant. People have been coming here for years to put these together.

Make a trip outside of town

If you have a car, then you can explore the nearby area. Visit the Nature Park, or the next bigger town – Sines. You can also stop at many beaches in the area, where you will find a lot of space for sunbathing and relaxing.

Eat, drink and be merry

A cocktail in vila nova de milfontes.
Selina serves really good cocktails.

In the town there are a lot of restaurants, cafes and bars. The food here is delicious, especially the seafood, and the prices are very affordable.

Spend your evening at Selina Garden

If you like some cool vibes, head to Selina. In the evening the place is lit with lovely lights. There is a DJ playing some good tunes. The restaurant here serves Mexican dishes and great cocktails. It is a lovely place to be on a warm Summer night.

Vila Nova de Milfontes – Useful Information

Heading to Vila Nova? Here’s what you need to know

How to get there?

The best option is to drive. You can rent a car in Portugal easily and for a good price.
If you don’t have a car, then you can get to Vila Nova by bus from Lisbon. Check out Omio for the latest schedule information.

Map of Vila Nova de Milfontes

Where to stay?

I stayed at Selina and it was lovely. I really enjoyed the garden and the nearby area. They even have a jacuzzi, which is perfect if the weather is not that great, or you don’t like swimming in the cold ocean.

Work needs to be done and doing it in such an enviroment is really great!

The only thing I’d say is that the rooms there are not designed for people to spend time inside. They are very small.
I didn’t particularly like the bathroom, which was quite old and the shower was leaking. However, for the general vibe and the garden, where I spent a lot of my time, I think it’s really worth staying at Selina.

Where to eat and drink?

There are plenty of good restaurants and bars in Vila Nova de Milfontes. I recommend:

  • O Dunas Mil – a typical Portuguese restaurant with amazing food and some nice views over the dunes and the river.
  • Restaurante A Mercearia – a nice little place with good petiscos – Portuguese tapas.
  • Bar Picatapa – also good petiscos and a great service.
  • 18 e Piques – good for breakfast. I especially recommend bruschetta with goats cheese and walnuts.
  • Bar Azul – for evening cocktails.
  • A Choupana – everyone talks about this restaurant and I recommend it, too even though I haven’t been there. You have to book a table a week in advance during the Summer season. The location is amazing!

So, here it is – all the things to see and do in Vila Nova de Milfontes I could think of. I hope you will love this little town as much as I did. If you have any further recommendations, write it in the comments. I would love to check it out next time I’m there!