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Carrapateira

Carrapateira, Algarve,Portugal is a small village set within the Costa Vicentina Natural Park on the western side of the Algarve. The national park is now a protected area of national beauty; Carrapateira comes under the main municipal of Aljezur. The village is a small one but has bars which cater for the surfing population that visit the village during surfing season.it is easy to locate along the N:268 road that runs through the middle of the village.The village may appear more like a laid back hangout for surfers who have little to do when the tides are low and little surfing opportunities but the village does have some history.

Back in the 16th century the village,beach and river-mouth  was being plighted by Barbary Pirates from North Africa, who were constantly attacking the Algarve, locals demanded protection and called on the church to intervene this went to the top of the catholic church with the Cardinal  Nuno da Cunha who was also the Captain General and governor of the Algarve. Who commissioned a fort to be built around the village’s catholic church which had stood in the village for the past 100 years. The fort  was finished in the 1670’s and became know as (Fort of Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Carrapateira) which housed a 6 cannon artillery and posting of nearly a dozen soldiers. It continued to protect the village until it’s demise in the 1820’s where much of the stone was taken to build houses, all that remain today are the surrounding walls that sit around the church including the coat of arms which can be found in one of the churches walls.

Carrapateira holds national competitions which attract surfers from across the globe; some record breaking waves have been recorded. Carrapateira village has a couple of well know restaurants known for their fresh grilled fish. The few bars that are dotted around the center are based on surfing themes. Carrapateira has a municipal daily market for fresh produce including fresh fish brought in from Lagos. From the main square opposite sits the local school with its shaped parapet wall which seems a common feature on older school houses across the Algarve.


Carrapateira windmill with working salesCarrapateira daily fish/produce marketCarrapateira main squareCarrapateira surf shop

There are the remains of a windmill that still has its wooden sail structure, and once used at the local grain mill, but sadly  privately owned so cannot be visited. Carrapateira has shops that sell surfing equipment, also another shop that the basic everyday items. Overall it makes a good stop off place to meet with other surfers, or just watch the world go by with a coffee or beer. You will find there are some artists that work in the village; it holds local events that gather locals from other surrounding villages. It would be best to ask a local bar or restaurant owners, as they would know when the events take place. As it would unlikely be covered in any tourist office in the region. The village falls under the parish of Bordeira, which also has a small museum (Do mar e da Terra da Carrapateira). Meaning Museum of  the sea and land.

With Praia Bordeira being the nearest beach to the village of Carrapateira the many sand dunes which give a clue that it is a windy beach. It has some great coastline with some stunning walkways. Some say it is the best long beach of the Algarve, with its limestone backdrop cliffs. It is easy to see why it is so popular with surfers.



rugged rocky coastline of CarrapateiraCarapateira old school house
Borderia and carrapateira rocky coast

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