Driving west for approximately 19km on the main road from Lagos towards Sagres, past Luz and Burgau, the next place to discover is Salema, a picturesque fishing village situated in a broad cove with a walk-on beach, which has managed to retain it's character and charm. The turn off from the N125 snakes down a lovely, semi-cultivated valley as the sea creeps ever closer.
Of course there has been apartment and villa construction but for the most part it spreads back up the hillsides and onto the cliffs above the village leaving the heart of the old village largely untouched and well worth wandering round. Here the white terraced houses line the narrow streets and are split by alleys which lead to the rocky beach on the east side of the village. People are drawn here because it remains a working village with fishing boats going out every day. The local residents and restaurateurs buy their fish direct from the local boats and good fish dishes are often the specialty in the local eating places.
The beach on the western side is magnificent, sandy and sheltered by cliffs - in winter the sea can come crashing right up to the edge of the village. To the east there are the beaches of Boca do Rio and Ponta de Almadena, both of which can be reached by the cliff-top paths - a good walk but well worth the effort for the views of the ocean. Salema has an easy going atmosphere with an assortment of shops, bars restaurants, most notably the Atlantico, the Boia Bar Restaurante Lourenco and O Barco Restaurant and it is a great place to stay or just visit for the day.
Algarve Retreats has a good selection of villas and apartments in Salema and the surrounding area to choose from.