Amazing Aljezur

Aljezur is certainly beautiful. What a place! The wild south west, the massive Atlantic, the dramatic coastline, the rolling hills, the pines, the oaks. Rivers winding through marshy flatlands and finding their way past sand dunes, before spilling out into the ocean at vast open beaches. The quaint fisherman’s port at the foot of the cliff at Arrifana. The hillside hamlet overlooking the sands of Monte Clérigo. No mass construction as one finds throughout the Algarve’s southern coast, let alone the Spanish Mediterranean. No trashy tourism here. Just a lot of nature and some friendly guesthouses and surf camps.

Family in a car

And yet there you are stuck in traffic again. Just like every morning back home on your way to work. Children screaming in the back of the car. The guy behind you just beeped at you. He’s getting upset. He can’t see you’re waiting for the family in the red car to pull out. Can’t they just hurry up!! It’s just going to take too long. You know you’re about to get honked at again. So you move on, scanning the little parking lot for a new opening before you give up and slowly drive up the hill with the slow procession of late morning beach parkers. Finally you get to the top of the hill where you find an awkward spot to wiggle into while the kids scream at each other and you at them. What a holiday!

You and your surfboards in your rental car

Ok, that mightn’t be you. You didn’t come to Aljezur on a family holiday nightmare. You came with your boyfriend. This is so romantic and wonderful.. But you are inside that rental car. It did work out pretty cheap, but you don’t have that insurance and you are worried about the surfboard inside the car damaging the seats or the dashboard. Sitting one behind the other is not that comfortable, but fair enough. Now you see the family with the kids getting out of the car, at the top of the hill too. Must be because they couldn’t find a spot down by the beach.. You’re going to give it a try anyway, right? you might just get lucky. Ten minutes later and you’ve been down and around  a couple of times. You did see an opening but it was on the other side of the road. Oh, look at that one! great! now you’ve managed to park, only it’s so tight it’s really awkward squeezing the surfboards out of the car without hitting the car behind you with them.. This is what holiday’s are all about, right? Stress! and the very idea of going through this whole process after surfing.. adding sand and water to the mix of course, at least it’ll be nice and hot inside the car!! But look at those two that just zipped by on a scooter. They’ll be able to park anywhere, get their boards at the beach, and not have to drag them up and down, in and out. Park, get your board, head for the surf! On your way back, you just hop on and you’re off! And it’s just nice to hold on to your man from behind as you feel the warm sun and the cool breeze.

Rent a scooter in Aljezur

Aljezur, the western Algarve.. there are two ways to do it:

1. Get to the airport, rent your Gold car (insurance?), pay for petrol, pay for the highway, drive, look at the scenery through the big  screen in front of you; park, get a surfboard, get some awkwardness in the car, have trouble parking over and over.

Then there is another way.

2. Get on a bus or a train, ok maybe a shared shuttle, get to where you’re staying (you can also get to Aljezur by bus strait from Lisbon). Then get picked up by Indy Scooters. Rent your scooter. Get around Aljezur in style. Take it easy.  No hurry and no stress. Forget about the air-con, feel the breeze. Just enjoy the scenery around you, and you only have to watch out for a pothole here and there. Park anywhere. Always. It is never a problem. Right at the beach or on the roadside to say hello to a horse, or right next to the bar where you’re going to have a drink and listen to some live music. Pay a fraction for gasoline, cut your carbon footprint by 2/3. Maybe spend a little more for your surfboard rental at the beach.. Have yourself a proper holiday, don’t be a square! Cars aren’t cool.