Nestled in the cliffs between Lagos and Sagres, on the edge of the South West Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, you’ll find the picturesque village of Burgau.
Burgau was voted the quaintest seaside village in Europe and has been described as the “Santorini of Portugal”. Walking through the narrow, cobbled streets, it’s easy to see how it picked up this reputation. The way the whitewashed, fishermen's houses with their blue doors and colourful hanging flower baskets look against the clear blue skies of southern Portugal, makes it truly feel like you’ve stumbled into a hidden oasis.
Burgau used to source most of its income from fishing but now primarily focuses on tourism. Despite becoming a popular tourist destination, huge efforts have been made to maintain the traditional look and quaint atmosphere of Burgau. Restrictions put in place have meant that the village has escaped from many of the large tourist developments seen in some of the other cities and towns along the Algarve coast.
Praia de Burgau
Praia de Burgau marks the start of the Vicentina coast and is one of the village’s main attractions. You’ll know you’re getting close when you spot the colourful fishing boats pulled up on the surrounding streets. If you’re up early enough, you might even see some local fishermen returning in them with their catch of the day.
Burgau beach has a wide stretch of soft sand and calm, clear waters. The surrounding cliffs shelter the area from the northerly winds, making it a perfect spot to sunbathe and swim. There is a popular beach bar where you can enjoy a drink and something to eat with a wonderful view of the Atlantic ocean. Make sure to check the tide tables before you visit if you do want to walk down onto the beach, as at high tide it almost completely disappears.
For surfing, you can head to the west side of the beach. The waves in Burgau are often very mellow, which makes it a great spot for beginners. Once Autumn comes around the waves get bigger and are better for more experienced surfers. The further west you go along the coast towards Sagres, the better spots for surfing and watersports you’ll find.
One of the best ways to explore the village and its surroundings is by foot. From Burgau you can follow several walking trails along the coast; the most popular are those west towards Salema and beyond, and east towards Luz and Lagos. The trails are suitable for all levels of fitness and offer some spectacular views across the Algarve coast and the rustic countryside of southern Portugal.
In Burgau itself, you can wander the pretty village streets and gaze over the landscape from one of its viewpoints. There are a few bakeries, food stores and souvenir shops where you can pick up supplies in the village, with bigger shops being available in nearby Luz and Lagos.
There are plenty of great cafes, bars and restaurants in Burgau. In the summer, as the number of visitors increases, the centre can get pretty busy so make sure to get to your favourite spot early, or book ahead.
Some popular spots are Café do Burgau, where you’ll find a fresh, healthy menu in a relaxed atmosphere. Caffé Bombordo is another favourite, tucked away in the back streets of Burgau. Just up from the beach you’ll find Miam Burgau and Restaurante Ancora, both of which are very popular and have great sea views.
For after dinner, A Prateleira bar has a large terrace and often has live music during the summer. Bar One is another popular spot for those who live in and visit Burgau, with a wide selection of drinks and food on offer.
The village also has a sports centre where you can play tennis, squash and football as well as partaking in various fitness activities. The centre also has a swimming pool and a terrace where you can sit down and relax, and enjoy something from the onsite café.
For those looking to move to the area with children, it’s worthwhile knowing that Burgau is home to the Vale Verde international school for children between the ages of 5-18. It follows the British curriculum but is a bilingual, Portuguese/ English school. It’s one of the leading private, international schools in the area and is a great option if you are coming with children.
Whilst only small, Burgau is full of charm and spirit. Many people choose to reside here and in the surrounding area full time. You’ll find many of the services and amenities you need either in the village of Burgau, or close by in Lagos or Luz. Burgau is only an hour’s drive from Faro and just under three hours from Lisbon.
Have a watch of our video on Burgau and our latest project there here
Feeling Drawn to Burgau?
Make sure to take a look at one of the latest projects in Burgau. This condominium will be situated just a few minutes from Praia do Burgau and consist of two bedroom apartments, all of which will have private outdoor space and access to a communal swimming pool as well as private parking and storage. These apartments will provide the ideal base to enjoy the beautiful town of Burgau in comfort and style.
For a place that’s ready to buy and move into, this two bedroom apartment just outside the centre of Burgau in a wonderful rural setting is perfect. This two bedroom apartment is also situated in the same condominium.