Located along the western Alentejo coast of Portugal, 170 km south of Lisbon, Porto Covo is a civil parish in Sines.
Porto Covo is known for its beaches and historical ties to the ocean. The term “Covo” in the name Porto Covo refers to a special fishing net, used for capturing crabs and lobsters. That show the strong influence fishing had and still has in Porto Covo.
Nowadays, Porto Covo is still a friendly fishing village full of small picturesque white houses that were rebuilt after the 1755 Lisbon’s earthquake.
Porto Covo beaches are sheltered by sheer cliffs and are great attractions for tourists and visitors. During the summer months, many tourists come to Porto Covo to rest, enjoy nature and the sunny weather, and to find the peace and tranquillity that is so rare to find in most cities nowadays.
Another interesting sight in Porto Covo is the “Ilha do Pessegueiro”. Located around 250 meters off the coast near Porto Covo, this beautiful island has the reputation of being a great source of inspiration for poets. There you can find beautiful landscapes and some remains of its occupation by the Carthaginians (3rd century BC), and clear evidence of the island’s Roman occupation. Ilha do Pessegueiro is a magical place where nature and history combine in perfection and providing a really special atmosphere.
While Porto Covo is still a traditional fishing village, its economy is now driven mostly by tourism. Due to its location (just 170km south of Lisbon), Porto Covo became a popular getaway spot during the summer months. Due to this growth, the village has grown immensely with the old center increasingly surrounded by recent holiday villas.
It’s estimated that Porto Covo population increases by up to 10 times during the summer months so if you’re looking to find the most traditional side of the village, with fewer tourists, you need to avoid visiting it during July and August.
Besides the beaches, Porto Covo has a popular square (Praça Marquês de Pombal) which is located in the village center. This square is a common hangout for locals and tourists.
All roads in the old village lead to a little fishing harbor that clings to the side of a deep natural inlet. Some boats still fish from here but, nowadays, most of the traffic in this fishing harbor is generated from boat trips that take tourists to the Pessegueiro Island.
The biggest attraction in Porto Covo remain the beautiful sandy beaches that surround it, but there’s really a beach that stands above all: The Praia Grande. Praia Grande (translated as “Big Beach”) is not only the biggest beach in Porto Covo but also the most reputable. With good facilities, blue flag and lifeguards, Praia Grande is one of those little treasures that used to belong to locals only, but that keeps getting more and more reputation in Portugal and abroad.