Explore The Algarve Faro and around Olhão and the islands Fuseta Tavira and around Cabanas Alcoutim The central Algarve resorts Loulé Albufeira and around Armação de Pêra Silves The Serra de Monchique Lagos The western Algarve Sagres and around The west coast Cacela Velha Vila Real de Santo António and around Alcoutim Carvoeiro and around Ferragudo Portimão Praia da Rocha Alvor Share ALJEZUR (pronounced “alj-ezoor”), 16km north of Carrapeteira, is the liveliest town on this coast, though some way inland from any beaches. The main coast road passes through a prosaic, modern lower town where you find banks, the post office and a range of cafés and restaurants. The more interesting historic centre spreads uphill beyond the bridge over the Aljezur River, a network of narrow cobbled streets reaching up through whitewashed houses to the remains of an eleventh-century Moorish castle. It’s a lovely walk up to the castle with sweeping views over the valley, via a cluster of museums – though only the Casa Museu Pintor José Cercas is really worth a visit. The Casa Museu Pintor José Cercas displays the works and collections of local artist José Cercas, who lived in the house until his death in 1992. His well-observed landscapes and religious scenes are complemented by the attractive house and pretty garden. Some 10km southwest of Aljezur, Praia da Arrifana is a superb, sandy sweep set below high, crumbling black cliffs which shelter a tiny fishing harbour. The beach is excellent, and surf competitions are sometimes held here. Several simple café-restaurants lie along the road above the beach, all serving grilled fish at moderate prices.