Azenhas do Mar – A Rare View

Azenhas do Mar beach

Azenhas do Mar is a tiny coastal town near Sintra, one of my favorite places in Portugal. It is often depicted in photos in vivid colors like Italian coastal villages such as Manarola or Positano. I happened to go to Azenhas do Mar on a gray and foggy morning and what I saw was very different.


The beach was empty, the skies were gray and foggy and it was cold enough to wear a cardigan – not exactly ideal beach conditions! At first, I was disappointed: my plans to sunbathe on a tiny, idyllic beach were ruined. But the smell of the salt water and the light mist in the air drew me in. The sleepy village around it beckoned to be explored. It seemed almost like a ghost town. Not what I was expecting, but certainly intriguing.


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So we walked around the little town for a little while in the hopes the clouds to blow away. And they do eventually – this fog was typical morning weather for Sintra and its immediate vicinity. The town was very quaint.

The waves were rough and it reminded me how terrifying the ocean must’ve appeared for explorers and fishermen throughout Portugal’s long maritime history.

Restaurante Azenhas do Mar

Restaurante Azenhas do Mar and sea pool

Waves, Azenhas do Mar

Between a rock and a hard wave

Bar on the beach - Azenhas do Mar

Beach bar

The muted, gray and white tones of Azenhas do Mar that morning was memorable in its own way. It reminded me of the monochrome filters that are so popular on social media nowadays. So, as much as people like going to Portugal for the sunshine, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. But that shouldn’t detract from a different kind of beauty that you may discover, if you are only open to it.


Rough seas, Azenhas do Mar

Rough seas at Azenhas do Mar


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  • Gail at Large
    August 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I like these grey and foggy days as they sometimes bring out the real characters of the village who are out and about in every kind of weather. We were standing in practically gale force winds in Praia de Miramar one February with some Russian visitors, and out of the blue comes the local historian who proceeded to bombard them with stories from the Portuguese Age of Discoveries. It was hilarious!

    • aportugueseaffair
      August 8, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      I love it! Sadly, no historian came out to share stories with me but I used my imagination to envisage those voyages anyway 🙂

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