Breathing the calm

As its neighbour Burgau, Salema has a very rich and ancient history.  The remains of an ancient Roman villa and a fish cannery confirm this long fishing tradition.

Worldly known as one of the 15 most quiet and low profile beaches, Praia da Salema, in the municipality of Vila do Bispo, showcases a story of success between fishing activity and tourism. It is known that it held tuna traps (some belonged to Prince Henry) replaced afterwards with sardine traps likewise the trend followed by other places of the Western Algarve. Tuna traps were assembled in April-May; in addition to tuna, they mainly caught breams, croaker and bluefish.

Currently, it has 9 boats and about 12 fishermen — in contrast with 19 vessels and 25 registered seafarers, in 2000.

The main fishing gears are pots and clay pots (alcatruzes) for octopus; gill and trammel nets for axillary seabream, sole, red mullet and cuttlefish.


In gastronomy, the highlights are the conger eel and skate stew, grilled fish, whelks with beans, mussels with beans, skinned horse mackerel and dry octopus.


Local celebrations catch everyone’s attention; the Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes procession, on the 15th August, is a must-go event.


Menhirs (Milrei, Padrão e Aspradantas), Biodiversity Station (BS) at Praia da Boca do Rio, fossilized dinosaur footprints (herbivorous dinosaurs, genus Iguanodon on the western strand), Praia da Salema, beaching of the boats,  nature trails “Pelas encostas da Raposeira”,   underwater route Ingrina-Rampa Baixa (ICNF/PNSACV), water sports.

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