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Mexilhoeira Grande

Mexilhoeira Grande in western Algarve comes under the parish of the nearby city of Portimao. The village is known for its archeological finds, sitting up on a hill with views over the river and Portimao. From the top of the village which now sit between the EN125 and the A22. A short distance from Mexilhoeira is the Ribeira de Odiaxere well known for its salt fields, which harvest the salt from the river into special prepared salt beds. These are still harvest by hand using wooden rakes to pile salt crystals into rows which are then left to dry by the sun.

It is probably the second biggest in the Algarve next to Faro as its salt is highly prized. Whilst Mexilhoeira was in the past well known for the collection of Oysters, clams, and mussels harvested from the nearby mud flaps on the marshland below the village.

When you enter the village with a gentle climb to the top, bronze statues to celebrate well-known locals can be found whilst on the way.

 Mexilhoeira Grande has great community spirit, with the many tiled benches that are placed outside one of the smaller chapels. There is also a seating area at the large church at the top of the village. Normally occupied by locals chatting in the late afternoons; offering fantastic River and coastal views across to Portimao. The church bell can be heard for miles around, whilst the carved stone church doorway dates from the 18th century.


 The village offers many good restaurants that offer a good dish of the day, for around €7 with all included. Numerous bars dotted around the village as well as mini supermarket. Well worth visiting as the many buildings all offer something different in the way of architecture the village is a little cooler in the summer months with a welcoming breeze coming from the coast. However some days the smell from the mud flaps can be unbearable when the tide is out.  Probably better to park at the first opportunity, as many of the roads can be narrow and one-way streets.

Whilst Mexilhoeira was in the past well known for the collection of Oysters, clams, & mussels many harvested from the nearby mud flaps on the marshland below the village.


Fine stone carved doorway Bronze life size figures

Main square at the top

Views across the salt beds