Cacela Velha (pronounced Cass-ella-Veyya) is a beautiful tiny fishing village in the Algarve region of Portugal. It is so tiny, it almost doesn't seem real. Cacela Velha is located on the top of a hill with fantastic views over the Atlantic Ocean.
The village itself doesn't have many buildings, but it does have a cute church, a graveyard, a castle, several houses and that's about it!
Cacela Velha used to make its money from commercial fishing, however, it is now becoming more popular with tourists and I can see why. It feels very authentic and untouched by developers. So, now the main source of income is from the tourists visiting here every summer. There are a couple of hotels, restaurants and bars who earn money, but also the fishermen sell their fish to these places to feed the tourists.
We came here one evening to see some fireworks and listen to some live music - I can't remember what the celebration was for but it was cute non the less. But we also came back during the day to visit the beach. The views were too good not to go down and take a closer look.
The water was clean and clear, the sand was lovely and fine. There were tourists enjoying the beach, fishing boats sat in the sand. And lots of crabs running around on the wet sand. They hid when someone moved or walked, but if you stood still for a minute or two, they would slowly come out and explore.
This is such a beautiful small place which is still very authentic and seems like the 'real' Portugal. No tourist shops selling crap, no overpriced restaurants. Just a lovely village with amazing views and a huge beach!
Photographs of Cacela Velha's beach
Where to stay
If you're heading this way and want a bit of luxury, make sure you stay at Robinson Club Quinta Da Ria. It is a stunning 4* hotel close to Cacela Velha. There are swimming pools, spa facilities, tennis courts, a golf course, table tennis, a kids play area.. the list goes on. This hotel really has everything you need and want to keep you busy (or relaxed) on holiday, and if that isn't enough, there are lots of beaches and towns to explore close by.