In Portugal, Alfeizerão is widely known for its famous "Pão de Ló" (sponge cake) and many families will come here on purpose just to eat a slice. However, this small town in Silver Coast - Portugal has much more to offer! Starting with an exceptional quality of life, which beats to the rhythm of the church bells, the birds chirping in the surrounding green countryside and the laughter of children playing in the street…
“In many ways, living in Alfeizerão is a celebration of life's simple pleasures…”
Located south of the municipality of Alcobaça, Alfeizerão is an excellent example of what many consider "The Real Portugal". A land rich in history and traditions, that has kept true to its identity and what makes its community so genuine.
In the small hamlets around the village centre, the locals wake up with fresh bread on their doorstep. In true Portuguese custom, the baker comes early in the morning, so that when the local families start their day, they have freshly-baked bread on their doorstep.
The day continues with families dropping their children off at school or stopping by a local café to say good morning to their neighbours and enjoy an espresso and a “pastel de nata”.
At the farmers' market, which is open from Tuesday to Sunday, Dona Julia awaits regular clients with the freshest fish.
You will also find locally sourced meat at the market's butcher shop and locally grown fruit and vegetables. Alfeizerão is famous for the quality of its Alcobaça apples and Rocha pears!
“In Alfeizerão, they know you are a local when you refer to green beans as ‘patarecos’!”
Land of an ancient lagoon & Moorish castle
Alfeizerão is also known for its rich history. Centuries ago, the waters of the magnificent São Martinho do Porto bay reached Alfeizerão, where a Moorish castle protected the water's edge.
Today, there are still ruins of the ancient castle in the fields behind the quaint Alfeizerão church. The locals take joy in sharing these legends, filled with folklore and myths that are over a thousand years old.
Later, when these lands were part of the newly formed Kingdom of Portugal, it was on the banks of the Alfeizerão lagoon that the iron used in the construction of the Alcobaça Monastery was unloaded from boats.
“However, no story from the past is as famous as the tale of the Pão de Ló de Alfeizerão, a traditional sponge cake unique to this Portuguese village.”
Pão de Ló de Alfeizerão - one of Portugal's most popular desserts
Although there are different versions explaining the origin of Pão de Ló de Alfeizerão, all agree its fame is owed to the Portuguese king D. Carlos I, who was served a slice while visiting a friend who lived in Alfeizerão.
According to the story passed down from generation to generation of Alfeizerenses, the original recipe was created by the nuns of the Monastery of Cós, in Alcobaça. However, the cook responsible for baking the cake for the King's visit was nervous and removed it from the oven before it was fully cooked.
The result was a creamy centre the King praised so highly that it became a custom to always undercook “Pão de Ló” in Alfeizerão. To this day, its moist centre is the trademark of the famous Pão de Ló de Alfeizerão.
Where to buy the real Pão de Ló de Alfeizerão:
Casa do Pão de Ló
Restaurants in Alfeizerão
Alfeizerão is also known for its many restaurants, most serving typical Portuguese cuisine. Here you will find several options to taste the best meat, fish and regional desserts!
Where to eat in Alfeizerão:
Viamar - This simple and very inexpensive restaurant is located next to the Parish Church of Alfeizerão, in Largo José Rino de Avelar Fróis. The daily menu offers traditional Portuguese cuisine and there is also a take-away option.
Restaurante Marcampo - Located on the main avenue of Alfeizerão, at Rua 25 de Abril 29, here you will also find a diversified menu with traditional Portuguese dishes and an outdoor terrace. Take-away is also available.
Tasca do TinTin - This is the newest restaurant in Alfeizerão, with diversified options and a unique decor that is an invitation to enjoy a meal with family and friends.
Churrasqueiras - Alfeizerão also has several barbecue places, where you can eat at a restaurant (Churrasqueira Farinha, Rua de Angola,16) or enjoy a typical Portuguese style grilled chicken at home (Churrasco do Estica, on the main road of Alfeizerão).
An De Fu - This Chinese restaurant is located at the entrance of the village, at R. 25 de Abril, 183. Option of eating in the restaurant or takeaway.
Centro Equestre Internacional de Alfeizerão (CEIA) - This restaurant is part of the international equestrian centre located on the EN 8 road, that connects Alfeizerão to Caldas da Rainha. The buffet lunch is an excellent option for those who like variety and have time to enjoy a longer meal.
Day to day life in Alfeizerão
Daily life in Alfeizerão is also made of simple joys, with everything you need within walking distance. In the centre of the village, you will find several services and shops, as well as several places to buy the best local products.
Residents in Alfeizerão prefer to do their shopping in the village, not only because it's important for the local economy, but also because it's part of the Portuguese way of life.
Going to the farmers' market or the small shop across the street is more than shopping... it's an opportunity to catch up on the town's gossip and buy local products with excellent quality (and unbeatable prices)!
Where to shop in Alfeizerão:
In Alfeizerão, you have three mini-markets and a farmers' market, where you can find everything you need for your daily life:
The “mercado”, Alfeizerão’s farmers’ market - The local "mercado", also known as the "praça", is open every day between Tuesday and Sunday (closed Mondays and public holidays). You can find this covered farmers' market on Rua de Moçambique (next to Alfeizerão's public health centre), with several local vendors selling fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, a butcher's shop and fresh flowers.
Meu Super Alfeizerão - Located on R. 25 de Abril 82, next to the Cinderela pastry shop, this mini-market has a bakery and delicatessen section.
Doce Mel - Located on R. 25 de Abril 154, next to the bus stop, this mini-market also has a bakery and delicatessen section.
Supermercado Coviran (Sem Trocos) - Although this mini-market also has a storefront facing the main avenue of Alfeizerão, the entrance is through the back, next to a square where there is plenty of parking. It also has a delicatessen section and a drugstore section on the upper floor, where the villagers buy household and agricultural products, as well as supplies for their farm animals and pets.
Lavrador - This supermarket is outside the village, on the EN8 road connecting Alfeizerão to Caldas da Rainha. Besides a grocery store, it has a butcher counter and a section selling foreign products.
Alfeizerão’s monthly outdoor market
Every month, there is also a monthly outdoor market in Alfeizerão with a variable date. This market is held on the second Tuesday of every month, but if the date is before the 9th, it moves to the 3rd Tuesday of that month.
This monthly event is another opportunity for locals to meet. You can feel this community spirit as you browse the various aisles selling just about anything! From clothing and household linen, shoes, kitchenware, agricultural products, farm animals, flowers, Portuguese charcuterie and cheeses, fruit, vegetables, traditional Portuguese ceramics, furniture... you name it, Alfeizerão’s monthly market will probably sell it!
Make the most of your visit to this market and grab a delicious grilled chicken ("frango assado") to eat at home. The aroma of a charcoal-roasted Portuguese style chicken fills the corridors of the market from midday onwards! It's impossible to miss this local tradition.
Services available in Alfeizerão
As for the services available in Alfeizerão, although the town is small in size, here you will find everything you need for your daily life:
Centro de Saúde de Alfeizerão: Alfeizerão's public healthcare centre is part of the Portuguese National Healthcare Service (SNS - Serviço Nacional de Saúde) and is open every day in the building next to the Junta de Freguesia, with medical and nursing services for the local population.
Banks: Alfeizerão has two banks, both on the main avenue of the village - Millennium BCP and Caixa Agrícola de Alfeizerão.
Pharmacy: Alfeizerão’s pharmacy is also located on the village’s main avenue, in front of Millennium BCP bank.
Bolha Sabão Azul laundry shop - Offers laundry service, dry cleaning and self-service machines.
Gato da Sorte newspaper shop: The place where locals buy newspapers, magazines, lottery games and various articles of stationery and tobacco.
Shops: From construction materials to clothing, jewellery, florists, houseware items, etc… in Alfeizerão there are several shops. You will not need a car to go shopping if you don't want to!
Auto Repair Shops: Alfeizerão also has several local mechanics (Auto Baía, in the centre of town at Rua 25 de Abril, 143; in the surrounding villages, there are also Autoreparadora de João Paulo Bento, Pedro Oliveira Machado, Auto C.r. Automovel and Auto Mecânica Peso). For tyres and car washes, AutoPneus Gasolinas is the place to go.
Schools in Alfeizerão include the EB1 de Alfeizerão (primary school, from 1st to 4th grade), Jardim de Infância do Casal do Parto (public kindergarten for children from 3 to 6 years old, which will move to the new school building in the centre of the village at the end of 2022) and Centro Paroquial de Alfeizerão, that supports the local community with daycare, kindergarten and after-school activities for young children.
The fastest way to get to Alfeizerão from Lisbon is via the A8 motorway, a 99 km trip thaty takes about an hour by car.
“Alfeizerão has direct access to the A8 motorway, right at the town's entrance, making travelling within Portugal quick and easy. In one hour, you'll reach Lisbon's International Airport, which also makes Alfeizerão an excellent base for those who like to travel!”
If you prefer to travel by public transport, there are several buses between Lisbon and Alfeizerão throughout the day, departing from the Sete Rios station ("Rede Expressos" buses) or Campo Pequeno station ("Rápida" buses).
Coming from the North of Portugal, the best route is through the A1 motorway and then through the A17 and A8.
Alfeizerão also has the advantage of being close to some of the best places to explore the Silver Coast. Strategically located between Alcobaça and Caldas da Rainha, the village is only a short drive from famous monuments and beaches, the nearest being São Martinho do Porto (less than 5 minutes by car).
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And the best part? Even with its excellent location and proximity to the sea, average property prices in Alfeizerão are considerably more affordable than those of coastal towns nearby.
If you want to know more about living in Alfeizerão or discover fabulous opportunities to buy a property in this area of the Silver Coast, give me a call!
“Alfeizerão was the first place I lived in Portugal... I am happy to share that experience with you!”
Author: Dylan Herholdt - Sales Director at Portugal Realty