Leaving São Lourenço and going south we arrive at Ribamar. When we go down to the sea we come to the beach named “Coxos”. Rich in iodine, it formerly attracted people suffering from bone related problems, many of whom had difficulties in walking , thus originating the name “Coxos”, which in portuguese means “cripple”.
Today it is a favourite of surfers. They have their reasons! They paddle out to sea on their boards searching for a good set. There is nothing crippled about them!.
Walking along the coastline you first pass “Praia do Cavalinho”and following that the beach at Ribeira D`Ilhas, a true Mecca for those, who love to surf. The rocky bottom of the sea means that the waves are much more uniform ,so making this beach one of the best in the world, where you can practise surfing or bodyboard. Since February of 2011 it has been included in the first european resort to be named as member of the worldwide surf reservation by the Save the Waves organisation.
For several years many national and international championships took place there, with great names in the surfing world like Kelly Slater and our “own” Tiago Pires.
Continuing about another 1km we can turn to go down to the Empa beach, where we can always see youngsters with their boards under their arms descending the cliffs.
Nearby we can find the Milregos Fort, this too built during the period of the war of restoration after Portugal`s separation from Spain. Originally to protect the coast it was later abandoned as was the fort above São Lourenço`s beach. During the 1940`s there was a plan to convert the fort into a hotel and tea room, but owing to lack of funds this idea never went ahead. The coast continues with small extensions of sand which are difficult to access. Nevertheless our athletes still manage to go there and have even baptized them, one I do remember is called Reef, the others unfortuneately I cannot remember. Then we arrive at the beach called Matadoro (formally the site of the local slaughter house). Here we can bathe, look for mussels, barnacles and goose-neck barnacles(all local specialities), practise surf and windsurf. This beach has been chosen by many of the local surf schools, that have sprung up in recent years, where they teach youngsters the first steps in the sport.