- Beaches Type
- Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
Porto's location along Portugal's northwestern coast grants the city access to some prime beachfront. If you find yourself experiencing a sunny day, visiting Portugal's northwest coast is a great way to pass the time. In Foz, located east of the city center along Avenida do Brasil, you'll find a handful of small beaches, like Praia do Molhe and Praia de Gondarém. Though picturesque, the terrain just offshore is a little rocky, so swimming isn't advised. But you can still bring a towel to lie on the sand, soak up the sun and dip your feet in the cool Atlantic for a little refreshment. Speaking of refreshment, this area of Porto is also packed with plenty of beachfront bars, restaurants and cafes — it's quite a popular place to enjoy the outdoors both day and night.
Meanwhile in the town just south of the Porto city center, Vila Nova de Gaia, you'll happen upon beaches with soft white sand and conditions more suitable for swimming. The beaches of Vila Nova de Gaia are known for their impeccable water quality, environmental awareness and safety — awarded and recognized with blue flags — making them some of the most impressive in Portugal. Madalena, Lavadores, Salgueiros and Miramar are some examples of beaches you can travel to from Porto. Both active types and those looking for a little R&R will find a day at one of these beaches enjoyable: The shorelines here feature amenities like volleyball nets, bike paths and shaded cabanas.
The best way to get to the beaches of Foz and Vila Nova de Gaia is by bus or by taxi. To reach Foz, you can pick up the No. 200 bus along Rua do Campo Alegre in central Porto; take it in the direction of Castelo do Queijo and get off at the Igreja Carmelitas stop. You can also pick up the 1M bus on Rua do Campo Alegre toward Matosinhos and get off at the Praia da Luz stop; or get the No. 500 bus along Rua do Ouro toward Matosinhos and get off at Praia da Luz. To reach the Vila Nova de Gaia beaches from central Porto, pick up the 902 bus on Rua do Campo Alegre toward Lavadores and take it to the end of the line, or hop on 906 at the São Bento metro stop in the direction of Madalena and get off at the Cerro stop. If you want to save some money, pack a cooler with a picnic to quell your hunger and thirst while you're at the beach. But if you're looking to explore some of the local eateries, you'll have no problem finding somewhere to dine right off the beach in both Foz and Vila Nova de Gaia.
- Thing to Do