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©Luis Ferraz

The 13 best beaches near Porto

Porto isn't just a city break, you know? Check out these nearby beaches for a day in the sun

Written by
Time Out Porto editors

Porto is a cracking city, full of great food, culture, bars and more. If you're there for just a few days, you might never want to leave it, but if you've got a bit more time, there's plenty more to see in the surrounding towns and cities.

And if it's sunny? It would be criminal not to head to one of the beautiful beaches nearby. We've rounded up the best beaches near Porto, all easily reachable by car or by bus in less than an hour. Catch some rays, take a hike, pack a picnic or take a surfing lesson. Here are the best beaches near Porto. 

📍 The best things to do in Porto 
📍 The best things to do in Lisbon
📍 Our essential guide to Portugal

This article was written by the editorial team at Time Out Porto. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

The best beaches near Porto

Mindelo Beach (26km away)
© João Saramago

1. Mindelo Beach (26km away)

By car: 23 min
By bus: 50 min

A social fixture for Porto residents at the height of summer, Mindelo beach is in Vila do Conde, half an hour from Porto. Unlike most beaches in northern Portugal, it’s sheltered from the wind, and it's also good for kids; the sand stretches for 2km, so it's ideal for volleyball and football. Plus the beach is set in the Mindelo Ornithological Reserve, which makes it a great spot for birdwatchers.

Moreiró Beach, Vila do Conde (19km away)
© João Saramago

2. Moreiró Beach, Vila do Conde (19km away)

By car: 30 min
By bus: 1h 15 min

Probably the quietest beach on this list – it doesn’t even feature any massive building sites! Win. Moreiró Beach is a typical family destination, for people after a fuss-free sunny day out. If you’re after a bev, there’s a bar here too.

Memória Beach (18km away)
© João Saramago

3. Memória Beach (18km away)

By car: 18 min
By bus: 1h 13 min

Take the kids here in the mornings to make new friends. In the afternoon it’s quiet, without little ’uns charging about with water pistols. It has lifeguards, parasols to rent, a bar right next to the sand and a chunk of history: the iconic Obelisco da Praia da Memória (or Obelisco da Memória – Obelisk of Memory), the symbol of the beach, has stood here for 150 years.

Aterro Beach (12km away)
Luis Ferraz

4. Aterro Beach (12km away)

By car: 15 min
By bus: 40 min

Well loved by surfers and bodyboarders, Aterro is seriously good for sports – but that's not all it's got going for it. Surrounded by glistening rocks, wildlife and greenery, this beach is a very special place. It's also easy to get to, located in Leça da Palmeira. 

Homem do Leme Beach (7km away)
© Cláudia Paiva

5. Homem do Leme Beach (7km away)

By car: 17 min
By bus: 34 min

A trip to Foz is a must for anyone visiting Porto, and so is spreading out a towel on the Praia do Homem do Leme. Like all the beaches in this area, it has a Blue Flag and is dramatically set among the rocks. For the little ones there’s a play area in the shape of a boat; for the grown-ups, two (two!) bars.

Lavadores Beach (7km away)
© DR

6. Lavadores Beach (7km away)

By car: 9 min
By bus: 14 min

If you like a swim, don't want to travel too far, and have a little geologist in you, this is the beach for you. This is not just any beach: Lavadores beach is an authentic open-air geological museum, due to the incredible variety of granite rocks there. You gotta see it to believe it. 

Sereias Beach, Espinho (19km away)
© Marco Duarte

7. Sereias Beach, Espinho (19km away)

By car: 20 min
By bus: 30 min

‘Praia das Sereias’ means ‘Mermaid Beach’, but we’ll just come out and say it: there are no mermaids here. What there are are plenty of families and big groups of friends, who tend to gather near the base of the massive boulder, where they’re sheltered from the wind. For some peace and quiet, climb to the top of the rock: there’s usually not a lot of people up there. It’s also a popular beach for surfing.

Madalena Beach (9km away)
© Marco Duarte

8. Madalena Beach (9km away)

By car: 11 min
By bus: 26 min

Madalena's long stretch of beautiful sand is simply begging for you to come and take a stroll or do some sunbathing. This is one of the most popular beaches in Gaia, and for good reason. If you've got trainers with you, put them on and take a walk along Madalena's wooden walkway. 

Senhor da Pedra Beach (15km)
Fotografia de João Saramago

9. Senhor da Pedra Beach (15km)

By car: 17 min
By bus: 29 min

Named one of Europe’s prettiest beaches in 2015, thanks in part to the famous Senhor da Pedra (Lord of the Rock) chapel. It’s in the municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia, on the south bank of the Douro. This beach is one of the best on this list for children, with a dedicated play area, a vast sweep of sand that’s great for ball games and a nice café-bar for tantrum-diffusing snacks and ice creams.

Aguda Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia (17km away)
©Marco Duarte

10. Aguda Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia (17km away)

By car: 20 min
By bus: 32 min

At the Praia da Aguda in Gaia, you can walk from Miramar to Granja without having to step out of northern Portugal’s typically cool/chilly waters. Spot traditional fishermen along the way, with their colourful boats and nets. On your way back, take advantage of the wooden boardwalk over the dunes and stop at Chez Maurice to enjoy a panini with an ocean view.

São Pedro da Maceda Beach (35km away)
© Marco Duarte

11. São Pedro da Maceda Beach (35km away)

By car: 32 min
By bus: 46 min

If you've got wheels and want a leisurely day out, head for the Praia de São Pedro da Maceda, in Ovar (Aveiro). The route passes through a protected pine forest, the Perímetro Florestal das dunas de Ovar. The beach is good for surfing and windsurfing, and there are stretches used by nudists. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

São Jacinto Beach (66km away)
© Marco Duarte

12. São Jacinto Beach (66km away)

By car: 1h 2 min
By bus: 1h 40 min

This beach is right in the Dunas de São Jacinto nature reserve, at Aveiro, and is picture postcard perfect, with sand as far as the eyes can see. The route there from Porto is just as spectacular, especially as you skirt the Aveiro Lagoon or estuary. Take a good book with you and a picnic, and chill out. Social media addicts will probably want to take a snap or 50.

Leça Beach, Matosinhos (13km away)
©Luis Ferraz

13. Leça Beach, Matosinhos (13km away)

By car: 16 min
By bus: 15 min

The Leça da Palmeira beach is Matosinhos’s most crowded – and the easiest to find, thanks to its iconic giant advertising sign, giving it the popular nickname ‘Nivea Ball Beach’: snappy! It’s a hangout place for a younger crowd, but don’t worry – there’s plenty of room for everybody. The south side of the beach has fewer rocks and is popular with surfers, kitesurfers and bodyboarders.

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