The best beaches near Porto

Get a tan, have a dip in the sea, go surfing (show off!) or just chill on the sand. Time to hit the beach: here are Porto’s best ones
praia de moreiró
© João Saramago
By Time Out Porto editors |
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Porto’s year-round mild climate means that a trip to the beach is a must-do. There are several in easy reach of the city. Catch some rays and ozone-rich breezes, pack a picnic or, if you want a bit more action, take surfing lessons. 

The best beaches near Porto

praia da aguda
©Marco Duarte

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.

praia de moreiró
©João Saramago

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! Moreiró Beach is a typical family destination, for people after a fuss-free sunny day out. If you’re some kind of unreconstructed sophisticate, there’s a bar here too.

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Praia de Leça
©Luis Ferraz

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.

Praia de Gondarém
© João Saramago

Gondarém Beach, Foz (8km away)

By car: 17 min
By bus: 40 min

Foz’s beaches don’t have white sands (they’re more of a yellowish hue). But that can make them even prettier. When you’ve had enough of splashing about in the Atlantic (a blue flag signals that it’s safe to swim), paddle in rock pools and its many small lagoons. Then head to one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants. Bliss.

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Camera

Labruge Beach, Vila do Conde (24km away)

By car: 30min
By bus: 1h 20min

Sand doesn’t come much whiter than on Labruge Beach’s uninterrupted kilometre-long stretch. It also has beach huts and a nudist area. The northern part is rocky, so swimmers congregate in the central and south bits, near the mouth of the Onda river. Relax and watch the fishing boats coming and going.

praia das sereias
©Marco Duarte

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.

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Pedras do Corgo
@Luis Ferraz

Pedras do Corgo Beach, Lavra (20km away)

By car: 20 min
By bus: 51 min

Approach this beach in dramatic fashion, over a wooden gangway. When you finally set foot on it, you’ll realize there’s plenty to do: soft sand to walk through, an outdoor café to cool off and an area to play sports like beach volley. Once you’ve had enough of all that activity, there are cabins available.

Praia Canide Sul
©Artur Moreira

Canide Sul Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia (8km)

By car: 16 min
By bus: 58 min

Vila Nova de Gaia’s beaches are considered to be Northern Portugal’s best, and Canide Sul beach is a perfect example. It’s easy to get to, there’s loads of space and it has lifeguards. Watch out for watersports fans: in the summer it’s stiff with ’em.

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Praia de São Pedro da Maceda
© Marco Duarte

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.

Praia de São Jacinto
© Marco Duarte

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.

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