Best Beach Near Porto
There are numerous beaches you can reach from Porto by public transportation within an hour. What the best beach near Porto is, depends on what your priorities for a day at the beach are. Here’s my list of the top beaches for different moods.
One more thing before I start: Porto is next to the Atlantic, which means the water is freezing. It never gets warmer than 17°C and there might be some bigger waves, which is great for surfing but not so much for swimming.
The best beach, if you want…
- a quiet time with not many people
- proper food options nearby
- to travel the shortest possible way
- a quiet time with an Instagrammable chapel
a quiet time with not many people
Praia Cabedelo do Douro
This beach is in Gaia, across the bridge from the main Porto. You can get there easily by bus, it just takes quite a long time. From the bus stop, it’s still about a ten-minute walk north. The beach is massive and there’re almost no people there. At least it feels like there are almost no people because the beach is so big. You can relax, and enjoy the ocean view and the quiet.
Now to the negative parts of this beach: there are no public toilets, no shops, restaurants or what so ever. The lack of toilets results in everyone peeing into the field nearby, yeah, I don’t think I need to say more about that. Another thing you might want to consider, the weather can be quite different here compared to the city. When I set off once in Porto centre it was blue sky and sunshine and at Praia Cabedelo do Douro it was so foggy I couldn’t even see the ocean.
Don’t forget to bring your own food when you want to spend a day at Praia Cabedelo do Douro. My snack for the day among other things was a delicious sandwich from a cute little all-vegan bakery.
So again Praia Cabedelo do Douro is the best beach near Porto for you if you want some quiet time and if you don’t need to pee very often.
proper food options nearby
Praia de Matosinhos
Matosinhos is a port and fishing town just north of Porto. Because it is a fishing town I was a bit sceptical at first regarding their vegan food options, no reason for that though. There is a selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants within walking distance from the beach. I only tried out the vegan restaurant Ginger, you can read about it in my guide to vegan restaurants in Porto. The beach itself is very busy since it’s so close to the town. There are a lot of surfing schools at the beach, so if you want to try that while you’re in Portugal Praia de Matosinhos is the best beach near Porto for you.
to travel the shortest possible way
Praia do Carneiro
Probably the most visited beach by tourists is Praia do Carneiro or one of the neighbouring beaches in Foz. It’s the best beach near Porto since it’s the fastest to get to. You can either go there by bus or by the traditional tram. The traditional tram is quite an experience on its own and is often listed as a recommended thing to do in Porto. You need to get a special ticket from the tram driver, your usual public transportation card is not valid on this tram. I would recommend taking the tram to the beach, walking north next to the beach until you find a spot you like, and then catching the bus back.
The beaches here can get very crowded. If you walk north for a while you’ll come by the Pérgola da Foz, a structure on the beachfront walkway. Don’t worry about walking back, you can just get the bus from there to get back to the city.
a quiet time with an Instagrammable chapel
Praia de Miramar
Praia de Miramar is the only beach where you have to take the train to get there. But if you haven’t taken the train from São Bento train station yet, I would recommend doing that anyway. From the train station, it’s a short walk to the beach. You’ll be able to see the Capela do Senhor da Pedra in the distance immediately when you get to the beach. Head there to look around and take some pictures. To relax I would recommend heading south from the chapel, there’re not so many people. There are a few little cafés where you can get something to drink or ice cream and you can use the toilets.
Not in the mood for a beach day? Check out my day trip recommendations from Porto.