Visiting Porto Beach, Portugal, is the best way to beat the sizzling summer heat. The city’s year-round mild climate is an added bonus and your sign to visit the beach on your next trip to the land of Port, Fado, and cork.
You can soak up the sun, take surf lessons, or relax on the beach no matter when you plan your trip. With an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, a stunning coastline along the Atlantic coast, and home to some of Europe’s (and the world’s) most jaw-dropping scenery. You simply cannot miss Playa Porto and the surrounding beaches.
The majority of the beaches have lots of facilities, including bathrooms and umbrellas to rent, especially during the peak summer season.
Beaches North of Porto:
Praia da Memória
Best beach in Porto, Portugal.
Praia da Memória, or Beach of Memory, is one of the best beaches along the entire Iberian Peninsula.
You’ll know you’ve arrived when you catch sight of the Obelisk of Memory, a towering structure marking the 1832 landing site of the Liberation Army that began Portugal’s Liberal Wars—the civil war that waged on during the early 19th century.
Now the beach is one of the most peaceful places in the region. It is popular with surfers, and there are a few scattered traditional beach huts along the champagne-colored sand. You can rent a hut for the day, splash around in the azure waters, and visit the beach bar for some delicious snacks.
Located about 8 km (~5 miles) north of Porto’s cruise terminal and 13 km (8 miles) north of Porto’s center, you can get to Praia da Memoria in about 20 minutes by car via the A28 highway. It is also possible to take the Line 508 bus directly to the beach.
It is worth the journey, as this is one of the best beaches Porto, Portugal, offers.
Town: Vila do Conde
Another great option is Vila do Conde, an old seafaring town home to several lovely beaches.
Best for families and those looking for a hassle-free day out.
One of the quietest beaches in the area, Moreiró Beach is a typical family destination for anyone looking to enjoy a fun day by the ocean. There aren’t any massive buildings or big resorts here, but there is a bar to grab lunch.
You’ll want to head here if you are looking for a stress-free day with nothing but the ocean in front of you.
Best for those looking for perfect, white-sand beaches.
The uninterrupted kilometer (half a mile) long stretch of golden sand beach is the perfect place to relax. There are a few beach huts here to rent and even a clothing-optional area, so if you’re feeling up for it, take a dip in your birthday suit when you’re ready to cool off.
Keep in mind that the northern section of this beach is quite rocky, so plan to stay in the central and southern areas of Labruge Beach, which is located near the mouth of the Onda river.
There are direct bus routes up to Vila do Conde. You should expect the journey to be 45 minutes to an hour.
Póvoa de Varzim
Best for resort lovers.
Located just south of Vila do Conde is Póvoa de Varzim. While now a bit over-crowded, it was once one of the best beach resorts near Porto, Portugal.
It is only an hour from the city and has eight glorious kilometers (five miles) of powder-soft sands to enjoy.
This lovely resort beach is about 32 km (20 miles) north of Porto. You can get there by driving via the A28 highway, taking the bus, or the subway.
Other Nearby Beaches:
Praia do Fuzelhas—10.9 km (6.8 miles) north of Porto.
Pedras do Corgo Beach—15.7 (9.7 miles) north of Porto.
Mindelo Beach—25.5 km (16 miles) north of Porto.
Quião Beach—37 km (23 miles) north of Porto.
Ofir Beach—50 km (31 miles) north of Porto.
Praia de Moledo—98 km (61 miles) north of Porto.
Beaches South of Porto
Praia Azul Espinho
Best for Portuguese charm.
Twenty minutes south of the city, you’ll find Praia de Espinho.
This beach has a stunning stretch of cream-colored, powder-soft sand and gorgeous navy waters. Espinho is a former fishing village, and you can still spot traditional fishing boats looking for anchovies and sardines just off the coast.
There are plenty of amenities in this relaxing resort town, like restaurants, bars, and surf schools dotting the beach promenade.
Along the beach are huts offering surfboards and wetsuits for rent and surf camps for those who want to learn how to hang 10.
However, one of the best facilities has to be the heated public swimming pool just behind the beach. This saltwater goliath has a three-tiered diving board and is the perfect place to escape if surfing and open water aren’t your things.
The easiest way to get here is to drive. You can rent a car and drive directly to the beach.
Best beach in Porto for families.
Praia das Sereias, or Mermaid Beach, is the perfect spot for families and large groups of friends to gather and enjoy the sunshine.
While there are no mermaids here, it is a great place to enjoy stunning views and lots of good surfing. Kids can splash around in the shallow pools, and there are great spots for building sand castles and relaxing in the sun.
The beach has gorgeous turquoise waters and a perfectly placed mermaid statue, making it a fantastic photo spot. Climb to the top of the boulder at the beach’s edge for a bird’s eye view of the area.
Buses from Porto to Praia das Sereias take about thirty minutes.
If you have a car, driving 19 km south (11.8 miles) directly to the beach is easy. It should take about 20 minutes.
Town: Vila Nova de Gaia
Located 5 km south of Porto is Vila Nova de Gaia. The beaches connected to this charming village are a perfect day trip from the city. Many beaches here have great campsites, and there is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sea.
Best for long walks on the beach.
This long stretch of beach is a great place to go for a walk. You can stroll all the way from Miramar to Granja, a lovely way to get in four km (2.5 miles) worth of steps. Here you’ll also find many local fishermen who go out on their colorful boats in the mornings.
Praia do Senhor da Pedra
Best for stunning Instagram shots.
You can’t come to Gaia and not see Praia do Senhor da Pedra.
This beach has a lovely promenade, perfect for renting a bicycle and riding around town. You can even rent a bike in the city and cycle down the Atlantic Highway, stopping at several beaches on your way.
What makes Praia do Senhor da Pedra so unique, though, is the Senhor da Pedra Chapel right in the middle of the ocean. During low tide, you can walk out to the church and explore the beautiful stained glass windows and amazing ocean views.
During high tide, though, the chapel is inaccessible, making it seem as though it was built amongst the waves.
From Porto, take the 902 or 906 bus to reach these beaches.
Canide Sul Beach
Best for watersports fans.
Canide Sul Beach is the perfect example of why Vila Nova de Gaia has a reputation for having the best beaches in northern Portugal.
During the summer, active lifeguards are on duty and plenty of watersports to participate in, such as surfing, jet skiing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
It is very easy to get to Canide, a short 15-minute car ride from Porto. There is also plenty of space to spread out, enjoy the soft, khaki sand, and soak up some sun.
Other Nearby Beaches:
Praia da Granja—17 km (10.5 miles) south of Porto.
Praia de Lavadores—7.5 km (4.6 miles) south of Porto
Praia do Cabedelo do Douro—7.5 km (4.6 miles) south of Porto.
São Pedro da Maceda Beach—40 km (35 miles) south of Porto.
Praia das Dunas de São Jacinto—66 km (41 miles) south of Porto.
Beaches West of Porto
Town: Foz do Douro
Praia do Carneiro
Best beach for people looking to get away from the crowds.
Carneiro Beach is a fantastic spot about 8 km (5 miles) west of Porto.
It is also home to Forte de São João Baptista, a 16th-century fort, and the extremely cool hexagonal Felgueiras Lighthouse.
The beach is fairly sparse, but the champagne-hued sand and sweeping ocean view more than make up for that. You won’t find any umbrellas for sun loungers to rent here, meaning it is typically crowd-free.
Bring your sand-resistant towel and a small picnic to enjoy the stunning views and laid-back, peaceful ambiance.
Even though there aren’t any facilities directly on Carneiro Beach, there are plenty of amenities nearby. You’ll find bathrooms, mini-golf, and a beautiful garden just a short walk away.
You can get to Praia do Carneiro by taking the Line 500 bus directly to the beach. The ride only takes 9 minutes.
Best beach for beachside beers and proximity to the city.
Gondarém Beach in Foz is the most accessible beach to reach from the city center.
Located in the upmarket Foz do Douro neighborhood, you’ll find this beach with a blue flag swaying in the breeze—denoting this is one of the cleanest, most sustainable, and all-around best beaches in Portugal.
The dark cerulean waters of the Atlantic wash onto honey-colored sand beaches, and there are plenty of rock pools and small lagoons to explore.
Foz is also great for an afternoon of café hopping, as plenty of spots serve up ice-cold beers and tasty snacks.
Be sure to pack a wetsuit if you plan to dip, as the water is notoriously chilly. If you aren’t interested in a polar plunge, you can opt to splash around in the rock pools or work on your tan instead.
You’ll also want to leave time to stop at Mercado da Foz. This market is only a half-mile walk from the beach and is packed with vendors selling produce, fish, and even delicious suckling pig from the Bairrada region. There are also stalls selling cheese, olives, and cured meats, perfect for preparing your picnic.
Gondarém Beach is 8 km (~5 miles) from the city center. You can easily reach the beach by tram or bus #500. It should only take about 30 minutes if you are centrally located.
Praia dos Ingleses
Best beach for staggering ocean views and great cocktails.
Just north of Praia do Carneiro is Praia dos Ingleses, one of the prettiest Playa Porto beaches.
Popular with locals because of its central location and the gorgeous swath of warm, honey sand, this beach really is postcard picture perfect.
In addition to the stunning, expansive ocean views, there is also a great beach bar with ample outside seating. It’s the ideal place to sit outside with a delicious cocktail and some tasty takeaway while people-watching to your heart’s content.
This scenic city beach is perfect for an afternoon walk or a relaxing day reading a good book while soaking up some rays and refreshing sea spray.
Just north of Foz do Douro, you’ll find the town of Matosinhos, the best place to eat seafood and go clubbing in the evenings.
Located between the Porto Cruise Terminal and 17th-century Saint Francis Xavier Fort, Matosinhos is one of the best places to chase the sun in Porto.
Several beaches are located here, all of which are worth checking out.
Best for crowded beach vibes and amenities near Porto.
Praia de Matosinhos is another great option in the area.
The vast honey-hued shoreline stretches as far as the eye can see, and the ocean is a crisp deep blue.
As one of the most extensive beaches in the city, you’ll find lots of amenities. Think sun loungers and parasols for rent, plenty of cafés and beach bars, and several boutiques, wine bars, and tapas restaurants nearby.
Matosinhos is a great place to relax in the sand and watch surfers catch some waves.
To get to Praia de Matosinhos, take a 10-minute taxi ride from Porto. However, if you don’t mind a 20-minute commute, take the Line 500 bus. It will drop you off directly at the beach.
Best beach for water sports enthusiasts and younger beach bums.
Leça da Palmeira beach is also known as Nivea Ball Beach thanks to its iconic giant advertisement welcoming visitors.
It is the most popular and crowded beach in Matosinhos, only 13 km (~8 miles) north of Porto.
The beach is stunning–warm, tan sand is offset by the deep cerulean ocean and vibrant turquoise pools. It is the place to go if you are part of the younger, hip local crowd.
It is rather rocky, so swim with caution and bring your waterproof shoes to protect your feet.
The south side of the beach has fewer rocks and is a great spot for surfers, bodyboarders, and kitesurfers.
Either way, you have plenty of options for the perfect day at the beach in Porto, Portugal.
Take the Line 507 bus to enjoy Praia da Palmeira, just north of Matosinhos Beach. The ride will take about 35 minutes. You can also drive directly to the beach in just over 10 minutes.
Other Nearby Beaches:
Praia do Molhe—5 km (3.1 miles) west of the city.
Praia do Castelo do Queijo—5.5 km (3.4 miles) west of Porto.
Praia do Homem do Leme—5.4 km (3.3 miles) west of Porto.
Weather in Porto Beach, Portugal
The weather in the Porto Beach region of Portugal is fairly mild all year round. Temperatures fluctuate during each season, but it hardly ever dips below freezing.
However, when planning an epic beach vacation, you want the best weather possible, right?
You’ll want to organize your trip in June, July, or August. When the temperatures hover between 21-25℃ (70-77℉) during the day and only dip to 15℃ (60℉) in the evenings.
Also, the summer months experience the least rainfall, practically guaranteeing sunny skies—perfect for several days of sun worshiping.
September is also a good time to travel to northern Portugal—it’s shoulder season. Temperatures peak at 24℃ (75℉), and there are occasional rainy days. It’s a great time to travel as it can help you save some money on accommodation since rooms tend to be cheaper in the off-season.
If you plan to spend all your time on the beach and want to swim and tan as much as possible, avoid traveling December-February. This is the rainiest time in the region, and it is far too cold to swim unless you plan on bringing a well-insulated wetsuit.
Packing List Essentials for the Porto Beaches in Portugal
- Plenty of bathing suits
- Waterproof shoes
- Sand resistant towel
- A good book
Map of Porto
Take a look at Porto and all the nearby beaches that line the coast on this interactive map. Use it to plan your beach hopping days.
How to Get to Porto Beach
Bookaway has plenty of routes if you’re traveling from within Portugal.
Plus, getting to Playa Porto is a breeze. You can travel from Lisbon to Porto in as little as two and a half hours. Depending on your budget, you can take a bus or train or book your private transfer directly into Porto. And you should plan to spend a couple of days there checking out all the beaches near Lisbon.
Another option is the cheap buses that operate between Porto and Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage City. The ride takes about four hours.
Coming from Spain? There is a bus from Madrid to Porto that takes about eight hours. This is a cheap, fairly quick, and convenient way to get from one country to the next while adding so much to your trip to the Iberian Peninsula.
There is an easy way to get to Porto, no matter where you’re coming from.
Be sure to leave time in your itinerary to visit a few of these beaches. They are all unique in their own way, and each has something special to offer. However, regardless of what you choose, you will be glad that you added some time at the Porto beaches, Portugal.
Yes–but be sure to only swim where it is marked as safe. There are strong waves, hidden rocks, and intense currents, so be sure to swim in designated areas.
Yes! But as always, be vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings.
Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto is the closest.
Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia are the closest towns to Porto Beach.