Officially, according to the books and knowledge, Praia de Buarcos begins in the area of Ponte do Galante (for the less knowledgeable, where the Eurostars Hotel is located) and extends to Vais, at the beginning of the climb to Serra da Boa Viagem.
Perhaps that’s too much sand for our truck, so the reader won’t mind if we only look at the stretch of coastline between the sea and the sea. Casal da Areia (the area where the J.Pimenta building is located and the Fisherman Statue) and the Buarcos WallOver the years, the beaches of the municipality have been subdivided into their own nomenclatures, so that heading north we find the Tamargueira Beach and the Cape Mondego Beaches.
It would be a real audacity on our part to create new descriptions for Buarcos Beach, when illustrious countrymen of ours have been so successful in this endeavor.
Look at Ramalho Ortigão, who in “As Farpas” did not limit himself to praising Figueira da Foz and was able to see beyond:
“The large bay between Cape Mondego and the mouth of the river draws a charming curve, reminiscent of the most cheerful and sweetest gulfs of the Mediterranean.”
Or D. António da Costa de Sousa Macedo, former minister of the Monarchy (who doesn’t remember?!), who in 1877 wrote thus:
“To the left, the jagged castle, dark sentinel of the centuries narrating in secret the history of the past to all that youth that throbs with hopes; to the right, the place where the sea describes the immense bay, lurks the picturesque the beautiful village of Buarcos, by the sea, in a plain, which extending inland, is in the distance crowned by the gray mountain range of Serra da Boa Viagem”
It is not our purpose to remain prisoners in the past, but it is convenient to mention, before we focus once and for all on the present of Praia de Buarcos, that the fishing activity was for centuries the main source of income of the village of Buarcos. Despite all the surrounding traps, its cove had well-defined accesses, the so-called “Portas de Buarcos”, allowing its people to enjoy the sea.
Buarcosenses proudly defend their fishing past. The fishing boats no longer land on the beach, the xávega art is no longer practiced, the sales right there on the sand no longer happen, but those times are remembered by word of mouth and in various artistic manifestations scattered throughout the village, so that Buarcos will forever retain that close and proud connection with the sea.
And if the neighboring beaches of Figueira da Foz today maintain an essentially touristic function, the Buarcos Beach adds an additional factor of socialization, almost inadvertently maintaining the old tradition of socializing under the sands of the city. Buarcostoday in the company of a round of finos, a saucer of lupins or an octopus salad, on one of the many beach support platforms scattered along the beach.
The choice is wide and varied: Dino’s Bar, Russian Celeste, Sea Wave, or Madroa Bar, separated by a few tens of meters, as if confirming the importance of that coastal curve, and under the watchful eye of a curious concentration of colorful dwellings, which make the village of … Buarcos a pleasant labyrinth of streets and alleys to discover during breaks from the beach.
If conviviality is fundamental for these bands, the true family spirit that is generated in these meetings is well evident in the front spaces of these terraces, also extending to the younger generations: the children have fun away from the threat of cars, in endless sands, taking advantage of the various sports venues scattered there, making of Buarcos is a true capital of beach sports, receiving thousands of people annually in important events such as Portugal Beach Rugby, Madjer Beach Soccer Cup or Hugo Almeida Footvolley Cup.
For the more afflicted, it should be noted that Praia de Buarcos is served by excellent sanitary facilities. Next door is a well-stocked children’s playground. And you don’t have to walk far to reach the skate park, which also serves bikes in their more juggling displays. The cycle path is just around the corner. It comes straight from Figueira da Foz and connects to Buarcos and Cabo Mondego, despite some poorly resolved or still unresolved interruptions, which can make some areas of the route strange.
The beach remains to be mentioned. It doesn’t dazzle, but it delivers in essence. The sea is not as rough as Figueira ‘s, which makes the beach more suitable for families. The length of the sand is also less painful than that of Praia do Relógio. At low tide, the bare cliffs offer additional beauty and entertainment. There is car parking out the back, but on sunny summer days and busy weekends, finding a spot can prove trickier.
On leaving the beach, as a farewell, it is essential to go up to the landing of the wall, on Rua 5 de Outubro. The view over the bay is delightful. And if accompanied by a late afternoon snack and refreshment, the resulting sensations can become quite pleasurable.
We finish as we started. With a transcription of the Monograph of Buarcos, by Fausto Caniceiro da Costa, on famous vacationers:
“Figueira and Buarcos were the favorite beaches of the greatest national figures, starting with our first king, Senhor D. Afonso Henriques, who, according to the chronicles, “being ill in Coimbra, came, on the advice of his doctors along the Mondego to the mouth and reached the sea almost healthy & stopping in recreation of river & mountain a few days …”
Our founder would not only have gone to the river and the sea, but would have passed through Buarcos to climb the “hill” of Serra da Boa Viagem. Ah, D. Afonso Henriques, he was quite a king!