Living Figueira 12 months a year

Figueira da Foz, an Ocean View



My viewpoint of doom in Figueira da Foz is not usually found in the lists of the “Best Viewpoints in Figueira da Foz”. It’s not official and it’s not on the roadmap, but I’ve been looking there for at least fifty years. Not exactly in the same place, because my viewpoint has grown and is now further away – which only makes it more beautiful. I’m talking about the tip of the Molhe Norte at the mouth of the Mondego, that end of the road above the waves, where a small lighthouse is scratched with red and graffiti.

I was a catraio and my father a sport fisherman. We came from Coimbra and that jetty, which at the time ended closer to the beach, was one of his favorite fishing retreats and I often accompanied him on those weekend and holiday fishing trips: he would nurse the borbas and the achigãs and I would explore the vicinity and watch. As I am today, but further from the coast.

I’m not so old to be from the days when the waves broke at Fort St. Catherine. The pier, in its shortest version, was erected in 1965, which means that in the 1970s, when fathers fished on weekends and holidays, the sand was already becoming immense and the waves were breaking far away. In fact, the white sand grew by about 450 meters until the 1980s, barred by the wall protecting the entrance to the bar and which made it possible for the commercial port to grow. In 2010 it was enlarged again, another 400 meters of jetty were built and Praia da Claridade has the distance it is known today: a brave walk to the sea. And a real headache for the beaches and communities south of the river, but that’s another conversation. My north pier is not consensual, it has spoiled a beach, spoiled surfing, endangered navigation and other evils that are attributed to it, but it has brought a new way of seeing Figueira da Foz, a new perspective, as if on a boat, as if coming from the ocean.

In other words, summarizing and returning to the viewpoints, when I was a kid, the tip of the north pier of the mouth of the Mondego River already existed, it was already my “spot” of choice for bathing adventures and already then the view was wonderful. But today it is more. Precisely, there it is, because the tip is further away and allows another panorama: a unique view over the bay and the city to the north; and over the entire coast to the south, as far as the eye can see.

The north pier alone is one of the most beautiful walks Figueira da Foz has to offer. It is no coincidence that it does not appear in the official guides, after all it is a structure of the port and maritime domain and with some safety issues that must be taken into account, especially those who go by bicycle (attention to the lack of side protections and the state of the floor, which was not made for leisure wheels) or take children, but there are countless cane fishermen and strollers who frequent the pier when the weather permits. Friendly warning: avoid this viewpoint if it is stormy.

Either way, it’s a magnificent walk out to sea, a mere kilometer over the water that culminates in the garish mini lighthouse. And I will tell you that it is perhaps the most romantic sunset in Figueira da Foz, rivaling the viewpoint of Cabo Mondego, that other wonder to look at.

The tip of the north pier is the closest we get to looking at Figueira da Foz from a boat, a concrete and stone boat that goes nowhere. With the city and the cars in the distance, the music of the sea beating vigorously on the bow of the pier is purer; and the sun fading orange on the blue horizon creates a unique watercolor canvas of the north coast, the Serra da Boa Viagem and the white houses of Buarcos that sprawl placidly on the hillside: the bay in all its splendor.

For this reason and more, it is a matter of taking note of the time when the sun sets and seeing is believing. For me, I go there whenever I can and at all hours I can, it is always a place that dazzles; and almost always alone, to think, not to think or to listen to music and be amazed by the view. It lifts my soul. As a couple, however, it is always an inspiring ride.



Nuno Camarneiro

Figueira da Foz Is Me The exercise is more difficult than I anticipated – How do I feel about Figueira da Foz? I said yes,

Read More "

Where to do your market shopping in Figueira da Foz

Our article begins to be written on June 24, 1892, when the market of the city of Figueira da Foz ceases to operate in the then called Praça do Comércio (today Praça General Freire de Andrade and better known among the figueirenses as Praça Velha) and a space of its own is inaugurated for the vendors – the municipal market that today we know as Mercado Municipal Engenheiro Silva.

Read More "


João P. Cruz