Figueira da Foz is the municipality in the central region with the most excellent guarded beaches. White sandy beaches for literally every taste. Beaches for wave sportsmen, beaches for those who don’t like waves, beaches for sand sportsmen and for those who like fishing, beaches for lovers of peace, beaches for families, accessible beaches and beaches for those who like to be close to everything. Along the coast of the county, we have 13 beaches, 11 of them with Blue Flag and no less than 9 with the demanding Gold category of the Environmental Association Quercus.
By the way, the number of beaches in Figueira da Foz varies a bit depending on the perspective, let’s say, since Figueira da Foz has many more beaches and we can even count 21 if we include wild (unguarded) but stunning beaches like the vast Costinha Beachnorth of Quiaios, or those of the Pedra da Nau and the Fountain of Dovesin Cabo Mondego, ideal for those seeking isolation and tranquility among the rocks. While, of course, advising increased safety for sea bathing.
They are the Golden onesThe beaches of Cabedelo, the “mecca” of surfing in Figueiredo, or even Cabedelinho and Forte, both inside the bar, still at the mouth of the Mondego (for those who don’t like big waves), clearly deserve a visit, long and preferably with a book.
So here are the Golden Beaches of Figueira da Foz, from north to south, which is how the wind normally blows on this piece of coastline:
Wide views, long sandy beach, proximity to forest, also because it is inserted in the National Forest of Dunas de Quiaios, an excellent offer of restaurants, beach bars – the Beach Club N2 is now our choice – and facilities such as a children’s playground, picnic area or the Beach Pools, right on the sand, for those who prefer fresh water and board jumping, make this beach unmissable. It became even more charming with the great investment made in the renovation and extension of the walkways over the dunes, which cross the entire length of the beaches of Quiaios and Murtinheira and even have a traffic circle. It is 3400 meters of a gentle but undoubtedly invigorating and inspiring walk. Good waves for surfing and bodyboarding. Flag “Accessible Beach Beach for All” 2022.
For those who escape the hustle and bustle and don’t want to have everything at hand. Although it has two superb beach bars, Sand and Bart, for those who prefer to “lounge”, as well as sanitary facilities. But Murtinheira is something of a well-kept secret for many Figueirans, who seek refuge here in clean waters, golden sands, wild dunes and a more “raw” landscape dominated by the Serra da Boa Viagem. Like Quiaios, the waves here are also excellent for “riding”. Access is now easier with the new walkways. An excellent point of arrival, or departure, for hikers who want to explore the trails of the nearby Sierra.
Cabo Mondego Beach
An almost perfect beach at low tide. Among the rocks full of biodiversity, especially in the lush tide pools, natural “pools” and small lagoons are formed, ideal for the youngest or for those who just like to float. With excellent road access and parking along the entire marginal avenue, it is also served by a cycle path. Tucano is the beach bar of reference on this beach, although there are other bars and restaurants nearby, such as Surf&Snack, which we highly recommend for lovers of healthy food, Bulls Burger or Farggi. Avoid at high tide as the sand is short and the area is rocky. Good for surfing, bodyboarding and, as in the previous ones, for sport fishing outside the limits of the bathing concession.
We are already in the chapter of urban beaches par excellence, Tamargueira already catches part of the urban core of Buarcos and has more amenities nearby, including a Lidl hypermarket on the other side of Avenida Infante D. Pedro, as well as a greater profusion of restaurants, cafes and bars. On the sandy beach, the elegant Spasso Praia bar reigns. Another very rocky beach, also preferable at low tide, where tide pools can be seen and small lagoons form. It has a wide view over the Bay of Buarcos, the city or the mountains to the north and is ideal for families, with good conditions for wave sports. Flag “Accessible Beach Beach for All” 2022.
The oldest and most dynamic village on our coast, Buarcos is also the most popular of Figueiredo’s beaches and perhaps the most sought after. In fact, we have already talked about it here. Most sought after for the excellence of the sands and the sea, but also for the huge amount of leisure and sports facilities, as well as beach bars (not to be missed the “gourmet” restaurant). Foot in the Sand or the Din’s Bar(which is already an institution in this area), cafés, traditional commerce – obligatory, the Buarcos Market100 meters from the beach -, ice cream shops and restaurants for all palates, with emphasis on Atlantic cuisine. Soccer fields, volleyball, beach rugby, basketball, skateboarding and even petanque meet the needs of the most sporty and the youngest find here one of the best playgrounds in the city. The sand here is already longer, although the tide line is rocky and, here too, full of marine life. In addition to Blue and Gold, Buarcos is also an Accessible Beach, with two lifeguards and an amphibious chair for citizens with reduced mobility.
Figueira da Foz Beach
We are talking about the famous Praia da Claridade, which includes the beaches of Alto do Viso (the “Oasis”), Relógio and Molhe Norte. And we are talking about perhaps the largest stretch of urban sand in Europe, not by chance the stage of one of the biggest Portuguese techno music festivals, RFM Somnii. It is right in front of Bairro Novo, which is the commercial heart of the city and the ex-libris of the beach is the famous “bola de nívea”. The challenge here is to get to the sea, as it is still a nice walk, although helped by footbridges. But once we reached the tide line, we had plenty of space, enough to neither disturb nor be disturbed. There are no rocks here, but there are good waves (watch out for agueiros!) and fine, clear sand. Like Buarcos, this beach is also served by a good selection of leisure and sports facilities, including a synthetic basketball and soccer pitch, a multi-purpose athletics track and exercise equipment. Our selection of beach bars is based here at Jet 7.5 Food&Drinks at the Oasis, with its large terrace and great food offer. It is crossed by a bike path/pedestrian path on the sand, surely one of the best sunset walks in the whole region.
Cova Gala Beach
We are already on the left bank of the Mondego. Like Buarcos, although smaller, Cova-Gala is also one of the most picturesque and oldest coastal communities in the county, part of the village and parish seat of São Pedro. Its beach, divided by pontoons and more sheltered from the winds than the beaches in the north of the municipality, offers a quiet and accessible experience, perfect for families. It is served by recreational and sports facilities, including a basketball court, children’s playground and skate park, as well as bars and restaurants within walking distance. The famous Praia do Cabedelo is just next door and the whole area has several clubs and schools for surfing, bodyboarding, bodysurfing and other water sports. Also a few hundred meters away is the leafy Cova-Gala Picnic Park, one of the best leisure and picnic parks in the county, with sports fields and barbecue facilities.
Costa de Lavos Beach
As with the other beaches on the south bank, a spacious stretch of clean sand and a perfect place to relax, with a landscape that stretches as far as the Serra da Boa Viagem. Crossed by a pontoon, to the south, this eight-kilometer-long beach has strong swells, excellent for surfing or bodyboarding and also has a kitesurfing club. In addition to the sanitary facilities, there are cafés and restaurants in the village, where there is no shortage of parking, but our highlight goes to the bar XiringuitoThe new beach has a touch of sophistication to this typical beach, where you can still watch the artisanal fishing of Xávega, as in Leirosa, a little further south. It has a motorhome park and is surrounded by the extensive coastal pine forest of the Costa de Lavos National Forest.
On the edge of the municipality, almost ten kilometers of dunes and fine white sand, less frequented and inviting to quiet and contact with nature. The small fishing village of Leirosa offers enough cafeteria, leisure and restaurant services for a day well spent away from the hustle and bustle of the more frequented beaches. Good conditions for wave sports. The Dunas da Leirosa National Forest provides the green framework, which softens the impact of large industrial units not far from there, but which do not pinch the Golden status of this remote and pristine beach, where the xávega art is still alive. Ask the locals when the boats go out to sea and watch the hustle and bustle of the nets arriving on the beach, you won’t regret it and you might even take home some fresh fish.