South of Aveiro, PRAIA DE MIRA is the only resort of any size until you reach the full-scale development of Figueira. Though very quiet out of season, for most of the year it’s a lively place set on a small lagoon known as Barrinha, its cobbled quayside planted with palms. Its one long main street spears past the lagoon towards the sea, where a seemingly endless duned beach stretches to either side. It’s ideal for beach-lounging, though the resort also makes an ideal base for local walks or cycling.
The coastline immediately south of Praia de Mira consists of a virtually deserted thirty-kilometre stretch of stupendous beaches, mostly backed by pine trees, planted to stabilize the low-lying dunes. The sands are only easily accessible at a couple of points – Praia de Tocha, with its unusual wooden fisherman’s houses, around 12km south of Praia de Mira; and the even quieter Praia de Quiaios (pronounced Key-aysh), another 11km south (avoid the extremely rutted forest road to get here). Both are popular summer resorts but dead out of season, and you’ll need a car to get to them.