Explore Estremadura and Ribatejo
SÃO MARTINHO DO PORTO is the main resort between Peniche and Nazaré. However, it’s low-key and largely low-rise and, compared with Peniche and Nazaré, is an easy-going place favoured by families. The reason for São Martinho’s popularity is its beach, a vast sweep of sand that curls around an almost landlocked bay to form a natural swimming pool, where boats bob before the quay. It’s one of the warmest places to swim on the west coast, with the sands sloping down into calm, shallow water. There’s also a good northern beach on the open Atlantic coastline beyond the bay, pounded by surf. You can spend another happy day tramping the boardwalks and dune paths around the bay, or climbing the ochre cliffs above the quayside to the lighthouse. There’s also an older part of São Martinho to explore, up the steep hill behind the more modern bay-side streets – the easiest way up is to take the ascensor, from inside the turismo building, which whisks you to an upper square with sweeping town and bay views.