The small village of Foz do Arelho, 8km west of Caldas da Rainha, sits 1km back from a beautiful, sheltered lagoon beach, which is overlooked by a couple of cafés. The road continues a further 500m or so to another tremendous beach where river meets ocean, and here there’s a promenade of fancier bars and restaurants. It’s not really overdeveloped – this is more a holiday-home place than a resort – and outside July and August you’ll have the wide, white sands to yourself. On the lagoon itself, the Lagoa de Óbidos, fishermen stand in the shallow waters next to their boats, attending to their nets.

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