During the Summer when temperatures are high, skies are blue and relaxing is on the top of your list, there is no better option than to hit the beach. Portugals prime coast-line has an abundance to offer - but we've made it easy for you and summed up the best picks around Porto.
The easiest beach escape from Porto is to Foz do Douro – really, if all you want is a paddle in the rock pools, a lie on the sand and a beachside beer, there’s no need to go anywhere else. You can reach Foz do Douro by tram or bus #500, both leaving from Porto.
Matosinhos lies further north from Foz do Douro and is where the locals go to eat seafood and for a night's clubbing. There are beaches and more restaurants across the Rio Leça at Leça da Palmeira, which is an easy walk away from Matosinhos or alternatively you can take the bus #507 from Senhora da Hora or take the Matosinhos metro line A.
The Vila Nova de Gaia beaches (reached via buses #902 or #906), across the Douro to the south, have extensive sands and big campsites. Further south still is the resort of Espinho, which is 18 km from Porto (there are frequent local trains from São Bento with the journey lasting 35 minutes). Once the darling of northern Portugal’s monied classes, the resort is now largely ruined by unchecked construction that has taken place since the 1970s. A better day-trip option is by metro (Line B) to the north of the city: the old seafaring town of Vila do Conde is easily the best target, though the brash resort of Póvoa de Varzim just beyond (at the end of Line B; 1hr from Porto) might tempt you with its 8 km of sands.
Featured Image, Covo Beach, Porto © Vitaly Fedotov / Shutterstock