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Porto Covo, Portugal

Porto Covo, 170 km south of Lisbon, is a popular destination among Portuguese tourists seduced by the magnificent beaches of the Costa Vicentina.

It is part of the municipality of Sines, and its centre was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake, where the main square (Largo Marquês de Pombal) inspired by the ideals of Pombaline architecture now stands.

In the 18th century it was a small settlement at the foot of a small bay. Covo refers to the fishing net for catching lobsters, and in the locality you will find good restaurants for fresh fish and seafood. It is still characterized as a small fishing community, but it is tourism that drives its growth.

Morgavel Beach

  • Coordinates: 37.906986, -8.799588

10 km from the urban front, to the north, comes the beautiful Morgavel Beach, sheltered from the wind and with a calm sea. It is watched over, easily accessible and has a car park.

  • Coordinates: 37.907519, -8.797882

Nearby is Bom Petisco (with parking) – several fresh fish dishes accompanied by salads in generous portions and with good value for money. Close by is the Campingir São Torpes campsite.

Vale Figueiros Beach

  • Coordinates: 37.894790, -8.797025

Vale Figueirós beach is 2km southwards from Morgavel beach – it’s a delight to be in in a family environment. The waves attract water sports enthusiasts and, close to the beach, you can find the Costa Azul Surf school.

Easy to reach, with parking facilities, it has a lifeguarded blue flag, where the Ribeira da Oliveirinha flows into the sea. On the horizon, you can see the small islet of Salta Manitos.

  • Coordinates: 37.897948, -8.797030

The popular Pedra da Casca restaurant lives by the beach, with a terrace of beautiful views. The food is well made, service is quick and friendly – try the seafood cataplana.

Samoqueira Beach

  • Coordinates: 37.867803, -8.793435

Further south, a 5-minute drive from Vale de Figueirós beach, is Praia da Samoqueira, protected by rocks and cliffs, easily accessible and with parking. The beach has rocks, especially at low tide, that enhance its uniqueness. Occasionally small natural pools form, fully entertaining the little ones.

Serro da Águia Beach

  • Coordinates: 37.862217, -8.793703

A few hundred metres from Samoqueira, you will soon spot the tiny Praia do Serro da Águia which is accessed by a staircase (with parking nearby). It is a delightful cove beach, rocky, with a calm sea and sheltered from strong winds by high cliffs.

Salto Beach

  • Coordinates: 37.860616, -8.793772

A few metres from Serro da Águia beach, you can see Salto beach: another place of great beauty and glorious views. The sandy beach, protected from winds, embraces a sleeping sea – the whole scenario encourages rest. It is officially a naturist beach (there are less than a dozen in Portugal), and for some, the best of all.

Cerca Nova Beach

  • Coordinates: 37.859388, -8.793853

At the foot comes Praia da Cerca Nova, a medium-sized sandy beach accessed from its northern area. It has two distinct areas divided by a small promontory – in the south you can see an imposing rock. It is pleasant, with several rocks scattered about, so always take care when diving.