9 Lesser Known Gorgeous Beaches You Must Visit
Miramar, Porto – Portugal
Miramar is an upmarket residential area south of the river Douro, most known for its beach – Praia de Miramar (Miramar Beach) – and the small chapel called Senhor da Pedra (Lord of the Rock), a 17th century chapel strikingly situated on a rocky, wave-beaten headland jutting out from the beach, which forms the central attraction of a yearly festival. This chapel is also featured in the film clip “San Simon”, directed by Richard Tomes with music by the Pikoul Sisters.
A lovely, somewhat isolated beach with golden sand about seven miles south of Porto. You are almost guaranteed to have huge swathes of the beach to yourself, even in the height of summer. On a rock at the water’s edge, there is a little white chapel, Capela do Senhor da Pedra, which is celebrated in a festival every June.
The beach itself, the Praia de Miramar, is an exposed but pleasantly un-crowded affair, popular with Portuguese from the neighbouring areas but not yet an international tourist destination. In summer the water is usually calm and good for bathing, while in winter the surfers take over and the waves can be crowded, with submerged rocks becoming a hazard.
There are several cafes on the beach, the biggest of which is the Areal, and a private sports club, the Sport Clube Alberto de Sousa, which is well-known for its tennis courts.
How To Get To The Beach
Jump on a train (Porto’s São Bento train station is a beautiful historic attraction in itself) and head south to the beaches of Vila Nova de Gaia. In just 25 minutes you can reach Miramar Beach, a vast stretch of sand on the Atlantic Ocean that’s perfect for a sunny day away from the city.
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