On Portugal’s Atlantic coast, Matosinhos Beach (Praia de Matosinhos) is the city of Porto’s closest strand. With broad sands and a scenic promenade lined with fish restaurants, it’s a lively destination and a favorite among local families, as well as a notable surf spot.
As well as swimming and sunbathing, Matosinhos is the go-to beach for surfing and water sports like stand-up paddleboarding, kite-surfing, and sea kayaking. The gentle waves and consistent surf make it ideal for beginning surfers, and the Matosinhos surf school hosts private and group lessons for those who want to learn. It’s also possible to explore the beach as part of a Porto hop-on hop-off tour, which links Matosinhos with central attractions like Porto Cathedral, Clérigos Tower, and Gaia.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lifeguards are on patrol daily throughout July and August, and surfing is restricted to dedicated surf zones.
- No umbrellas are available at the beach, so be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
- A number of bars, seafood restaurants, shops, and surf rental outlets line the beachside promenade.
How to Get There
Matosinhos Beach is a 15-minute metro ride from Porto city; take the blue line to Matosinhos Sul, then walk five minutes to the beach. Otherwise, bus No. 500 runs from Praça da Liberdade in the city center to the beach.
When to Get There
The beach is at its busiest in summer (July and August), when you’ll want to arrive before midday to secure a good spot. Summer is also the best time for swimming, with lifeguards on duty, but it’s possible to surf all year-round, weather depending.
The Beaches of Northern Portugal
Matosinhos Beach is convenient to Porto, but those willing to travel a bit have much better options. Around an hour up the coast from Porto, Cabedelo Beach is a Blue Flag beach with ample facilities and beautiful walks through the sand dunes. Farther north in Viana do Castelo, the windswept shores of Moledo Beach and Afife Beach are great for water sports, while closer to Porto, Ofir Beach is perfect for swimming and can be combined with a stop at neighboring Apúlia Beach.