Flying to Porto, Portugal, for a short road trip around the North Coast. We pick up our car at Europcar (which takes forever …) and eventually head towards Sao Martinho do Porto. We take the toll route now and will come back along the coast. We’ll have to wait and see the cost of that on our final bill of the rental car …
We stay in a small village about 10km from the coast, making it an ideal base to explore this part of the coast the next couple of days.
On day 1 we go to Foz do Arelho first to have a proper beach walk. Including wind and sun! From there we head to Salir do Porto and conclude with the surf town of Nazaré. We liked Salir do Porto much better than Nazaré. At Salir we went to some pretty awesome places uphill to have nice lookouts (360 view). Nazaré was a little bit disappointing because no waves (ocean was as flat as it could be …) and too busy. But the views from above were beautiful!
Day 2 starts in the rain, so today is a lazy day. We go to the fortress of Peniche, but there is not much fun about it. We do find a surprise in the local surf shop: the bell of the RipCurl Pro contest at Bells Beach, Australia! Around midday the sun finally pops out and it gets warmer. We spend the rest of the day in and around the Peniche peninsula.
The next day we drive a bit more north. First stop is the Victory Walls Beach at Pataias. From there we stop at several beaches and lighthouses towards Figueira da Foz. This part of the coastline is quite spectacular and absolutely not crowded. On this trip we see more locals than tourists, always a good sign! We end the day at Costa Nova, the village with the typical striped houses. We sleep close to the coastline, at Ílhavo.
Our last complete day in Portugal we want to take a ferry to avoid driving around for an hour. After waiting an hour at the ferry stop at Gafanha da Nazaré we learn there is no car ferry for at least two more hours … So we still have to drive an hour to get to the other side of the river/laguna. We get to Torreira and decide to stay a while 🙂 Our last hotel isn’t that far so we have an easy-going day, stopping at other beaches and have a nice meal at Ovar. Furadouro wasn’t really what we expected of it but the beach was nice once around the corner heading south of the village.
This trip was nice, although the weather wasn’t really participating well. The coastline is beautiful, but the villages are not so cosy, and the people drive like nuts. We liked the Algarve region and the Alentejo coast more (south of Portugal).