Posted by: turtlebella | 30 July 2006

Portugal beaches

Inspired by Susan‘s comment to my post below, I offer this photograph I took of a Portugal beach.


Now, there are beaches in the south of the country. Then there are beaches on the Costa Verde, which I have been to (the one above is just north of Viana do Castelo). The south of the country I’ve always assumed is terribly touristy. Lots of people go there from all over Europe to soak up the sun. English is widely spoken. This is not an idea of the kind of place the sqvirrel and I like to go. So we haven’t been. However, the beaches in the north, like the ones on the Costa Verde, while popular with Portuguese, are unspoiled by high rise resort hotels. The one I went to had patches of rocky, intertidal zones interspersed with streches of pale, fine sand, all backed by stable sand dunes. Since this offers me the chance to go tide-pooling (I saw a couple species of anenomes, some sea stars, a wide variety of brown and red algae, periwinkle-type snails, lots and lots of barnacles, and some teeny tiny fish) and looking for cool sand-dune specific plants, I really liked it.



  1. haha, i think i’d prefer the resort side–there’s nothing i hate more than all the creepy crawly thingies that comes along with an unused beach area!!!! :-)

    but in general, i too, prefer the less beaten path–every single one of our “couple friends” went to jamacia for their honeymoons (to drink until they were sick and sit around doing nothing on the beach)–we went to savahnna georgia and road old fashioned boats and fought over pecan pie with little old people. que romantica!!!! :-)

  2. the sqvirrel would be with you on that one, bfp! he was bitten on the toe by a crap as a little kid and has been rather um, paranoid about creepy crawly things ever since.

  3. I beg your pardon? Bitten by a crap? I suppose you mean, as actually happened, that I was bitten (viciously) by a CRAB. A huge, menacing, possibly man-eating crab. And I’ve come to have a healthy respect for crabs and other denizons of the oceans– it’s their world, and I prefer to leave it to them.

  4. Gorgeous photo.

    I have a healthy respect for crabs myself, but I do like tidal pools, too.

  5. oy, turtlebella, you’ve been busy since you got back 3 days ago!

    i know this betrays our whole best-friends-we-are-uncannily-similar thing, but i would vote for the resort hands down. but i also really like exploring the quiet unpopulated beaches. so, i guess, it’s exploring the less-traveled-areas for the day, and returning to the clean hotel room with comfortable bed and hotel bar at night!

  6. haha, i’ve personally been bitten on the toe by a crap (i have two kids and used to have an untrained dog) and i would way prefer to be bitten by a crap than a crab!!!! :-)

  7. I also prefer the quite beaches to the north of Viana do Castelo although some of the more exposed have the Portuguese Trade Wind too stromg in the afteroon.

    This wind does have the advantage of cooling the air and making the temperature much more pleasant than the Algarve or the south facing resorts of the Lisbon coast.

    Added to this are the much cheaper prices, the number and quality of the restaurants and the incredible scenery inland.

    It is no wonder that this area is so loved by the Portuguese

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