Accessible beaches: Summer vacation for everyone
All About Portugal made a list of 12 accessible beaches, for those who need special attention. We always keep in mind that, when summer arrives, it's for everyone!
In Portugal, there are 208 accessible beaches (sea and river), prepared for people with reduced mobility. Identifying them is easy, as they have an Accessible Beach flag (white, blue and yellow) and are endowed with several conditions that allow summer holidays on the beach to be within everyone's reach: they have reserved parking, adapted bathrooms, pedestrian access and walkways on the sand. In addition to this, many of them also provide equipment to access to water, allowing people with difficulty in moving around to bathe in the sea.
Known as a country that knows how to welcome tourists, with good weather and beautiful landscapes, Portugal has been increasingly concerned with adapting its infrastructure to receive everyone equally, including those who need particular attention. All About Portugal makes a list of 12 beautiful accessible beaches (sea), equipped with amphibious chairs, so that everyone can go swimming.
Moledo Beach (Moledo)
This accessible beach is rocky and has extensive white sands. It is a reference as a seaside resort since the 20th century, being one of the favorite spots, in the North, of many “famous” Portuguese people during their summer holidays. Surrounded by a privileged natural landscape, it is circled by Mata do Camarido and on the sea there is a small island, which can be accessed by boat, and where the Ínsua Fortress, built in the 15th century, is located. It has excellent conditions for surfing, bodyboarding and windsurfing. Here's a tip: don't forget your windbreak!
Cabedelo Beach (Viana do Castelo)
Keep your windbreak handy, in this little paradise south of the mouth of the Lima River! With extensive sand and surrounded by dunes and a pine forest, nearby you can find some equipment that can make your summer more lively. Among them, we highlight FeelViana, a sustainable luxury hotel, covered in wood and perfectly framed in the setting that welcomes it, the High Performance Surf Center, where surf and bodyboard fans can have a go at it, and two camping parks, if you want to be in the middle of Nature, even sleeping.
Miramar Beach / Mar e Sol (Vila Nova de Gaia)
Surrounded by luxurious houses and with one of the oldest golf courses in Portugal right next door, this beach has complete support infrastructures. To the north, you can see the Capela do Senhor da Pedra and to the south, a quieter area surrounded by dunes that separate it from the coastal road, runs a small water course coming from the golf course facilities. A visit to the Ribeiras de Gaia Environmental Education Center is a must, especially if you are a Nature lover and go on holiday with children.
Nazaré Beach (Nazaré)
Located in one of the most picturesque Portuguese fishing villages, here you can still find traces of past traditions, such as the fish drying in the sun, carried out by women dressed in the traditional costume of the "seven skirts". Coloring the beach you will find canvas tents, with colorful stripes, that will give color to your summer and protect you from the sun and wind. For a panoramic view of this beach, with its extensive sand, go up to the Promontório da Nazaré – better known as Sítio da Nazaré –, in a more than 100-year-old lift that will take you to the highest point of the village.
São Jacinto Beach (Aveiro)
With extensive sand, in an almost wild state, it is located on the edge of the Dunas de São Jacinto Nature Reserve, a protected area with unique species of fauna and flora. If you came to Portugal to visit our “Portuguese Venice” – Aveiro –, the fastest transport to reach this accessible beach is by boat, which crosses the Ria on regular connections. If you prefer the car, you have to go to Torreira or Ovar. Regardless of how you move around, don't forget to take a box of "Ovos Moles" for dessert.
Tamariz Beach (Estoril)
It was one of the most popular destinations during the Second World War, when Portugal received exiles from royalty and European aristocracy. It even inspired the writer Ian Fleming, who created one of the most famous spies in the world, James Bond, in his 1953 book “Casino Royale”. With a gently sloping sand and less than 200 meters long, the Estoril Casino – at the time, the largest in Europe – is in the background. But its glamorous times are behind now and today it is a very popular urban beach, as it is very central and located next to the train line. It also has very complete support services, which include an Atlantic swimming pool located next to the pier.
S. Torpes (Sines)
For many years it was sought after for the high temperatures of its waters, which could reach 30 degrees. This particular situation was caused, not by natural phenomena, but by the location of the Thermoelectric Power Station, right next to the beach. Recently, with the closure of the refinery, the “tropical waters” came to an end, but the extensive sand in the middle of the coastal area of the Southwest Alentejo Natural Park and a few kilometers from Sines – a charming city full of history, rich in traditions and with a strong connection to the sea – remains as desirable as ever.
Carvoeiro Beach (Lagoa)
It is one of the most charismatic and well-known accessible beaches on the Algarve coast. With a small beach, it is surrounded by a beautiful cliff and the Carvoeiro village, with small white fishermen's houses, which ends where the beach begins. Restaurants, bars, terraces and lots of entertainment are just around the corner, as well as beautiful caves and grottos, which can be accessed by boat. If you have an adventurous and curious profile, don't worry because there is always a fisherman ready to take you for a walk! You will have the most envied photos on Instagram.
Maria Luísa Beach (Albufeira)
We would say that Maria Luísa, in Albufeira, is one of the most fascinating accessible beaches on the Algarve coast, due to the variety of colors and environments. It is a beach with shades that range from the clayey orange of the cliffs that surround it, softened by the freshness of the green of the pine trees and the bougainvillea, in a beautiful contrast with the blue of the Atlantic. With access from the village of Olhos de Água or from Quinta da Balaia, the beach has very complete support infrastructures (with equipment for sailing, windsurfing and water skiing included) and access is via a path in Portuguese sidewalk or through a staircase that culminates in the sand.
Salema Beach (Vila do Bispo)
If you have kids who are fans of diving and dinosaurs, you've come to the right place! At the Salema Beach you will find traces of these animals from the Cretaceous Period, which inhabited this region around 140 million years ago and left their footprints printed on two slabs next to the sand. With a strong fishing tradition, it is still used by fishermen, and it is common to see them leaving in the boats early in the morning and returning at the end of the day. The beach has a pleasant promenade and some terraces overlooking the sea, where you can snack on some fresh delicacies caught in the close waters of the Atlantic. Enjoy a history lesson with a visit to the ruins of the Salema's “Roman villa”.
Fontinha Beach (Porto Santo - Madeira)
If you still don't know it, we will let you know: the tourism website "European Best Destinations", chose Porto Santo as the best European beach for 2022, in a list of 22 proposals spread across Europe. With its crystal clear and warm waters, a unique turquoise blue, and its nine kilometers of continuous sand with fine golden sand, this beach has become a rare legacy in the world. The microfossils and small fragments of calcareous algae give it therapeutic and medicinal properties for the treatment of orthopedic and rheumatic diseases. We are sure it would also top any list of the most beautiful accessible beaches in the world.
Milícias Beach (Ponta Delgada - Açores)
A masterpiece of Mother Nature, São Miguel Island is the largest in the Azores Archipelago and is known as the “Green Island”, as it is the dominant color of the landscape. Despite this, the colors of its beaches contrast with the lush and green explosion. As is the case with this one, due to its volcanic origin, better known as "Praia Grande" (Big Beach), as it is the main beach on the island. Its infrastructures include a vast pedestrian promenade, a garden, a restaurant, and changing rooms. An excellent choice, in the list of accessible beaches on the islands.