The northernmost region of mainland Portugal is divided into 23 municipalities, 3 of which are bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. From North to South,

Braga is the city capital.

Abundantly rich in biodiversity, low-lying dune systems share the coastal landscape with the flora of lagoons and pine forests.

In the coast of Minho predominates the hot and temperate climate. January is the coldest and rainiest month with average temperatures of 9.5ºC (49.1ºF) and average rainfall of 174mm. July is, therefore, the warmest and dryest month with average temperatures of 19.7ºC (67.5ºF) and average rainfall of 17mm.

Although it is the coldest coast in Portugal, it is much sought after by kitesurfers and windsurfers due to the predominance of the North or Nortada wind, mainly in in Viana do Castelo and in Caminha.

Also the Surf, Bodyboard and Stand up Paddle gain prominence in the waters of this region. In , the Viana World Bodyboard Championship was held in .

Douro Litoral

More well-known for the wine-making attributes than for its beaches, Douro region opens itself to the Atlantic in 6 municipalities of the 24 that constitute it:

Porto is the capital city.

The Litoral de Vila do Conde e Reserva Ornitológica do Mindelo and the Estuário do Douro are the protected areas of a mostly urban, rocky coastline, separated from the city by long sands.

Like the Rio Douro, Rio Ave and Rio Leça also have their mounth in this region.

Summer and winter contrast in average temperatures of 22.3ºC (72.4ºF) and 9.1ºC (48.4ºF), with rainfall of 142mm and 10mm, respectively.

Also the region of Douro is flogged by the intense Nortadas that strongly shake its already revolted waters. For this reason it is very popular for Surfing, Kitesurfing, Bodyboarding and Stand Up Paddle, especially in , in Porto.

In Espinho, at , there is the Portuguese Open for beach volleyball, a stage of the Beach Volleyball Word Tour.

Beira Litoral

Beira Litoral is the coastal region of a set of provinces known by BeirasBeira Alta, Beira Baixa and Beira Litoral. Of the 38 counties only 10 have oceanic beaches:

Coimbra is the capital city of this region.

With average temperatures between 9.6°C (49.3ºF) and 21.1°C (70ºF), and average rainfall between 6mm and 147mm, its dune landscape comprises long wild sands, sheltered by protected areas such as the Reserva Natural das Dunas de São Jacinto or the Mata Nacional de Leiria.

In Aveiro there's the natural phenomenon of the crossing between Atlantic and Rio Vouga, forming the salty waters of Ria de Aveiro.

In Figueira da Foz, sheltered by the Monumento Natural do Cabo Mondego and the Parque Florestal da Serra da Boa Viagem, the Rio Mondego rips apart the cityscape. Here, is much sought after by surfers.

Also in Ovar and Ílhavo there are important poles of waves sports.


The region of Estremadura marks the beginning of the most favorable weather conditions for bathing habits, especially in South Lisbon, capital city of Portugal and this region. The average temperature oscillates between 10.5 °C (50.9ºC) and 23.3 °C (74ºC), the average rainfall between 3mm and 120mm.

The region is formed by 31 counties, of which 16 are bordered by the ocean:

The wonderful biodiversity of the protected landscapes that are formed here reaches archipelagos, capes, mountains and rivers: Reserva Natural das Berlengas, Parque Natural Sintra-Cascais, Paisagem Protegida da Arriba Fóssil da Costa da Caparica, Parque Natural da Arrábida and Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado.

Cabo da Roca, in Sintra, is the westernmost point of mainland Europe.

On , the picturesque bay of Setúbal was voted one of the most beautiful in the world by The Most Beautiful Bays in the World.

Estremadura offers the best conditions at the national level for Surfing, Bodyboarding, Kitesurfing and Stand Up Paddle. In Ericeira, Mafra, the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe was created on .In Nazaré, the famous Canhão da Nazaré at the provided giant wave surfer Garrett McNamara with an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for surfing a wave of 23.77 meters. The current record belongs to the Frenchman Benjamin Sanchis with a wave of 33 meters in the same place.

Peniche, Cascais and Costa da Caparica are also some of the favorite places for surfers.

Baixo Alentejo

Wild beaches, shale cliffs, white and golden beaches, perfect waves, delicious cuisine, we are certainly in the region of Baixo Alentejo. Its coast is known as Costa Vicentina, remembering Cabo de São Vicente, in Sagres, Vila do Bispo.

18 Counties form this region at the South of Portugal, of which 4 represent the Alentejo coast:

Beja is the capital city of the region.

From Sines to Odemira, the Parque Natural do Litoral Alentejano e Costa Vicentina covers almost the entire coastline. Above, the Reserva Natural das Lagoas de Santo André e Sancha and Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado close the area of protected areas near the coast.

The average temperature varies between 11°C (51.8ºF) and 23.3ºC (74ºF), and the average rainfall between 1mm and 89mm.

The area is especially conducive to wild, hard-to-reach beaches that offer excellent conditions for naturist enthusiasts. But not only, many surfers choose the Alentejo coast as the best surfing spot in Portugal. and are the most crowded surf spots at Costa Vicentina.


Algarve is the most sought after beach resort in mainland Portugal, therefore, with a greater tourist offer, too. Officially, the Algarve is divided into two areas:

Barlavento (from Aljezur to Albufeira)

  1. Monchique (no oceanic beaches)

Sotavento (from Loulé to Vila Real de Santo António East)

  1. São Brás de Alportel (no oceanic beaches)
  2. Alcoutim (no oceanic beaches)

Faro is the capital city of the region.

The coastline formed by 13 of the 16 counties that make up Algarve describes landscapes of morphologies as different and surprising as the number of beaches here. Its mostly southern waters are serene and warmer than in the northern regions.

Barlavento is characterized by the steep golden cliffs, rocky beaches and calm waters, except for the West coast inserted in the Parque Natural do Litoral Alentejano e Costa Vicentina where the waters invite to the practice of surf and other waves sports.

At Sotavento, the water is slightly warmer and calmer, sand tongues stretch out of sight and form small islets in the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa.

The average temperatures vary between 11.4 ° C (52ºF) and 24.4 ° C (76ºF) and the average rainfall between 0mm and 81mm.