Where the Douro meets the sea there's a nature reserve for the protection of birds and coastal fauna. Here you can do some bird watching or a gentle stroll to take in the magnificent scenery. There's a beach here, although it's exposed to the elements. It can get quite windy here and the sea very choppy. The nearby village of São Pedro da Afurada maintains much of its original charm and an abundant choice of cafés and restaurants can be found in its old narrow streets. | 41° 08' 23.3" N | 08° 40' 0.6" W
The most northern beach on the Avenida Beira Mar is well served with amenities and places to eat and drink. The long stretch of sand is boulder-filled and thins considerably during high tide. The beach is easily accessed via the wooden esplanades and walkways, Praia de Lavadores is surprisingly uncrowded considering its close proximity to Porto and Gaia. | 41° 07' 44.8" N | 08° 40' 05.6" W | 902
An attractive wide expanse of fine white sand and natural vegetation is easily accessed by road and cycle path. It has a good choice of amenities including bars/cafés located on the beach itself. At one end there is a small rocky outcrop that creates a natural sea break and ideal bathing conditions. The waters here are believed to have positive health properties due to its high iodine content. The southern end has enough swell for water sports. The beach has EEC Blue Flag status and there's sunshade and sunbed rental available. Frequented by guests from the near-by campsite (Parque de Campismo de Salgueiros) and locals alike. The car park seems inadequate during busy periods. | 41° 07' 13.1" N | 08° 39' 54.3" W | 906
Access to this lovely wide swathe of lightly coloured beach is via wooden boardwalks which traverse a dune system. Madalena is home to a number of holiday lets and hotels as well as a small golf course and volleyball courts. The beach is rocky at the southern end. There's plenty of eateries and watering holes to satisfy everyone's needs. The Madalena train station is a 30-minute walk from the coast however the bus service will take you directly there.
41° 06' 12.5" N | 08° 39' 42.3" W | 906
A long sweep of beach and dunes interspersed with rocky outcrops and the occasional beach café. Wooden walkways run the length of the coast lined by villas. The beach blends seamlessly into the Praia do Atlântico in the south. | 41° 05' 31.8" N | 08° 39' 27.5" W | ZF | Valadares
• Linha de Aveiro Urban trains (Comboios Urbanos) to and from Porto Timetable
Espirito Santo operate the buses around Vila Nova de Gaia
There's an excellent dedicated cycle path that runs from Vila Nova de Gaia and follows the river and coastline all the way to Miramar. If you feel too tired to cycle back you can return by train, cycles are permitted onboard.
Cross the Arrabida bride and head south on the A1, Take A44 to R. das Moutadas in Vila Nova de Gaia. Take the exit towards Gulpilhares from A29. Take the exit onto A29 towards Espinho/A25/Aveiro/A8/Lisbon.