Figueira da Foz
is a beach town halfway between Lisbon and Porto. It has a long beach and a lot of interesting places to visit. During the winter, it’s a pretty quiet place to visit, but in the summer, it’s full of sunbathers, seafood lovers, and people looking to party who know about the festivals. From the charming town center to the beautiful hills of Serra da Boa Viagem and the area’s history, there is a lot for visitors to see and do.
See the beach.
This can be the most obvious thing to do since the town is understood as the Queen of Beaches in the country, but it should still be mentioned. Some of the beaches here are some of the biggest in the country, so people who want to get to the water may have to walk a little longer than they are used to.
The main part of the beach is Figueira Beach, which is split into Praia do Molhe Beach, Claridade Beach, and Buarcos Beach just north of the center. More beautiful beaches are nearby, like Praia da Tocha, which is about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to the north.
Take in a view
The road along the coast curves, and from Buarcos, you can see the hotels and restaurants that line the main strip. Also, a miradouro on the top of Serra da Boa Viagem (Bon Voyage Mountain), which is about 260,000 meters (853,00 feet) high, gives a wide view of Cape Mondego, the cliffs, the surrounding countryside, and more coast. Get in a vehicle and drive the 3 kilometers from Buarcos. Hiking up the mountain isn’t a good idea because there are sharp turns and fast-moving cars.
Picnics in the mountains
If you’re going up the Serra da Boa Viagem, pack a lunch and eat at one of the picnic terminals surrounded by eucalyptus and pine trees.
See a show at a casino.
One of the best things about downtown Figueira da Foz is the casino, one of Portugal’s oldest and largest. Even if you don’t like to gamble, you might enjoy going to see the fresco art and elegant settings. Along with fine dinners, the casino has regular shows advertised on its website.
Walk, run, or use a bike.
The town just finished adding to the long boardwalk that goes from the clock tower to the finish of Buarcos. It is about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long and is great for walking, running, and biking (in addition to roller skating or other forms of exercise).
Also, a large network of wood boardwalks wind through the sand and, in some places, along the dunes. Along the way, there are small cafés where you can enjoy a coffee, cocktail, lunch, or snack while looking out at the Atlantic Ocean.
Plan a one-day trip to Coimbra
A short stay in Figueira is the best way to get to Coimbra (or vice-versa). A direct train ride between the two takes about an hour and costs €2.75 (about $3.31) each way. Another option is to drive, which takes about 40 minutes to go 50 kilometers (31 miles). Coimbra is the oldest city in Portugal. It houses the oldest college in the country, the lovely Baroque Joanina Library, and so many ancient ruins.
Local surfers, especially those in the Buarcos area, have noticed that the long waves are perfect for surfing. If you don’t require going into the water, you can sit on the rocks along the seaside and watch the pros.
See the fort
At one time, the ocean could attack a lot of the Portuguese coast. To protect themselves, the towns built fortifications. The Santa Catarina fort, built in the 1600s, is a favorite historical site of the people who live there. Today, a small park has been built around it, and this is a beautiful place to take pictures.
Spend a day at the amusement park
At Figueira’s Adventure Park, Luso Aventura, small groups can plan a day of climbing, ropes courses, and paintball. There are three difficulty levels, and you need at least six people to reserve a day at the park. You can find out more about the costs and times by going to the website and emailing.
Visit a museum
Even though Figueira da Foz is a place to enjoy the outdoors, there are a few great museums to visit on rainy afternoons. The Museu Municipal Santos Rocha is a great place to learn about art and history. The Nucleo Museologico do Sal (Museum Center of Salt) is a great place to learn how salt is made and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.