Located half way between Figueira da Foz and Aveiro, the Praia de Mira is no secret among locals. The appealing village – with the beach on one side and a lagoon on the other – is more Bournemouth than Monaco in atmosphere. As for the beach itself, it is over 300m wide, infinitely long and with silk-like sand, dotted with brightly coloured Xavega (fishing) boats. There is also a striped fishermen’s chapel perched on the edge of the beach near the car park.
Anyone and everybody. The jet-set stay at the upmarket Mira Villas, 1km from Praia de Mira, while day visitors and holidaying families enjoy the lagoon-based activities – paddleboats for the wee ones and bike hire for the grown-ups.
What is there to do?
Swim, sunbathe and marvel at the photogenic fishing boats. You can rent a bike and head along the path around the lagoon or hire a paddleboat. The approach to Praia da Mira is through a pine forest; keen walkers can follow several trails.
Bars and bites
There are beach cafés, or you can treat yourself to a more upmarket experience and quality seafood dishes at Restaurante Patio (00351470 109) in the Mira Villas complex.
Praia de Mira is around 30km south of Aveiro and 38km north of Figueira da Foz. Take the N109, a smaller inland road and at the village of Mira, head 7km west.
Tourist office: Praia de Mira: 00351 231 472 566; www.turismo-centro.pt; www.thecentroexperience.com