It is absolutely safe, what makes it a children’s paradise.
Opposite to it’s neighbor and “rival” Nazaré , which in summer is invaded by thousands of popular people, São Martinho do Porto attracts some rather aristocratic dwellers, but in summer, like most of the other beaches around, it’s always time of crowds and animation.
In the beginning of last century, this beach was an exclusive destination for the rich families in the centre of Portugal.
Several mansions were built by the sea, but the mass tourism started to replace them by bigger block to popular purses.
Not much remains from those old days, but the few images still add some beauty to the beach front line.
The main church comes from the 18th century, and the most noticeable detail is a large painting behind the altar, portraying the saint who gave name to town – Martinho.
Common but special
It’s a common market, selling common fresh articles, but for me it has something special for being one of my brother’s first projects.
The prices seem to be good, so, if you go there don’t limit yourself to the apples and carrots and have a look at the building.
The wild side
Facho, a mountain by the mouth of the bay, provides spectacular views over the whole site.
One thing makes us sorry:
Houses climbing the hill, and spreading wherever it becomes possible.
Landscape deserves a better protection, and, I remember, about 60 years ago a big part of the mount collapsed in the sea.
As a matter of fact construction is growing, revealing some disorder, but some watching points are still available, over the bay or the external coast.
Despite all the errors, driving up to Facho keeps being interesting.
We use to say that our west coast “is the place where the winter comes to pass the summer”.
It’s unfair, but the weather has its tricks and the water is generally cold.
That’s why I strongly appreciate our west beaches in winter – wide areas of free sand, lots of sunny days, and the water… still cold, of course, but who cares?
A small (full) esplanade, and a common bar-restaurant where not promising the excellent lunch that we had. The several dishes that we choose were all tasteful and well served. The price was reasonable. I had fish fillet with a delicious sauce (shrimp sauce, probably), the women also appreciated their grilled shrimps and seafood rice and Tito preferred a “Francesinha” a sort of hamburger becoming typical in Porto, but also being served elsewhere, spreading along the country.
Good desert, small but good wine list, good coffee. Centrally located, close to the beach, it is a very good option to eat in S. Martinho do Porto.
With a terrace overlooking the sea, this restaurant has already provided us with 3 good experiences.
With several inviting dishes, where we always opted for shrimp with different confections, the result was always very pleasant.
Perhaps a little slow, the service, but this is one of the places where you should go without hurry.
Camping Baía Azul
Facing the sea
I’m no camper!
I don’t know the real conditions of this camping, but I don’t remember where did I see a camping just across the street to the sea, and just a couple of minutes walking to the centre of town.
Well, this is it.If I was a camper (without my bed only 20 minutes distant) this would be one of my natural choices.
Some areas in our western coast are quite often hit by a annoying summer fog. This shortens the afternoon, and sends sun worshipers home, earlier than expected.
São Martinho do Porto is one of those places, but the optimists still find a way to enjoy the situation, maybe because they know that it won’t last long, and the weather doesn’t get too cold.
S. Martinho sadness and laughs
Concrete is advancing towards the sea, smashing the natural beauty of the bay.
There is still a remaining free area in the southern side, dividing the beaches of S. Martinho do Porto and Salir do Porto, but… till when?
It seems that the coast is now protected. Good!
Maybe this will save what still lasts!
It’s OK like that.
It’s only a second more!
Nice… Hold your breath.
Don’t even blink!
Now, tell us:
Is the tide going up or going down?
PS Beware – In S. Martinho everything is possible, friends can sometimes be awful, but the shallow and calm water invites to it.
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