With a hypnotic and calm “lagoa” (lagoon) beach, contrasting the seaside tumult and rocky cliffs, Foz do Arelho is the quiet wonder of the Silver coast. Positioned directly west of the friendly city of Caldas da Rainha, Foz, as the local expats know it, offers everything one can desire in a beach town. That is, if you don’t crave copious vacationers and European holiday goers, and do want the conveniences and restaurants that come with larger coastal towns. Therein lies the real beauty of Foz do Arelho. It is a typically beautiful beach town nestled in low lying Portuguese cliffs, yet it does not draw the abundance of visitors that sister towns like Peniche to the south and São Martinho do Porto to the north entice.
The beachside waters are deep and wild and provide a nice contrast to the warmer, calm, and quiet pools on the Óbidos lagoon (Lagoa de Óbidos) side. The oceanfront is over 2 kilometers in length, yet you feel like its an isolated beach; as most people tend to prefer the lagoon side because of its friendliness to swimmers, standup paddle boaters, and kite surfers. As is the case with most beaches in Portugal, Foz’s ocean waters are cold, aggressive, and mildly perilous. Lifeguards are only on duty during the tourist season of July and August, so make sure you are a good swimmer before venturing into these charted Atlantic waters. Maritime Patrols and medical/rescue services are provided by the Bombeiros (Firefighters) during the height of the summer months.
The town of Foz do Arelho is quiet, small, and expat friendly. It is nice to see an oceanside town without tall apartment buildings and overwhelming traffic. Most of the residences are privately owned or cater to seasonal visitors. Because of its proximity to the city of Caldas da Rainha, there are enough restaurants to meet different appetites of all. They offer meals that are slightly higher in price than the characteristically low inland Portugal prices. Because of the gorgeously serene and convenient nature of Foz, it tends to cater to upscale expats and holiday-goers who have a more reserved temperament.