In the farm country of Portugal, down winding roads and over long train tracks, is the quiet town of Salir do Porto. Wide streets and well-kept houses give it a homey feel. Almonds and olives hang just out of reach from trees throughout the neighborhood.
From the northernmost part of town, a long, wooden boardwalk stretches its way across the Rio de Tornada and out to the seashell-shaped bay. To the west, a huge sand dune—160 feet tall—rises over the boardwalk. Families gather here with towels and umbrellas, and parents sunbathe or catch up on their reading while children slide down the dune on beach boards. When the kids are tired, the Bar das Piscinas sits cozily at the top of the hill, just before the boardwalk begins, serving family-friendly fare as well as the usual bar items. On hot days, their smooth, cold ice cream is just what everyone needs.
There are adventures to be had in Salir do Porto beyond the dune as well. Following the boardwalk east, sandy beaches and nature trails await. Atop Miradouro de Salir do Porto you will witness gorgeous views of the bay and Salir's big sister São Martinho do Porto. Wind through the village to the top of the cliffs for wonderful views of the rugged Salir cliffs. If you are even more adventurous, rent a mountain bike and ride the many cliffside trails that are manicured with rugged seaside terrain and views. Down in the bay, white boats dot the aquamarine water under sunny skies. Further north, the eroding stone of an ancient port and chapel sit overlooking the sea, and beyond that, there is talk of a mineral spring, which people trek to for a taste of cold, pure water. Compared to the bustle of sprawling tourist towns, Salir do Porto is a refreshing and discreet piece of paradise, tucked away on Portugal's scenic coast.