Central Portugal’s River Beaches

As lovely as beaches are I’m one of those people who really don’t like sand that much, it’s hot, gets absolutely everywhere and really isn’t at all child friendly.  If you have ever been to the beach before with small children then you know that sand ends up in every single crevice and body part humanly possible.  It ends up all over your car and doesn’t seem to disappear for years!  Also, kids just love to try and eat it, whatever you do they always end up with it in their mouth.  If, God forbid, you try and have a picnic on a beach with little ones, more often than not, you end up with screaming kids with gritty sand filled mouths.  The best thing about the beach, is that kids love the water and love to paddle.

Central Portugal has the solution to overcome all of these sandy issues, River Beaches, they are just simply ideal for kids!

So a river beach (praia fluvial), is just that, an area based on a river where you can go to swim, picnic and sunbath or relax.  Some river beaches are based near damns and on lakes, where you can do more adventurous water-sports.  Some (unfortunately) do have sand, others have grass or concrete/stone area.  The river is usually dammed at some point so there are generally no currents and most have a shallow area, no big waves to contend with.  During July-August River Beaches usually have a lifeguard and seem so much safer for the little ones than the big bad ocean.  There are also restaurants and cafes at most.  During off-season they are near enough completely deserted so you can have the place to yourself.  Even if it’s too cold to swim, they’re a lovely place to picnic and paddle, some even have a children’s play area too.

The water is clear, salt and chlorine free, reviving and refreshing and warmer than the sea.  I don’t know about your kids but both of mine tend to drink the water in swimming pools and the sea, I’d much rather they drank super clean river water (a sign at the river beach displays just how clean the water is), than salty seawater or chlorinated pool water.

In Central Portugal you are never too far from the sea, as Portugal has a huge coastline but if you want to live in the cooler, cheaper, more relaxed centre then the river beaches really do offer an excellent way to swim, bathe and paddle in a natural environment with a few man-made perks.

Packing my Suitcase

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks beautiful. I have never been to Portugal but would love to go

    1. We had not been before, but enjoyed it very much. We found the Portuguese to be very friendly, especially family centred and welcoming.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This looks lovely. I’m working on a Portugal trip for the spring so this is a great option. I’m not a fan of the sand and my boys would rather be somewhere they can throw rocks into the river! #MondayEscapes

    1. We had a great time skimming stones into the river, the river beaches were very quiet in spring time, thanks for your comment.

  3. Love when I read about places that I knew NOTHING about – thank you for sharing and opening my world! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin #MondayEscapes

    1. Great comment. We knew nothing about the Portuguese river beaches, so a really pleasant surprise for us too. Hopefully you can visit one day.

  4. MummyTravels says:

    That’s a good idea – I’m just back from Portugal’s coast and half my case is covered in sand! My daughter adores it though. #mondayescapes

  5. Sounds like the perfect experience for getting out in the water, but not dealing with all of the hassles of an ocean beach. Looks like a refreshing experience for the whole family!

  6. Nice to hear she had a lovely time at the beach. We found some great beaches along the west coast and the Algarve. Have a look at our post ‘central Portugal’s coastal cities and beautiful beaches’

  7. Anna Shirley says:

    Such a beautiful and peaceful place. My son doesn´t like sand either. o)
    If you have time, it will be great if you join my TRAVEL INSPIRATION Link up.

    Anna xoxo
    http://www.flostenparadise.com

    1. Would love to join. Thanks.

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