River Beaches & Rivers in Portugal


The lure of the river beaches in the hot summer are irresistible. The waters are clear and cool.

praia fluviais


In the Góis region alone there are plenty of places to swim. There are many places along the river Ceira, Sinhal and Sótão. Many river beaches have facilities like, café-bars, picnic tables and lifeguards etc. Most of the river beaches can be found in Coimbra, but they are scattered around. Below is a guide to some of the well-known swimming spots.

Milfontes beach
Vila Nova de Milfontes

THE GORGE     GPS  40.184465, -8.166341   (approx)

Between Góis and Serpins, is a gorge through which flows the Rio Ceira. The track that was created for a train line provides a useful dirt road down to the gorge. There is a lovely natural pool and you can bring your car down but there is not much room

PRAIA DA CANAVAIAS     GPS  40.184240, -8.151693

A lifeguard is on duty for several hours a day during the summer months. This beach has disabled access. There is a café-bar open from May to September, and facilities for picnicking and barbecuing, including a shaded area under the trees. The car park is close to all the facilities.

PARQUE DE CEREJAL     GPS  40.154033, -8.111967

In Góis itself there are three places to swim. At the Parque de Cerejal the trees shade the picnic tables and there are barbecues to cook on, and there is a café-bar under the bandstand. A sandy beach is found in the river, accessible by a little wooden bridge. This is a very popular spot, especially for people with small children. You can park the car close by, and there are benches to sit on.

PRAIA DE PENEDA     GPS  40.154033, -8.111967

This is the main river beach in Góis. When you drive over the bridge you will see the riverside café-bars and the sandy beaches, it is a lovely spot. There is both deep water for swimming and shallow water for paddling. There are boats for hire at the café, and car parking is available close by.

PEGO DE ESCURO     GPS  40.154033, -8.111967

Pego de Escuro is just a few minutes walk, it is the third of Góis’s swimming places. It is different from the Praia de Peneda in that it is surrounded by trees. There is a café-bar, and good place for a coffee in the day time. There is an old water-wheel and there is a sandy beach reached by a little wooden bridge. Walking over the weir you can reach a tree-shaded beach area.

CARCAVELOS      GPS 40.141182, -8.113975

At Carcavelos leave the car parked in the village, and walk along the path that leads through the houses. When you leave the houses, there is a signed path down to your left, leading down to the river.


This path is steep in places, so you need to be sure footed for this one. When you do get to the river it is well worth it, there is a good stretch for swimming.

CABREIRA     GPS  40.141185, -8.072158

Take the road to Colmeal, then in the middle of Cabreira park the car under the trees and you will see a swimming area beneath the bridge reached by a steep slope. The area has been landscaped, providing steps where you can sit. Three cafés are nearby.

THE OLIVE PRESS     GPS  40.141562, -8.066740


Past the village of Cabreira, going towards Colmeal, is an old olive-press (see above image) with the little ‘tulhas’ (olive-stores) by the river, and there is also a medieval bridge. You can park your car on the road, or you can drive right down beside the river. During the summer there are picnic tables, but there is no toilet. The water beside the picnic area is great for swimming, and there is shallow water below the weir.

THE WATERFALL     GPS  40.144469, -8.011461

Between Sandinha and Colmeal you will see a small parking bay, with a mailbox on your right, as the road curves to the left. This is where the path goes down to a lovely pool and waterfall. This is a lovely out of the way spot, but it does need a little care getting down to it, but worth it.

ALVARES     GPS  40.017320, -8.096503

The Sinhel river flows through the town of Alvares, and the swimming area is around the old packhorse bridge. There is easy access and car-parking. Some large poplar trees give shade and there is a bar beside the river and a café over the road. The water is very deep here, but there are more shallow areas a little way down stream.

AMIOSINHO     GPS  40.036595, -8.097326   (approx)

The road to Amiosinho is a narrow, single track along the Sinhel valley. But it has one of the loveliest swimming places you will find. There are plenty of places to park your car in the village, and a steep flight of steps leads down to the river. You will need to duck under the railing to reach the sunbathing area. There is a flat paved sun-bathing area and the clarity of the water is remarkable.

rodus cimeira


RODA CIMEIRA      GPS  40.064398, -8.098355

A few kilometres north of Amiosinho are the villages of Roda Fundeira and Roda Cimeira. The streets in the village are very narrow with few places to turn. Best to park outside the village, and walk the rest of the way. Take the route through the village past the café and the chapel. The track leads you down to a wonderful swimming pool in the Sinhel river.

LORIGA    GPS 40.326385, -7.691734

This river beach is in the Guarda region

VILA NOVA DE MILFONTES    GPS 37.722885, -8.787394

This river beach is a coastal spot in the region of Beja, there is a cafe/ restaurant on the beach with the town close by. Plenty of parking and plenty of beach

AVO     GPS 40.293735, -7.902714

The River Alva runs through the middle of Avo.
In the Coimbra Region

SERTA      GPS 39.802090, -8.097682

Castelo Branco Region (more info coming)

MOSTEIRO     GPS 39.887425, -7.961164

Castelo Branco Region (more info coming)

PRAIA DAS ROCAS     GPS 40.005746, -8.206113

Leiria Region (more info coming)

AGROAL      GPS 39.677726, -8.437920

Santarem Region (more info coming)

Other River Beaches

Lagoa de Mira, Pego Pias, Pego Fundo, Fronteira, Cabeco de Vide, Portagem, Pavoa e Meadas, Alamal, Alvega, Ortiga, Ribeira de Eiras, Carvaeiro - Macao, Azenha dos Gavioes, Taberna, Seca, Froia, Malhadal, Alvito da Beira, Aldeia, Ruiva, Bostelim, Troviscal, Acude, Pinto, Almaceda, Cambas, Pessegueiro




Rio Coa

40.703191 -6.931586

Rio da Mula nr Almodovar

37.49681 -8.06064

Rio Zezere

39.854427 -8.29040

Rio Mondego

40.308341 -8.249384

Rio Cavado nr Areias

41.554672, -8.530004

Rio Cavado (v nice)

41.670358, -8.177361

Rio Olo nr Canadelo

41.305548, -8.013913

Rio Cargo

41.28639 -7.74938

Rio Guardiana

38.10916 -7.62833

Rio Duero nr Picote

41.37813 -6.35227

Rio Rabacal, (nice)

41.72776 -7.19536

Rio Vouga nr Galifonge

40.757309, -7.932802

Rio Deuro

41.48949 -6.26377

Rio Tamega

41.31891 -8.03083

Rio Sabor

41.209382 -7.083849

Rio Alva at Secarias

40.253239 -8.034542

Rio Sorraia

38.941324 -8.058788

Rio Douro 2

41.09208 -8.07729

Rio Tajo

39.463121 -8.382134

Rio Beca

41.562470 -7.819814

Rio Douro / Barragem Crestuma-Lever

41.07307 -8.48690