Summer was made for enjoying good weather in the company of family, friends and, of course, our four-legged friends. There aren’t a lot of beaches in Portugal that have open access to dogs, but we have decided to go looking for the best dog friendly beaches in Portugal, so that you can enjoy a holiday on the beach with your dog, as well as pet-friendly accommodation near each one.
Before embarking on an adventure with your dog in Portugal, you should be aware of these basic rules for having pets in Portugal:
- Your pet must be registered;
- You must use a leash and muzzle if it is a potentially dangerous breed;
- It is important to pay attention to the safety of other people on the beach;
- You must keep the beach clean;
- The rules for all beaches in Portugal are imposed by the local port authority supervising them.
As well as these rules, keep in mind that summer 2021 is still affected by the COVID-19, pandemic, so you should keep in mind that rules are subject to change and you should check advice from the local authorities regarding pets before travelling. Now that you know the rules for how to enjoy the summer with your pet, read on to discover 4 dog-friendly Portuguese beaches where you and your four-legged friend can both get some well-earned holiday relaxation time!
Coral Beach, Viana do Castelo
Also known as Praia do Aquário, Praia do Coral is located on Portugal’s northern coast near Viana do Castelo and was one of the first doggy beaches in Portugal. Opened on 15th June 2018, it's an excellent option for your dog to be able to enjoy this summer 2021, so that they don't have to be left home alone or in kennels. You can take advantage of the extensive sandy shore and calm waters protected by the Lima River bar and let your dog run and swim freely. We recommend spending a few days on holiday in the area in tourist accommodation where pets are allowed.
- Find a holiday rental that accepts pets in Viana do Castelo
- See property for sale in Viana do Castelo
Porto da Areia Norte Beach, Peniche
Moving further down towards the centre of the country, Peniche is an excellent option for a doggy holiday. The Praia do Porto da Areia Norte has an area of sand about 80 metres long, perfect for walking with your pet, without having to worry about annoying other holidaymakers. On this Portuguese beach, you'll find everything you need to pamper your pet and look after the beach at the same time. The local authorities have even invested 2,500 euros in bag dispensers and signage with the rules that must be obeyed on this doggy beach.
Ramalha Sul Beach, Esposende
Our last two suggestions for the best dog friendly beaches in Portugal are both in Esposende in the Braga district of Portugal. First up is Praia da Ramalha Sul, which, together with Praia Suave Mar, started to allow dogs on its sands in June 2018 as part of the Municipal Strategic Plan for Animal Welfare created by the Municipal Council.
This long, sandy beach and impressive infrastructure make life a lot easier for pet owners and this really is the perfect place in the north of Portugal to spend an unforgettable day at the beach with your pooch.
Praia Suave Mar, Esposende
Also in Esposende is the dog-friendly beach of Praia Suave Mar, which is another perfect summer 2021 holiday destination for you and your four-legged friend.
The beach’s large, sandy shore attracts many surfers and holidaymakers. In addition to being easily accessible and having a range of parking options in the surrounding area, this dog friendly beach is also equipped with special facilities for dogs where they can drink water, for example. There are also plenty of short-term holiday rentals nearby where pets are more than welcome.
Essential advice for going on holiday with your dog in Portugal
Now you’ve chosen your pet-friendly destination in Portugal for the holidays, all that is left is to bear in mind these tips and ideas so you can enjoy the beach to the maximum with your dog:
- Beaches where dogs are not expressly allowed don’t usually have any control over animal access. Even so, we recommend that you always check if dogs are allowed or not, to avoid having to pay expensive fines.
- Choose areas where the water is calm so that your dog can swim in peace without aggressive waves.
- Protect your pup from the sun and keep it hydrated! Animals can also suffer from too much sun exposure which can lead to dehydration during the hottest hours of the day.
- Collect all your dog’s waste left on the beach, either using your own bags or bags that are often provided on dog beaches.
- Bring toys to keep your dog entertained.
- When you return home, it’s a good idea to give your dog a bath in fresh water to remove all the salt from their fur.