Summer was made for enjoying good weather in the company of family, friends and, of course, a furry companion. There aren’t exactly a lot of beaches in Portugal that have open access to dogs, but we have decided to go looking for the best destinations for you to enjoy a holiday on the beach with your dog, plus pet-friendly accommodation near each one.
Before embarking on an adventure with your dog, though, 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 should keep the beach clean;
- The rules for all beaches in Portugal are imposed by the local port authority supervising them.
In this strange summer of COVID-19, 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, the Praia do Coral, on Portugal’s northern coast near Viana do Castelo, was one of the first dog beaches in the country. Opened on 15th June 2018, it's an excellent option for your dog to be able to enjoy this summer 2020 and not be left home alone or in the kennels. You can take advantage of the extensive sandy shore and calm waters protected by the Lima River bar, for your dog to run and swim freely, and even spend a few days on holiday in the area in a 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 80 metres long, perfect for walking with your pet, without having to worry about annoying other holidaymakers. Here you'll find everything you need to pamper your pet and care for the beach. The local authority has even invested 2,500 euros in poop bag dispensers and signage with the rules of the dog beach.
Ramalha Sul Beach, Esposende
Our last two suggestions for the best dog friendly beaches in Portugal are both in Esposende. First up is Praia da Ramalha Sul, which, together with Praia Suave Mar, started to allow pets in June 2018 as part of the Municipal Strategic Plan for Animal Welfare created by the Municipal Council.
The long, sandy beach and impressive infrastructure make life 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 holiday destination for you and your four-legged friend this summer 2020.
The beach’s large, sandy shore attracts many surfers and holidaymakers. In addition to being easily accessible and having ample parking in the surrounding area, it is equipped with special facilities for dogs like drinking water and there are plenty of short-term holiday lets nearby where pets are more than welcome.
Essential advice for going on holiday with your dog
Now you’ve chosen the pet-friendly destination in Portugal where you’re going to go on your holiday, all you need now 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 nice and calm so that your dog can swim in peace.
- Protect the pup from the sun and keep it hydrated! Animals can also suffer from sun exposure and dehydration during the hottest hours of the day.
- Collect all your dog’s waste that it may leave on the beach, either using your own bags or bags that are provided there for this purpose.
- Bring some toys to keep your dog entertained so it doesn’t get tempted to play with other people's stuff.
- When you return home, it’s a good idea to bathe your dog in fresh water to remove salt from their hair.