Since adopting our dog, a Portuguese Podengo called Santino 2 years ago from the fires in Leiria, we began to “city-ify” the dog. He was afraid of anything that was modern; cars, bikes, buses, even all buildings freaked him out. Imagine being born in the woods, that suddenly go on fire and all your early memories are of hell on earth. Then you are brought to the big city by two strangers. That’s a big change right? Luckily, now that he is a city dog who travels everywhere by metro we wanted to take him to the next level, Portuguese Beaches!
This summer has been pretty mild but we have had days at 31 C (88F). We had some users ask us in our forum about bring their Portuguese puppy to the beach so we decided to do a write up on it. We did some research online and found the best beaches to take your dog.
Before bringing your dog to the beach there are some legal rules in place governing access to the beaches for your canine.
- You must register your dog.
- Your dog must be up-to-date on all vaccines.
- Dogs must be leashed and muzzled if they are a “dangerous” breed or are human aggressive, (looking at you chihuahua owners).
- You are responsible if your dog gets out of hand with other people at the beach. So don’t let him/her bother people.
- You must maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the beach aka, PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG! I repeat – YOU, Portuguese person, who thinks their dogs shit is natural, and can’t spend two seconds to pick up the poop with a plastic bag, YOU SUCK!
- Finally…Rules at specific beaches must be abided by. Entry could be denied to your dog.
Those are easy enough rules to follow. Most beaches with bathers won’t allow dogs between May 31st and September 15th of the year. It is the same for those beaches with an attached restaurant (concession beaches). The fee is supposedly up to €2500, but I’ve yet to meet someone who has received this fine.
I have seen dogs at those beaches during those time periods, so it depends on the lifeguard or local police. Some don’t care, others will tell you it’s not allowed, rarely will they give you a ticket – but it can happen. For the most part, they are usually very nice about it. So usually no drama.
Things you should bring with you when going to Portuguese Dog Beaches
- Towels, your dog will get wet and it will lead to your car getting wet.
- Bottle water, your dog will sometimes drink seawater so he will get sick. Plus you can use this to wash off the saltwater from the dog.
- A Broom, because your car will get full of sand.
- A Ball, or Toy to play catch. Your puppy will love it.
- And SUNSCREEN, because you don’t want to prematurely age yourself with the rays of the sun. Also, CANCER!
A List of Dog-Friendly Beaches in Portugal
- Praia da Cova do Vapor.
- Praia da Ramalha Sul em Esposende.
- Praia Suave Mar em Esposende.
- Praia do Porto da Areia Norte beach em Peniche.
- Praia do Coral em Viana do Castelo.
Praia da Cova do Vapor
Why bring your dog to Praia da Cova do Vapor?
- It’s close to Lisbon (15-minutes away by car).
- Access all-year-round.
- Easy Highway access.
- Free Parking nearby, but you can pay to be next to it.
Where is Praia da Cova do Vapor?
How to get to Praia da Cova do Vapor
If you’re in Lisbon, it’s easy to get to the dog-friendly beach of Praia da Cova do Vapor. Take the ferry ( 1.35 € each way) from Belém to Trafaria.
Praia da Ramalha Sul em Esposende
Why bring your dog to Praia da Ramalha Sul em Esposende?
- Nice sandy beach.
- Quiet Area.
- Nice local charm.
Where is Praia da Ramalha Sul em Esposende?
Praia Suave Mar em Esposende
Why bring your dog to Suave Mar em Esposende ?
- Various other beach choices.
- Nice area for Kite Surfing so backpacker central.
- Camping nearby.
Where is Praia Suave Mar em Esposende?
Praia do Porto da Areia Norte beach em Peniche
Why bring your dog to Praia do Porto da Areia Norte beach em Peniche?
- Great rock formations to hike.
- Cute town.
- The view from the rocks.
Where is Praia do Porto da Areia Norte beach em Peniche?
Praia do Coral em Viana do Castelo
Why go to Praia do Coral em Viana do Castelo?
- Very chill beach.
- Good for families.
- The water is bit calmer than other beaches.
Where is Praia do Coral em Viana do Castelo?
Now, these are the main beaches which we know “legally” are dog-friendly but I have seen dogs outside of the May – September ban period at:
Is this legal? I don’t know. But I have seen dogs their playing in front of policemen and lifeguards without even a comment. That’s Portugal for you, very laid back. Most people don’t want to make a fuss over something so trivial as a family trying to enjoy a day out at the beach.
Remember these few things before taking your dog to the beach
- If the beach says no access to dogs and you bring your dog you can get a fine from 100 -2500 Euros.
- Atlantic Ocean waves can be strong so chose non-breezy days and areas where the water is calm.
- Keep your pet hydrated and under an umbrella. Remember they can get dehydrated from the sun and it gets hot in Portugal.
- Bring doggie bags because some places will not have public ones. And you MUST pick up!
- Wash your dog in the shower or hose when your home to get the saltwater off there fur and skin. It is an irritant and just like humans will hurt your pet.
- Wear sunscreen. You’re looking old! How much older do you want to look like? A Raisin?