Since it’s my last day in Porto, I decided to visit the beach today! One of the most beautiful beaches in Porto (and in Europe, by extension) is the Senhor da Pedra Beach or Praia do Senhor da Pedra (or Lord of the Rock Beach).
Departing from São Bento train station, I caught the train heading to Miramar, the city closest to the beach. São Bento is a beautifully-decorated train station, and its walls are covered with Portuguese tiles called azulejos. You’ll always catch tour groups and tourists here bumping shoulders with locals, so it can be claustrophobic sometimes.
Praia do Senhor da Pedra, one of the most beautiful beaches in Porto
Leaving Porto at 10, I arrived at Miramar around 11am. The walk from the station to the actual beach was only about 15 minutes, so it doesn’t take too long. The beach wasn’t crowded at all, which was surprising because I thought it was going to be packed. Then again, it was a Monday, so there’s bound to be less people.
The Senhor da Pedra Chapel in the middle of the beach is a sight to behold! It such a deviance from all the other “flat” beaches around the world, and that’s what made this beach one of the most beautiful in Europe! The beach isn’t your usual beach either; it has a very rocky shore in areas, which can be dangerous for children.
The actual chapel itself wasn’t that remarkable. The white & terra cotta facade, however, shines brightly during the day, and this helps it stand out on the horizon. The chapel has a statue inside, and you can go around it to directly see the Atlantic Ocean (which has a really deep & dark azure colour).
I wasn’t able to do this because of my short time left but during sunset, this area becomes really romantic.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a beach, and even more so, feeling real fine sand between my toes! The water here is still cold even when it’s scorching out, so I just dipped my feet in the water, then sunbathed and watched the eye candy before heading back to Porto. LOL.
Chilling at Vila Nova de Gaia
For those who don’t know, Vila Nova de Gaia (shortened to Gaia) is the city across the Duoro River from Porto. From this city, you have a vantage point to see one of the best views of Porto. Even crossing the Luis I Bridge, you’ll be met with gorgeous views of Porto!
Gaia is famous for holding the port wine cellars (aka caves) before they are shipped outside the country. I visited the city for a port wine tasting & cellar tour on my 2nd day in Porto, and today I visited again to actually buy the port!
When I went port wine tasting, I really enjoyed Croft’s Reserva and 10 year tawny port. As much as I wanted to buy a lot of port, I could only bring 2 bottles back to Canada so that I need not declare it. So, I bought these two port for only €30!
After buying the port, I walked down towards the Ribeira to find a bar with a view and chill out for a bit (until dinner). There was a terrace bar on the farther end from Luis I Bridge with a nice view of Porto. Here, I ordered a beer and admired the view while drinking some liquid gold. A sweet, sweet time to relax.
Dinner & goodbye Porto!
After spending an hour or so, just drinking and editing photos, I headed back across the river to eat at my favourite vegan restaurant: DaTerra Restaurante. I’ve said it before, but this restaurant is just simply the best!
I love the casual but clean restaurant, and the variety of food is amazing! The only downside is the service, but I’m willing to sacrifice service over food.
With my stomach EXTREMELY full, I headed back to Luis I Bridge to catch the beautiful sunset over Porto before I leave. It was a good thing that I did this tonight, because it was a beautiful day in Porto, with no clouds in the sky. Such a gorgeous sight!
Porto is a beautiful city, and I think I prefer it over Lisbon. While it is a big city, it has a smaller city feel. Maybe it was just the time I was there, but it also felt like there was less people & tourists in the city. Porto is also very interesting, very cool and thought-provoking imagery when you walk around the streets.
There is a lot to do in the city & around the region, and the views are simply breathtaking! The food is very good, the people are very friendly, and the city is very lively! I will definitely miss Porto, and cherish my good times here!
Getting to Praia do Senhor da Pedra
To get to this beach, take a train from São Bento or Campanhã train station on the Linha de Aveiro and stopping at Miramar.
Be careful though, because not all trains on the Linha de Aveiro stops at Miramar. The trains that stop are usually urban trains, not suburban trains. If you aren’t sure which train to take, you can always ask the Customer Assistance Office in the São Bento train station.