My absolute favourite pastime in summer is to visit one of the many river beaches in Portugal. I love the non salty water, I love to swim, float around to my hearts content and go stand up paddle boarding which is my new epic hobby. I love that most of the river beaches have the options of sand and grass, shady places to rest, cafes and bars, toilets, lifeguards (during the river beach season), BBQ areas, picnic areas, diving boards, swing ropes, volley ball nets, pontoons, floating docks, water features and waterfalls, bridges, kayak hire and huge cliff side rocks to jump off. The setting and backdrop is always so idyllic often with mountain views and I love that no two river beaches are the same. Some have islands and others are set in unique places a glacial valley (Loriga river beach). Another great asset is they are not commercialised so you won’t find any tacky souvenir shops or touts selling cheap stuff like sunglasses. I already have a post on River Beaches with a link to all the locations and I have already shared my experience of visiting a few river beaches known here as Praia Fluvial but I thought it would be great to share with you a photo gallery of some of my local river beaches. When I say local I mean all of these river beaches are under a 20 minute drive from our home. We recently visited a couple of river beaches which are a 45 minute drive but I will review them separately in due course.

Avô river beach

Located in Avô, Oliveira do Hospital.

This is my absolute favourite local river beach. Although it’s in a different municipality it’s only a 15 minute drive from our casa. I have spent many sunny summer days floating around on my inflatable lilo and doughnut on this river. There is also a castle ruins in Avô really close to the river beach. I love that there is a large sandy area with umbrellas but also a grassy area with trees for natural shade. The cafe is great and behind the cafe there is a secluded area where you can access the water too if you fancy a bit of privacy. There is a kids pool area, kayak hire and an ice cream stand right on the beach. The backdrop is stunning and it will always be my favourite local river beach. I was so excited to purchase our double seated inflatable chair. Now Mr and Mrs Allen can float up the river and Mr (hubby) has no where to escape to (ha ha).

Cascalheira river beach

Located in Secarias, Arganil.

Another beautiful river beach although it can get quite busy. Most people I know call it Secarias, after the area it is located and most people pronounce it as Scary Ass! (ha ha). It isn’t scary at all, it’s a little oasis of paradise. I have only just recently discovered that the other side of the river is a completely different river beach. It’s called Ronqueira river beach and is in Tabuá not Arganil, how weird and wonderful! You can hire kayaks from this side of the river and we have had so much fun paddle boarding here.

Valeiro do Barco (Leisure Zone)

Located in Sarzedo, Arganil. 

It appears to have been rebranded Sarzedo. Located next to a camping site it has a free outside swimming pool as well as a cafe, BBQ area, tennis and volleyball courts. New additions this year: new seating areas, cute little bridge, swings and a platform (floating dock) in the river.

Pomares river beach

Located in Pomares about 29km from Arganil.

Teanna loved this place as she could reach the bottom of the river and could practice her swimming technique as she is learning to swim.

Côja river beach

Located in Côja, Arganil.

This is our most local river beach but not my favourite. It is lovely but it’s always so very busy as there is a campsite located next to it. There is always a lot of children enjoying themselves which is fine but it’s never that a tranquil experience.

Urtigal (Leisure Zone)

Located in Barril de Alva, Arganil.

Urtigal is advertised in my Wildlings book as a great place for wild swimming so I had to check it out. We visited in the evening and it is such a tranquil setting. We stayed to watch the sun set and will definitely be returning for some wild swimming in the near future. My feet got rather dusty walking down the dirt track (ha ha).

Parque Francisco Saraiva dos Santos

Located in Santo António do Alva, Oliveira do Hospital.

We came across this little place by accident one day and had a lot of fun skimming rocks in the river. Some places you research for hours and other delights you just happen to find by pure chance. Some things are just meant to be. Sometimes you look for places and other times they just find you.

Good Times & Tan Lines – Our first River beach Visit of 2022

With the weather reaching 40’s there is only one place to be, my favourite river beach (Avô). I LOVE this place and it’s very quiet with only a few people! We have an impressive set up now with a tent for shade and lilo’s because we are British (ha ha). Another perfect soulmate day.

I hope you enjoyed the photo gallery of local river beaches. I will be posting a couple of more stunning river beaches soon.