From the blue of the sky, to the emerald green of the sea, from the chirping of birds to the crashing of waves, from the perfume of the hills' pines to the scent of seaweed and salt water that are carried by the sea breeze... Salir do Porto is an oasis of natural beauty and tranquillity, and yet so close to the Silver Coast’s most popular attractions!
There are few places where it is possible to be in such perfect harmony with nature. Salir do Porto is one of these places. Located on the south bank of the beautiful shell-shaped bay of São Martinho do Porto, the village of Salir do Porto stands out for its natural beauty. A combination of countryside and sea, where Portugal reveals its simple pleasures in living colours and invites you to give wings to your imagination.
Living in Salir do Porto is a privilege. Protected by Portugal's highest sand dune and at its foot the Tornada River gently flowing into the sea, Salir do Porto is a typically calm and tranquil Portuguese village living off the sea.
An ancestral land of fishermen and sailors, today the village still maintains its strong sense of community, especially during its annual festivities in August, when the village streets are lit with lights and the locals share their heritage, handicrafts and local delicacies around tables of joy. Dancing to live music during the night’s concerts or participating in the procession in honour of Our Lady of Conception are, without a doubt, the highlight of the festivities... a mix of ancient rituals and faith where the town comes together to honour century-old traditions.
Salir do Porto is home to a vibrant resident Portuguese community with a deep connection with the sea. Salirenses (people of Salir) are known for their happy disposition, it is said because they wake up with the sun on their faces. Even in the winter the sun shines most days and there is never a shortage of things to see and do!
The wooden walkways that connect Salir do Porto to São Martinho do Porto beach are among the favourite spots for a calm walk or jog. With the fresh ocean breeze and sound of the waves to keep you company, the dunes around the bay are an ideal place to connect with nature.
If you prefer more secluded spots, the hilltops that connect the village to Serra do Bouro have countless hiking tracks that are perfect for meandering along the maritime landscape, in the company of several old windmills and the occasional herd of goats and sheep.
On the coastal cliffs near the village, occasionally you’ll also find fishermen and locals walking along the slopes that lead to several secret pebbled beaches, known as "Quebradas".
For those who enjoy swimming and water sports, the river beach of Salir do Porto is idyllic! From paddleboarding to canoeing, the calm waters of the bay are an invitation to relax while enjoying the beautiful landscape all around.
The beach is generally quiet, except in the months of July and August when there are more vacationers. And even then it is still the perfect place for those who want to escape from big tourist resorts.
Right in front of the beach there is a small parking lot and cafés, where you can have an ice cream or snack after a dive! During the summer you can also spend the day in the oceanic pool above the café, right next to the beach entrance.
However, one of the ex-libris of Salir do Porto beach is undoubtedly its huge dune. More than 50 metres high, few are those who are able to climb the dune without having to stop for a breath on the way up! But the climb is well worth it, not only because of the breathtaking views from the top, but also for the fun of going back down. Some locals prefer to roll or slide down the dune, others simply run and top off the experience with a dip in the waters that await at the bottom!
Along its coastline, Salir do Porto also holds plenty of history, where tales passed down from generation to generation recount stories of faith and courage from the village elders.
The old Customs House of Salir, known as “alfândega”, is halfway between the beach and the edge of the bay. Today all that remains are the16th century ruins. The path to the ruins is narrow, but very worthwhile as the old stone walls offer a stunning view over the bay.
Living testimony of Salir do Porto's important historical past, this is where the caravels of the reigns of D. Afonso V and D. João II were built, allowing the Portuguese to discover the world. Legend has it that some of the caravels that participated in the most important Portuguese maritime discoveries of the time were built here, such as the famous ‘Nau São Gabriel’, which captained Vasco da Gama's armada towards India and also took part in the discovery of Brazil.
Continue along the coastline, further on you will find another pilgrimage site, a fresh water spring known as “Pocinhas de Salir”. These spring waters, very rich in minerals, have medicinal properties which are still sought-after today. Not only for drinking, as a treatment for digestive problems, but also to treat skin conditions by bathing in the pools of freshwater that form on the rocks during the low tide.
However, it is on the way to the Chapel of Sant' Ana, located on the northernmost tip of Salir, where the bay meets the sea, that the faith of the locals is revealed in all its glory.
The chapel is accessed by a dirt track that begins on the left side of the Salir do Porto local swimming pool. The hike to reach it is about 1 kilometre, surrounded by nature and the chirping of birds. You can also reach it by car, through a dirt road on the left side of the village church that leads you close to the chapel (on the last part of the track you’ll have to walk about 500 metres). Whichever way you choose, the arrival is always unforgettable, offering a breathtaking view: on the Western side, the open Atlantic sea and on the other São Martinho do Porto bay and village.
Entirely restored in 2020, with the support and dedication of the “Salirenses”, this chapel is one of the oldest in the Silver Coast region, believed to date from the 12th century. For hundreds of years, families headed in prayer to this sacred site to bid farewell to fishermen and sailors, and boats built at the customs site were blessed here before venturing out to sea. Until the beginning of the 20th century there were still religious processions by the locals from Salir do Porto to the chapel.
At the top of the town of Salir do Porto you’ll find another interesting spot to enjoy the views. The “miradouro” offers a fabulous lookout point to the bay and surrounding valley that centuries ago was a lagoon reaching all the way up to the neighbouring village of Alfeizerão.
Salir do Porto also appeals to adventure enthusiasts, especially those who like mountain biking and hiking. The route that links the village to Foz do Arelho offers excellent conditions for these sports, as well as fabulous natural landscapes.
Nearby, Salir also has an excellent farmers’ market with local produce and restaurants that reflect the Silver Coast’s rich landscape, where the land and the sea offer daily freshness.
Despite being a relatively small village, Salir do Porto boasts several restaurants, most of which are within walking distance from the town centre. From delicious “grelhadas mistas” (a mix of grilled meat) to a wonderful selection of fresh fish and seafood, there's plenty delicious Portuguese cuisine to choose from:
If you don't mind going by car, just a short drive away you will find several other restaurants in the nearby beach villages, all offering wonderful options for a different gastronomic experience and fabulous spots to enjoy the sunset with a glass of wine.
Salir do Porto is close to several famous Silver Coast locations: to the north, there is the famous Nazare beach with its giant waves; to the south, the beautiful beach of Foz de Arelho and the Obidos Lagoon, the vibrant city of Caldas da Rainha, with its unique outdoor farmers' market, and also the medieval town of Obidos, surrounded by history and with some of the best cultural and leisure events in Portugal!
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