It’s taken some time to figure out where on the outskirts of Porto I should take myself for a nature walk. But here we are now, just 30 minutes by train outside the city, along the coast, in Esmoriz. Here, raised wooden platforms stretch around a marshy nature area and then wind along dunes up the coast to Espinho.
Here’s what it looks like and how to follow the trail yourself:
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Want to experience the walk for yourself? Here are some relevant details:
From the Esmoriz train station, cross the tracks and head toward the beach on Rua Cais Barrinha. You’ll come to a very obvious walkway entry point. The walkways stretch in both directions, but I took the route to the right, alongside the lagoon and toward Espinho.
At the edge of the lagoon, I turned left, following signs for the beach (praia) and then turned right to follow the walkway over the dunes beside the ocean (again toward Espinho).
When the walkway seemingly ends at a little restaurant, I turned left toward the beach and then right again just a short way up the road to re-enter the walkways as they continued toward Espinho.
Your hiking time will vary depending on where on the promenade you begin and which routes you take through or around the lagoon, but my walk took just under two hours from one train station to the other.
Dogs on trails
Dogs are welcome (and we crossed paths with one other pup a during our mid-morning jaunt).
Is the trail crowded?
I went on a Friday mid-morning and the trail was definitely in use but not terribly crowded. We passed a few runners and cyclists and a number of people out walking themselves, their dogs, or their surfboards down to the waves.
What to bring
As always with walking, wear comfy shoes (I wore my converse sneakers since I need to replace my normal trail running shoes at the moment) and weather-appropriate clothing. You can do this walk in sandals, but still probably more comfortable to wear sneakers.
Bring your own water (there are no fountains on the way and you won’t come to a restaurant/cafe for the first hour or so). For the dog, I typically carry a small carrier backpack just in case she needs a ride. And because I love taking photos, you won’t find me on a trail without some kind of camera.