However, there is something so special about visiting saltwater pools, which are dotted around Portugal. Let’s dive into some of them!

Ribeira do Paul, Covilhã

The natural pool of Ribeira do Paul, in Covilhã radiates tranquillity. This river beach incorporates several natural pools that extend along the river above as well as waterfalls. This natural pool’s crystal-clear water is always running, and is about three meters deep. Additionally, there is a sandy beach that makes up the river beach of Ribeira do Paul, with space for picnics along the sides and the area benefits from a small bar. It is important to note that there is no surveillance, even during bathing season so be careful with the youngest members of the family but it is idyllic nonetheless.


Ançã, Cantanhede

This natural pool is located in the small village of Ançã in Cantanhede, boasting crystal clear water and a relaxing atmosphere, it is home to numerous visits during the summer. The river pool is fed by the flow of the Ançã Fountain and is inserted in the centre of the village of Ançã. Most wonderfully, this pool is surveyed by a lifeguard daily during the bathing season, so it is great for families, additionally, it had different sections of depth so it is well adapted for children.


Poço Azul, Serra da Estrela

Poço Azul is located in the Peneda Gerês National Park, where the six-meter-deep natural pool is surrounded by a stunning landscape where the mountains and greenery meet. The natural pool boasts crystal waters and allows you to have refreshing swims on summer days. Despite being called Poço Azul, the water is emerald green rather than blue but it is famed for being one of the most beautiful in the heart of the Serra do Gerês.

For those visiting the protected area of Poço Azul, you can park at Cascata do Arado and then hike for two hours via an unofficial but signposted footpath. This walk is challenging but well worth the effort as Poço Azul is one of the best kept gems of the national park, but please make sure to wear good walking shoes and plenty of water and food.


Penedo Furado, Vila de Rei

The municipality of Vila de Rei is home to the peaceful river beach of Penedo Furado, surrounded by paradisical waterfalls and gorgeous panoramic views of the landscape of the Miradoura, it is not a surprise that is sought after by many tourists. Another great thing is that the Penedo Furado has a great walkway route making it easily accessible for the whole family and the views are famed as being the most mystical in the region. This beach despite being immersed right in the centre of nature, offers visitors, a bar, parking and a children’s playground so you can soak up the surrounding landscape with your loved ones.


Porto Moniz, Ilha da Madeira

Heading away from the mainland, why not visit the enchanting island of Madeira, and more specifically the village of Porto Moniz. This location is privileged with natural pools of volcanic origin, which are honestly breathtaking. These natural pools have crystal clear sea water and are incredibly photo worthy as they boast panoramic views of the coast and cliffs. It comes as no surprise that these natural pools attract thousands of national and international visitors all year round. Most wonderfully, they have been enhanced for bathers, with changing rooms, a children’s playground, sun loungers and there is the presence of lifeguards throughout the year making it wonderful for all ages. The pools are open all year round and easily accessible between 9 am and 5 pm during the winter and 9 am and 7 pm during the summer. The pools are free for children aged three and under and are three euros for bathers.


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes