During our late afternoon walk along the beautiful beach at Praia de Mira, we came across this traditional inshore Portugese fishing boat. These craft are called 'meia lua' or 'half-moon' boats because of their peculiar high prow and stern. Powered only by two oars, these 10-m (33 foot) craft are used mostly for inshore fishing. We actually watched...more
Well, we certainly achieved our objective of finding an off-the-beaten path coastal village when we arrived in Praia de Mira! We were very surprised at how little development had taken place there - it was still a sleepy little village despite its beautiful long beach. Not a high-rise in sight! As we strolled along letting the waves wash over our...more
ALDEAMENTO MIRA VILLAS, PRAIA DE MIRA, Portugal, 3
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
It was 6 PM by the time we finished our beach excursion, so we headed back to our room for a while before setting off in our car to check out possible restaurants. Praia de Mira is not very big, so it was not long before we returned to our room and then took off again on foot to some of the places that we had spotted. We found that many of the...more
9 Reviews and Opinions
Only the day before, we had been at our most northerly point in Portugal (see 'Geraz do Minho' page) and on the morning of the day that we drove to Praia de Mira we had toured the Rio Douro area of Port wine just south of Vila Real (see my 'Pinhao' page). Because the weather had turned to serious rain for the first time in our trip, we decided to head south and west for the Atlantic coast.
It was close to 11:30 AM when we started south from Lamego on the great IP3 super-highway toward Viseau. This is mountainous terrain, so it was constantly up into the rain at the top of the ridges and then down to scattered sunshine in the valleys. By noon we had skirted Viseau and were headed west on the IP5, a good two-lane highway with passing lanes on its many hills. There was a great deal of construction going on to upgrade it to a 4-lane divided highway and at one point all traffic was brought to a halt due to construction work going on ahead. I filled in the half-hour wait by using my birdwatching binoculars to watch the huge backhoe as it tore at rocks above the highway, some of which rolled down toward the road (the reason why they had to stop traffic). I also updated our travel diary which helps later when trying to build VT pages! Finally we were off and running again until we reached the old N109 highway along the coast at Aveiro.
It was slow going from there in our Fiat Punto rental car (which clocked 2000 km while on this portion of our trip, since leaving Lisbon 7 days earlier). Because the N109 runs through every town and village along the coast and is clogged with trucks and busses, we were relieved to reach Mira where we could finally make the dash to the beach, about 4 hours after leaving the Rio Douro.
Once the first section of hawser used to pull in the net had been coiled into the tray on the rear of the tractor, off it went toward the waiting 'meia-lua' boat. These craft are called 'meia-luas' because of their distinctive half-moon shape. As it chugged its way up the incline of the beach, all four wheels of the tractor would occassionaly spin...more
When all was said and done, the final catch of what I assume are sardines, did not really look all that impressive considering the amount of work that went into it. Still, Portugal has always been a sea-faring nation and the bounty of the sea plays a large part in their diet. So, why not continue to reap what you can? At least these people do not...more
As the net was finally being pulled clear of the water, the small fish could be seen jumping clear of the mesh. Some made it back into the water before the net was completely on land, but the others flipped out onto the beach. This was where the waiting crowd moved in, using plastic Coke bottles and other containers to hold the small fry that they...more
One of the many beautiful things that the Portugese inherited from their hundreds of years of conquest by the Moors was the used of decorative ceramic tiles, called 'azulejos'. In the case of the abandoned cottage, they were used extensively on the walls of its porch as well as the interior walls of the building (you can make out a few more through...more
There are many abandoned farms in my home province of New Brunswick in Canada, and I have always had a fascination for exploring these rundown old buildings (see my Greenwood page in Nova Scotia if you don't believe me!). They evoke thoughts of who lived there and why were they finally forced to just leave them to rot or crumble away?As a result,...more
That's it! There are some small boats with the shape of a duck. It's not expensive and it's a nice way to discover the lagoon.
Equipment: Rent the duck to the old men.
We enjoyed our one night stop-over in Praia de Mira. It was good to be back on the ocean again after a week of mountains and castles!
We left Lamego just before noon and were on the beach about 4 hours later, after bypassing Aveiro. However, the N109 highway south from Aveiro is very slow and congested. Based on that knowledge, the next morning when we left, we continued straight across the N109, at the village of Mira, onto the N234. I thought that it would be some sort of back road but, in fact, it was a much better road than the N109 and we were soon out to the 4-lane A1 (and later the A8) superhighways. These toll highways allowed us to bomb south to the fortress of 'Obidos' as well as our next beach destination at Peniche and its 'Ilha da Berlenga' - and what destinations those two places were!!