Praia do Baleal, Peniche

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Baleal beach is a magical spot an hour’s drive north of Lisbon, where a 4km sandy curve links the Peniche peninsula to the mainland. Sea-worn rocks provide seclusion and there are bathing lagoons at low tide and rockpools with plenty of glistening seaweed, tiny crabs and shells – perfect for mini explorers. There’s good surfing, too, but with both north and south aspects swimmers can find calmer water. For more adventure head 2km north along the coast for limestone cliffs wrought with ravines and sea caverns. There’s a jolly assortment of bars, cafes and restaurants selling fresh seafood all within meandering distance back towards Peniche.

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