Apúlia Windmills: Best Beaches and Trails in Apúlia (Esposende)

Passadiços da Apúlia
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The Apúlia windmills are one of Esposende’s most popular tourist attractions, and for good reason!

In this article, we’ll explain the history and utility of the windmills, as well as the boardwalks nearby.

We’ll also take a look at the Masseiras trail (7.4 km) that passes by the windmills, and the famous Apúlia beach, known for its iodine-rich waters.

For those looking to spend a few days in the region, we also provide accommodation and restaurant suggestions.

Finally, to make your visit easier, we’ve included a map with directions to the Apúlia windmills.

So, are you ready to embark on this journey with us?

Apúlia Windmills

Moinhos de Apúlia
Windmills in Apúlia, Esposende.

The Apúlia windmills are a true work of art and a relic of Portuguese history.

In addition to their importance as cereal milling centers, they also played a fundamental role in protecting the region’s dunes.

In fact, they were built on top of the dune ridge to prevent sand movement, and their position was carefully chosen to take advantage of the sea winds.

It is worth noting that the region is famous for its cornfields, which are still cultivated to this day, albeit on a smaller scale.

Over the years, the mills were abandoned, but fortunately, they were restored by their owners and are now used as private holiday homes.

However, the original architecture and characteristics of the mills have been preserved, meaning the mills still have narrow windows and small doors to protect the milling process from moisture.

The boardwalk (wooden path) of Apúlia

Passadiços da Apúlia
Wooden path of Apúlia.

The wooden boardwalk that connects the five windmills of Apúlia is the way to see and appreciate these curious historical constructions.

However, it’s important to remember that the windmills are privately owned and not open to the public.

Moreover, if you’re a fan of hiking, there are many hiking trails in Esposende that you can explore.

A prime example of trails in Esposende is the Apúlia Mills Trail, which passes by the windmills.

In other words, by taking this trail, you can get up close to the Apúlia windmills while enjoying a pleasant walk by the sea.

PR12 – Trilho das Masseiras walk

Passadiço na Praia da Apúlia.
Boardwalk at Apúlia Beach.
PR12 - Trilho das Masseiras, na Apúlia (Esposende).
Trilho das Masseiras (PR12), in Apúlia (Esposende).

The Masseiras Trail is a great hiking option in Esposende, starting and ending at the Apúlia windmills.

Covering a distance of 7.4 km, it’s an easy-level trail that takes about three hours to complete.

During the hike, visitors can enjoy incredible views of the Apúlia Lagoon, the small and large “masseira” (depressions in the ground used for agriculture), and the Folhosas Forest.

By the way, do you know what a “masseira” is?

Farmers dig rectangular pits in the sandy soil and plant vines in the corners to protect them from the harsh winds of the region.

If you’re curious about this peculiar form of agriculture, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this unique landscape during your stay in Esposende.

Apúlia Beach

Praia da Apúlia
Beach of Apúlia.

Apulia Beach is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy water sports such as surfing and kitesurfing, thanks to the strong winds in the region.

But it’s also a popular choice for families seeking a beach day, thanks to its extensive stretch of white sand.

Additionally, the beach is bordered by a jetty and the mouth of the Ribeira da Fonte da Senhora, creating a natural scenery worth visiting.

Thus, children can play in the water pools among the rocks during low tide, which is an added attraction for families.

Apulia Beach has won the Five Star Regions Award in the Beaches category, ensuring visitors choose a high-quality destination for a beach day.

Accommodation at Apulia Beach

Hotel Suave Mar (Esposende).
Hotel Suave Mar (Esposende).

For those looking to enjoy a few days by the sea in Apulia, Casa do Mar is a good choice! This vacation home is located in front of Pedrinhas Beach, featuring three bedrooms and a terrace where you can dine and enjoy a magnificent sunset.

However, if you prefer tranquility, 500 meters from Ofir Beach, you’ll find Amais Ofir Heart and Soul. This property is set in a pine forest, providing plenty of privacy as it has virtually no neighbors.

If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, Parque de Campismo de Fão offers free Wi-Fi, a playground, and a bar.

On the other hand, to stay in the center of Esposende, Hotel Suave Mar (3 stars) offers the expected comfort of a hotel, a swimming pool, and a restaurant with a hearty breakfast.

As you can see, there are several accommodation options in Esposende, and if the suggestions I mentioned don’t fully suit your preferences, you can check out more alternatives below.

Hotels in Esposende

Best restaurants and Where to eat near the Apúlia windmills

Almoço de domingo na Apúlia: sames de bacalhau (feijoada).
Sunday lunch in Apúlia: Codfish “sames” (feijoada).
Vitrine de peixe fresco nos restaurantes de Apúlia, Esposende.
Fresh fish display in restaurants in Apúlia, Esposende.
Sardinhas assadas.
Grilled sardines.
Restaurante na Apúlia: entrada de queijo e presunto.
Restaurant in Apúlia: Cheese and ham appetizer.

Whenever we visit Apúlia, we opt for the small restaurants near the beach, but there are more sophisticated options if you prefer.

For us, the grilled fish in these places never disappoints, as is the case with Restaurante Estrela Do Mar, Marisqueira Manjar da Praia, and Restaurante D’Apúlia.

Simple yet very flavorful food, and moreover at affordable prices, which makes it a choice that always turns out well for us.

However, if you prefer a more upscale dining experience, Restaurante Moinho de Sal has a good reputation.

How to get to the Apúlia Windmills

From the city of Porto, the best way to reach the Apúlia Windmills is via the A28, and in about 40 minutes, you’ll reach your destination.

However, to better plan your trip to Esposende, below we provide a map of the region.

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