Reconquinho River Beach, Penacova: Everything you need to know

Praia Fluvial do Reconquinho.
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Reconquinho River Beach is located in the municipality of Penacova, Coimbra district, within the Central region of Portugal.

In 2019, it was named by National Geographic as the most beautiful Portuguese beach, out of a selection of 100 national beaches.

It boasts an extensive sandy area, relatively calm waters, a space for playing football, a wooden bridge connecting to the Penacova trails, a restaurant, and nearby parking.

If you prefer to bring your own picnic, there’s also a designated picnic area with tables. Lifeguards are on duty, the beach is wheelchair accessible, and the Penacova campsite is just a stone’s throw away.

Moreover, children can enjoy the playground at the river beach, and when it’s time to hit the water, floating barriers mark safe swimming and bathing areas.

As for activities, you can rent kayaks and take trips on the Barca Serrana.

We visited Reconquinho River Beach on a road trip through the Beiras region and became fans of the place.

So, will you join us on this journey to yet another dreamy river beach?

Reconquinho Beach River

Rio Mondego.
Rio Mondego.
Praia Fluvial do Reconquinho.
Reconquinho River Beach.

As mentioned earlier, at Reconquinho, you’ll find a sizable sandy area, a support bar serving meals, a football field, picnic area, and also some paid activities.

We’re talking about kayak rentals for trips on the Mondego River, which can be done on-site, as well as rides on the traditional Barca Serrana.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s a Blue Flag Beach, and activities are only available during the bathing season.

What is Barca Serrana?

Visitar Penacova.
Barca Serrana, in Penacova.

The Barca Serrana was the traditional transport on the Mondego River when road connections didn’t exist.

It was a wooden boat that traveled up and down the river to transport goods and people between Figueira da Foz and Coimbra.

So, the Barca Serrana departed from Figueira da Foz loaded with salt and sailed up the Mondego River to Coimbra.

Along the way, it collected firewood and broom in Penacova, destined for the bakeries of Coimbra. When needed, it also carried pilgrims to the festivals in Coimbra.

On the return trip, from Coimbra to Figueira da Foz, the Barca Serrana mainly carried students.

Currently, the Barca Serrana is used solely for tourism, offering leisure cruises on the Mondego River for those visiting the Reconquinho River Beach in Penacova.

Other river beaches in the region

Praia fluvial da Peneda em Góis.
Peneda beach river, in Góis.
Góis o que visitar, ver e fazer.
Bridge near river beach in Góis.

River Beach of Peneda in Góis

Peneda Beach shares some similarities with Reconquinho.

Both are river beaches with blue flag status, boasting extensive sandy areas and easy access to town centers.

Therefore, if you’re in the area, don’t miss the chance to take a dip in the Ceira River in Góis.

Vimieiro River Beach

Just 13 km from Reconquinho, you’ll find another dreamy river beach.

We’re talking about Vimieiro River Beach, which proudly displays the Blue Flag and offers excellent accessibility.

Families can enjoy picnic areas, restrooms, a drinking water fountain, and plenty of space to lay out towels.

Moreover, the “O Vimeiro” snack bar serves meals for lunch and dinner, there are pedal boats available for rent, and a weir provides added safety.

Visit Penacova

Igreja Matriz de Penacova / Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção.
Igreja Matriz de Penacova / Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção.
Penacova o que visitar
National Road 2 in Penacova: Largo Alberto Leitão.
Câmara Municipal de Penacova.
Town Hall of Penacova.

The center of Penacova is just a few minutes from Reconquinho River Beach, so plan your time to spend a few hours exploring it.

We suggest starting your itinerary with a stroll in the center, perhaps at Largo Alberto Leitão Garden to glimpse the Mondego River, and admire the Town Hall building before heading to the Emídio da Silva Viewpoint.

In Penacova, there are two other well-known attractions worth visiting: the Santa Maria de Lorvão Monastery (7 km away) and the Livraria do Mondego (3 km away), a natural monument of rocks resembling books on a shelf.

Everything you need to know before visiting Reconquinho River Beach

Is there parking at Reconquinho River Beach?

Yes, there is parking available just a few meters from the river beach. Another option is to park your car in the center of Penacova and walk down the hill.

Is there a safe pathway to walk between Penacova and the river beach?

Is Reconquinho Beach safe for children?

Safety should never be overlooked, especially when it comes to children.

However, at Reconquinho, there is a lifeguard on duty and a floating barrier in the river marking safe areas for swimming.

What activities are available at Reconquinho?

In addition to the football field, there are kayak rentals for those who want to explore the Mondego River independently, as well as trips on the Barca Serrana, a wooden boat that transports multiple people at once.

For those who enjoy a stroll between dips, you can cross the wooden bridge and explore the network of trails in Penacova.

There’s also a mobile library for those who prefer a refreshing read by the riverside.

Are there restaurants near the river beach?

At Reconquinho River Beach, there is a bar/restaurant serving meals daily. However, I must say it can get a bit crowded due to the number of people who go there.

Not only for lunch but also for purchasing refreshing drinks and ice creams.

Alternatively, you can bring a picnic from home and use one of the picnic tables at the river beach.

Map and how to get to Reconquinho River Beach

Reconquinho River Beach is about 1.5 km from the center of Penacova village.

from Lisboa

From Porto

Trails in Penacova

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