Praia da Salema
Praia da Salema, or Salema Beach, is a Blue Flag beach by the village of the same name known for its dinosaur footprints. Facing south, it is a stretch of sand approximately a kilometre in length. Relatively undeveloped because of its location within Vincente Coast Natural Park, Praia da Salema manages to maintain its traditional atmosphere, with fishermen continuing to haul their boats onto the beach between the short rows of sun loungers and umbrellas.
Much of their catch remains in the immediate area, making its way to the cafes and restaurants which surround Praia de Salema alongside gently undulating cliffs covered in native grasses. They regularly reveal ancient fossils such as the dinosaur footprints discovered in the year 2001. They are easiest to see during low tide at the western end of the beach close to the wooden staircase, where they run for several metres. They are thought to belong to a bipedal dinosaur which roamed the Earth around 150 million years ago called an ornithopod, or ‘bird foot.’
Forming a small bay, the attractive blue shallows are fairly calm with small waves, so although Praia de Salema may not be the ideal location for surfers, it is a good area of coast for families with younger children. For further confidence among the waves, lifeguards patrol during the busiest times of the year. Other facilities include public toilets and showers. Bodyboards, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are also easy to hire. If you arrive by car, parking can be found in the village’s central square.
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