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Praia do Quião beach, in A Ver-o-Mar, is a good option for observing the underwater life of Portugal’s west coast. Its shallow waters, consisting of a mix of rocks, sand and kelp, are inhabited by some fish and lots of starfish.

Praia do Quiao
View of the beach from the snorkeling area.

How to get to Praia do Quião snorkeling spot?

Praia do Quião is a small beach in A Ver-o-Mar, near Póvoa de Varzim. The snorkeling spot is just opposite the Praia do Mestre beach restaurant (Google Maps link here), where there’s ample parking.

Praia do Quião snorkeling map
Praia do Quião snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling Praia do Quião

Water entrance is from the beach. As this location is wave-exposed, snorkeling is possible only when the ocean is perfectly calm. If there is swell, or the water is simply rough, do not get in. With the water being cold in the Atlantic Ocean, wearing a wetsuit is recommended, even in summer.

Praia do Quião snorkeling exploration tips

Praia do Quião snorkeling area is bounded on the left and right by two rocky points, about 120 meters apart.

Only when the ocean is perfectly calm (absence of waves and currents), you can consider snorkeling outside the cove and exploring the rocks on the right and left.

Spiny sea star on the rocky beds of Praia do Quiao
Spiny sea stars abound on the cove’s rocky beds.

Praia do Quião has a varied seabed. Depending on the area, you can explore rocky reliefs, stretches of sand, and kelp fields.

Depths vary from 2 to 6 feet/0.5 to 3 meters in the cove.

Swimming crab at Praia do Quiao
Encounter with a Flying crab (Liocarcinus holsatus) in Praia do Quião. This species has the ability to swim in open water.

Praia do Quião’s marine life is typical of the shallows of the eastern Atlantic.

It includes several species of fish such as Seabass, Mullet and Seabream, as well as invertebrates such as the abundant Spiny starfish and Sea urchins.

School of seabass over kelp
A school of seabass over kelp-covered seabed.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

The Praia do Mestre restaurant is just across the cove from the beach.


  • Level required Advanced
  • Maximum depth10 feet/3 meters
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersCurrents, surf
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree from the shore
  • Restaurants nearbyYes, on the beach

MAP Spot

These spots are only recommended to good swimmers, in good physical conditions, and with excellent snorkeling skills. These spots can experience currents, moderate waves, important depths, tight or narrow passages, or tricky water entrance, and can be located near hazardous areas (channels, boat traffic, strong currents…). The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas can be important - up to 500 meters. The “advanced” category includes drift snorkeling (transported by currents) and snorkeling off the coast.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell.You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.