Sun and sea with abundance. Figueira da Foz, the city at the mouth of the Mondego River, located at 40 kilometers from Coimbra, with extensive beaches of soft white sand which invite for a relaxing holiday. Discover a unique blend between a real fishing port and the cosmopolitanism inherited from the Belle Époque when the seaside resort of Figueira da Foz was the most visited in Portugal.
Figueira da Foz is more than just beach days. The seashore is the city’s ex-libris, but there is another milestone which is just as popular: the Figueira da Foz Casino. It was inaugurated in the final years of the 19th century with the name Theatro-Circo Saraiva de Carvalho, and it added a cosmopolitan touch to Figueira which still lives on until today. Nowadays, it has daily shows, game rooms, bars and traditional Portuguese food restaurants and is still one the greatest entertainment centres in Figueira da Foz at night, along with its wide variety of bars, clubs and terraces. If you prefer a quiet night, you should try a stroll along the seashore.
If you are strolling through Figueira, you should visit the block which was built during the 1860s and, inspired by some French resorts, faces the sea. The “Bairro Novo” (New Block) was the city’s reaction to the increasing number of summer visitors who would come to Figueira da Foz and some of the most beautiful houses of the turn of the century, with many Art Noveau and Art Deco elements, were built there. One of them is the Sotto Mayor Palace, one of the most representative buildings in the block with a truly elegant architecture which suggests richly decorated interior rooms. Sotto Mayor is now a cultural space which hosts exhibitions, concerts, fashion events, lectures, meetings and conferences as well as a museum.
History and Culture
Admiring Figueira da Foz historical heritage is also a reason to discover the city. You can start by visiting Dr. Santos Rocha Municipal Museum where you will be able to admire great archaeology, African and Oriental ethnography, numismatic, painting, sculpture, ceramic and furniture collections. You can then visit Casa do Paço which will inspire you with its tile collection. You can then take a tour through the local churches, admire the Saint Antony Convent paintings or the 15th century stone retable at Saint Julian Church, the oldest in the city. You can still visit the Sea Museum which keeps the memory of local fishing communities, the Maiorca Palace or the Saint Catherine Fountain and its little chapel which are mandatory sights in the city paths. And, if you really want to discover Figueira da Foz, you should also visit:
- Edgar Cardoso Bridge, in front of Silva Guimarães Terrace, next to Claridade Beach.
- The Quiaios, Bom Sucesso and Tocha fresh water lagoons
- The Clock Tower
- The Figueira da Foz Art and Spectacles Centre
- Abadias Park
- The Misericórdia Church and the Buarcos Fortress
- The Benedict Monastery of Seiça