A side road just outside Mangualde is the unlikely setting for , which locals proudly proclaim is Europe’s first artificial beach, complete with 22,000 square metres of sand, salt water and all the paraphernalia associated with a real beach. In reality, it’s just a large swimming pool faced by a flat bank of sand, but on a hot summer’s day you’ll certainly appreciate the space and chance to soak up the rays, while the bars and restaurant are good value. After 7pm the venue is also used for frequent party nights and concerts that go on until the early hours; check the website for details.

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Portugal features

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An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Porto

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