Known once as the Queen of Costa Verde Espinho is a city on the Atlantic coastline, the 19Km of Porto, which, despite belonging to the district of Aveiro, is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto. It is home to a small urban municipality, with 21 square kilometers of area and about 30 000 in habitants, divided into 4 parishes (Espinho, Anta-Guetim, Paramos and Silvalde).
With 8 km of coastline is famous for its beautiful beaches (excellent, not only for swimming and sunbathing, but also are one of the best places in Europe for surfing and bodyboarding), the centennial fair, the various possibilities in the areas of tourism and leisure, and its Casino. Espinho is a modern city, a tourist resort of high level that receives thousands of domestic and foreign visitors throughout the year.
There are two fundamental reasons for this: first, the fact that the city has one of the best climates in Europe.Second, the place, the fact that a competitive area creates tourist attraction and development. The construction of the city itself is also an important factor, because it has a unique geometry consists of wide streets in symmetrical square where the streets have no name, but numbers making navigation extremely simple in town for any visitor.
How to get here
To get to Espinho, the best options are to travel by train or by car. For international participants, both Lisbon and Oporto airports have connections to train stations.
FEST has a partnership with the main train provider in Portugal - CP - which means you can get really low fares in train connections from Espinho to other portuguese cities. If you are registered for the event, you will receive a voucher that allows you to buy tickets using these discount at the ticket station.
Porto, Braga, Guimarães, Aveiro and Marco de Canaveses lines
From any stop of the Braga, Guimarães, Aveiro and Marco de Canaveses lines, it is possible to reach Campanhã station.
Also, from any part of the city of Porto is easy to reach the different train stations that allow the connection to Espinho, such as Campanhã, São Bento and General Torres.
From the station of Campanhã, the trip takes between 17 and 30 minutes and the trains are called Urbanos do Porto, the destinations are Ovar or Aveiro.
Tickets can be purchased at one of the machines or at the ticket booth of any of these stations, back and forth tickets between Espinho and any stop cost 2€, upon presentation of ticket or registration.
The train station of Espinho is also served by the main railway line of Portugal and its various connections. With prices starting at 23€, the trip from Lisbon to Espinho takes 2 hours and 40 minutes and tickets are subject to 30% discounts.
More information on trains in Portugal can be found at www.cp.pt.
The A1(E01) and A29 highways are the easiest and quickest way to get to Espinho.
Exploring the city
Espinho is a modern, attractive tourist resort that welcomes thousands of visitors during the year. In addition to its beautiful beaches, full of light and color, the city has many other attractions:
With a coastline of 8 km, Espinho has several beaches awarded with the Blue Flag of Europe. The vast blue sea that surrounds the fine sand is intersected by breakwaters that make the water gentle and auspicious to baths with the pleasure and safety of a carefully guarded beach, but also displays an adequate ripple for sports such as surfing or bodyboarding. So the quiet of an isolated beach contrasts with other active ones, where you can watch a match of beach volleyball or stay in a lively bar. It is also on these beaches that the World Cup FIFA Beach Soccer Portugal and the Espinho Surf Destination took place.
Since 1894 a weekly fair is held in Espinho that is now one of the largest weekly markets in the country.
To visit it is the best way to dive into this city and get to know her, because in addition to the commercial aspect, it is also a tourist attraction, both for the variety of products for sale and because of the possibility to make direct transactions between the producer and the consumer.
Every Monday, you can find a wide variety of products, from jewellery to flowers, as well as clothing, handicrafts, fish and more.
So, the influx of Portuguese and foreign tourists is quite significant, a true living wheel of colors, smells and flavors, to not be missed!
Castro de Ovil
The Castro de Ovil is a collection of archaeological ruins of a village of the II century BC, which falls in the Iron Age of the Northwest part of the Iberian Peninsula, although it also shows traces of the Roman occupation. This hill fort is referred to in documents from the Middle Ages, being the first references found in a document dating from 897.
The site was identified in February 1981 in a place called the Lugar do Monte, parish of Paramos, in Espinho. The archaeological work began in the early 80s, and interventions were resumed in 1994 under the action of the Office of Archaeology of Espinho City Hall.
The collected pieces are primarily of indigenous ceramics, smooth or with typical decoration of the Neolithic era.
For those who want to visit, the site can be located on Google Earth by entering the following coordinates 40º58 N 8º36 46.95 26.24 O.
The Casino of Espinho has contributed to the renewal of tradition and tries to fulfil the expectations of the people who frequent it.
Open all year, the Casino is the meeting point for people from various places, attracted by their shows, renowned restaurant, conference room, art gallery, and game rooms with roulette, French banking, baccarat, slot machines and bingo.
The emotions of the game and the colors of the bets alternate with the brightness of the animation.
The Multimeios Center, is a space designed to welcome and provide the best that there is at national and international level in various platforms of cultural interest . It also functions as a research and study center in the astronomy field, thanks to its planetarium.
Exhibitions, concerts, conferences, festivals and lectures compose an attractive program. This reference space in current architecture, which combines aesthetics with functionality, creates a unique space reserved for both leisure and a professional context of different areas. This is the main venue of FEST, the heart of everything.
The current building of the Academy of Music / Espinho Auditorium was inaugurated in 2006. This new building include the Academy of Music and other facilities, such as the Espinho Auditorium and the room Mário Neves, with 280 and 100 seats respectively.
The program is open to all music genres and backgrounds, as well as theater, dance, new circus and temporary art exhibitions. The Classical Orchestra of Espinho has a residence and exhibition. The auditorium is a cultural space of artistic fruition and cultural variety.
Municipal Museum / Art and Culture Forum of Espinho
The Art and Culture Forum of Espinho was created as a result of the rehabilitation project of the former Fábrica de Conservas Brandão, Gomes & C. (a canned food factory). It is a space dedicated to research, cultural development, and the provision of services to the community. It is assumed as a multifaceted place where knowledge, training, education, and leisure are the main focus.
With one auditorium, three atriums, and an interior terrace, which enhance the versatility of the space, the building hosts various cultural and social activities. It also includes an educational service room and training rooms, making it a community-oriented space ready to host a variety of initiatives.
The Espinho Municipal Museum, which occupies the core of the old canning factory and is extended on the first floor by a gallery for temporary exhibitions, perpetuates and discloses the history and cultural heritage of the city, becoming a dynamic space of interaction between the past and the present.
The functionality of the Municipal Museum also involves the documentation and research center.