Foz do Arelho

Key Facts

Population: 1339

Area Size: 9.62 sq km

yellow kiosk

Foz do Arelho is one of twelve civil parishes that fall within the municipality of Caldas da Rainha and covers an area of 9.62 kilometres.  At the last census the population stands at 1,339 residents, however in the summer months this swells considerably as it takes in the many summer visitors and tourists.

Foz do Arelho is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Silver Coast of Portugal.  The centre of the village is a blend of old and new, with beautifully renovated traditional villas and homes, mingling with the simple lines of modern construction.

The population consists of many friendly Portuguese locals and a veritable United Nations of nationalities from around the world, making village life, interesting and varied.

One of the biggest and most obvious attractions of Foz do Arelho is, of course, it’s breathtakingly beautiful beaches, that stretch for miles along the Atlantic coastline.

Coupled with the calm waters of the Obidos Lagoon, this area is, to this day, a popular destination for tourists and for families.


Starting life as a village, Foz do Arelho, falls within the civil parish of Serra do Bouro, but in 1919 was elevated to the status of Parish. It was in it’s origins a seasonal vacation resort that catered mainly for elite families. One of these families was Francisco Almeida Grandela. Sr. Grandela (June 23, 1853 – September 20, 1934) was a businessman, politician, republican, industrialist and merchant who heavily promoted and assisted in the development of the region.

The main street that runs through Foz do Arelho is, to this day named after Sr. Grandela.

Amenities & Attractions

Water sports feature prominently in the area and wind surfing, surfing and yachting are just some of the sports available. There are excellent surf schools and a yachting/sailing centre is nestled right on the edge of the Lagoon. They provide a full range of programmes catering to total beginner through to experienced sports people and sailors.

These programmes include:

  • Paddle Boarding
  • Kite-surfing
  • Canoeing
  • Water-skiing
  • Kayaking

In recent years money has been invested in providing a fabulous boardwalk and walking paths leading down to and around the main beach and the lagoon. These are enjoyed by residents and visitors year round.

A plethora of cafes and restaurants line the beach ensuring there is always an easy access to food and refreshments. Many restaurants in Portugal and here offer dishes that cater to a number of dietary restrictions.

There are booths where you can purchase, sun hats, lotion, beach balls, windbreakers and other items you need or may have forgotten at home.

There are two campsites for visitors to Foz. One is right on the edge of the ocean in the village itself – this caters mostly for motorhomes in transit. On the outskirts of the village is an excellent campsite for anybody travelling via motor home or caravan. The site has excellent facilities that include a restaurant and pool and full shower and washing facilities.

In the village itself there are all of the amenities you would expect to find in a busy village. These include:

  • Cafes and Restaurants
  • Pharmacy
  • Multi Banco
  • Butchers
  • Several mini markets
  • Doctors offices

Our Team Recommends

There are some lovely restaurants in Foz do Arelho, among our favourites are Tibino’s, Cais da Praia (which is right on the beach), Cocos Beach Club.  You can find restaurant reviews in our “Places to Eat” blog.

For water sports enthusiasts try the Obidos Lagoon Sail School, you can take lessons here in all sorts of water related activities and rent the equipment, so all you need to do is turn up and enjoy.

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