Flat by the Sea in Miramar – Vila Nova da Gaia | Portugal

One of our plans for our first visit to Portugal included being outside Porto itself. Nothing again in this beautiful city.

But we do prefer staying far from the normal buzz of tourist spots. That is the reason that Miramar, located only 15 minutes distance from Porto, was our location of choice. It was what we needed to dust our winter blues off.


Plus, it’s fairly cheaper than any accommodation in a bigger city, and our flat was located next to the sea. We can’t go wrong with it.


Miramar is actually a paradise. Especially in January, when it doesn’t have many tourists around. The weather forecast helped us to make the most of it as well.


We got 10 -11 degrees since day one of our “winter” holidays in Portugal, increasing to 17 degrees in one of the eight days we have spent there. We couldn’t be luckier. The temperature was perfect for joining a Douro Wine Tour. It’s a shame Rob is not a wine person.

Our flat was placed in one quiet street in the neighbourhood. We knew it has a bakery in the area and a corner shop a few meters from the building.


We were on the last floor, with no lift ( which was a bit tricky if you have lots of luggage – but nothing we haven’t dealt with before) and t was exactly how it was described on the Airbnb page. It was full of character!


Our host, Celia, popped around on the first day to give us some tips about the area and the flat itself. We were planning to chill in Miramar, but also visit Porto sometime in the week. It was great to know that there was a train station 10 minutes walking from our flat.


Her flat has a privileged view of the beach. It helped us to choose this accommodation as our place to stop in that area. We wanted to stay nearby Porto but in a more tranquil area.


There are two balconies in the flat. The sunset was spectacular, and that was what we would have for the one week and a half we would spend there.

The breakfasts with a view of the sea and the iconic Chapel of the Lord of Stone made us believe we did the right choice here. Not to mention that we could have the most beautiful sunset views as well.


I loved its kitchen. Tiny but efficient. Fully equipped with everything we needed and a powerful oven. There was even a tiny table that was handy when we needed more space to place bottles of wine, beer, bread, and cheese. Like you do!


We usually cook when we travel. Yes, that’s us. That’s the reason we are sold to Airbnb. And Portuguese food is beyond delicious. Here it”s What I ate at Vila Nova da Gaia. We did need to shop locally and try as much as Port wines could be possible in one week. And I did.


Our bedroom was also comfy. The room reminds me of a Japanese tatami room, where the doors are made of paper and the door ( that is called shoji) is made of bamboo or wood. So cosy and comfy that we overslept several days on it.


There is an extra bedroom in this flat, but it is just available for more than 2 guests. Fair enough.


The bathroom was also spacious and although the shower was a bit tricky to use when needed. There were toiletries available as well. And it was another part of the flat with inquisitive decoration.


Actually, I quite liked the décor of this flat in general. It was filled with books, sculptures, a piano, and plenty of plants- giving it some charm and character.


The building was also quiet. We only had noise problems on the last day, when we notice there was a party at the apartment downstairs, and we couldn’t sleep AT ALL that night.


It was a shame that our flight back home was in the following morning and we arrived in the UK looking like we needed a new holiday.


Overall, this is a quite affordable, cosy, and quiet place to stay. Miramar is a lovely town and a perfect spot by the sea.

We appreciate the fact it’s near Porto but doesn’t have the buzz of a tourist city. I heard it all changes in the Summer when the beaches around are packed. But it is worth a visit to check the beautiful sandy beach and its iconic chapel.

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Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.