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City Guide

Meet Arcozelo

This beachside community just south of Porto has long been a destination for vacationers and religious pilgrims, and is increasingly a popular spot for Portugal’s digital nomads.

Located south of Porto along the coast of Portugal, Arcozelo is both an old settlement and a relatively young town. Referenced as early as the 12th century, the first official charter was issued in 1518, combining the settlements of Enxomil, Mira, and Vila Cha into the unified region of Santa Maria de Arcozelo. While the region has a long history, it was a sparsely populated area of quiet fishing and farming villages until the modern-day, and it wasn’t until 1988 that Arcozelo was elevated from village to town. Today, Arcozelo refers to two things: the town itself, and the freguesia (parish) in which it’s located. While the region doesn’t draw as many visitors as nearby Porto, its many white-sand beaches have made it a vacation destination for those looking to avoid the crowds of Portugal’s southern coast. The many churches and historical sites in the area are another draw for visitors, giving the area a growing reputation with off-the-beaten-path tourists.

Where to live in Arcozelo

The Arcozelo parish is fairly compact. You can walk from the northern Praia da Miramar to the southern Praia da Granja in about 45 minutes, so for navigating within the area you don’t necessarily need a car. If you want to explore the region, where you live will make a difference. For the easiest access to public transportation, Miramar and Aguda both have train stations. Drivers will instead find neighborhoods like Mira and Enxomil give them the fastest access to major roadways.

Best Neighborhoods in Arcozelo

The question of which neighborhood is best ultimately comes down to whether you want to live right on the beach or a bit further inland. While none of Arcozelo’s neighborhoods are particularly far from the coast, areas like Aguda and Miramar are mere minutes from the sand and surf. For those more interested in exploring the region, Enxomil is one of the best areas to stay, thanks to its close proximity to historical attractions. On the other hand, Vila Cha is popular with families since it’s close to area schools. Choosing the best neighborhood really comes down to what you’re hoping to get out of it.

Quick Facts About Arcozelo

Like many of the towns down Portugal’s coast, Arcozelo started its life as a quiet fishing village--but don’t take that to mean it lacks an interesting history. Here are some quick facts about the parish and town you should know before you go:

Work in Arcozelo

Tourism is a big driver of the economy in Arcozelo, especially in beach-side areas like Aguda and Granja. Agriculture, fishing, industry, and the making and sale of handcrafted goods are other employment options for locals. For expats, freelancing or working as a digital nomad is more common since traditional jobs in the immediate Arcozelo area tend to be limited to the service industry. Those looking to obtain traditional employment while living in Arcozelo will want to look into jobs available in Porto. This large city has a lot more to offer, especially in sectors like transportation and logistics, finance, and other professional positions.

How good is Arcozelo for Digital Nomads or Remote Work

Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Arcozelo. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Arcozelo for both of these growing movements?

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Food and Drink in Arcozelo

Seafood is front and center in the local cuisine--no surprise, given the area’s location along the coast. Among the top spots to get fresh seafood are Restaurante Sabor-A-Mar and Neptuno Restaurante & Bar, whose location right on the shore also makes it a fantastic place to take in some views. A Cabana is another sea-side option, and is known for their delicious crab. If you’re looking for the best traditional Portuguese food, Restaurante Kurika in Espinho has a broad menu and great wine list of local varietals. Areal Praia (Myanmar) is another favorite of locals, especially for their grilled fish. Those more in the mood for steak and burgers will want to head down the coast to Restaurante Esconderijo in Aguda, who are also known for their delectable desserts and sangria. While there aren’t a ton of international options in Arcozelo, you can find some pretty good Italian food in a few spots. Ciao Bella (Aguda) has some of the best pizza in the region. In the Vila Chao area, TuttiBuoni Pizzaria is a top choice for Italian-style pies. If you’re more in the mood for Spanish tapas, Torcatus Restaurante has a variety of Portuguese and Spanish dishes to sample.