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24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round
Cheese Castle Beach is a local name for the main and most accessible beach in Porto, one of the most important and oldest cities in Portugal. It's officially known as Matosinhos beach, and the quirky nickname is derived from the association with the old fortress Forte de São Francisco do Queijo (or Castelo do Queijo).
The fortification is located in the southern part of the Matosinhos beach, while in the northern one the city port can be found. The structure is said to have been named "Cheese Castle" due to the fact that it was built on the rock which was reminiscent of the big wedge of cheese! It's a typical imposing building with thick walls and trapezoid form with the wooden drawbridge. The watchtowers have a peculiar design and protrude from the corners of the building. Arguably erected in the 17th century, the Cheese Castle was designed for resisting military attacks from the sea.
Nowadays, tourists can visit Castelo do Queijo to enjoy wonderful panoramic views of the beach it provides and peek in the small weaponry museum hiding inside the old fortress. Matosinhos beach, being the main in Porto, reportedly isn't the most frequented one. The area is more known for its restaurants and delicacies, although the beach is only 15 minutes away from the center of the city my Porto metro. We can say that it is truly the matter of individual taste - some people really like the view of the very urban-looking apartments extending along the coast, as well as a relaxing atmosphere. Cheese Castle Beach indeed can provide a comfortable and nice rest, and if you happen to be a surfer, then you will be pleased to know that you're in the right place! The beach is known for its almost ideal conditions for surfing, so, no wonder that a lot of surfing schools are based here. At the beach, you can hire needed equipment and go out to conquer the waves! But bare in mind that the Atlantic ocean has influence over the temperature of the Douro river - so don't be surprised if the water turns out to be cooler than you expected.
As for other facilities, there is a fish market not far from the beach in Matosinhos area, where you can always find fresh haul. If you're a fish lover, be sure to check it out, especially in the morning. To sum up, Cheese Castle or Matosinhos beach is a quite comfortable place with its own multiple attractions such as Castelo do Queijo, famed restaurant section, fish market, and pleasant atmosphere.
Take a chance to visit and don't be like many tourists who forget about beautiful Cheese Castle Beach right in the center of Porto!
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