Estela - Portugal

Complete description of case study





Title Estela
National level Portugal
Regional level Porto District
Local level Póvoa de Varzim Municipality


The Estela Golf Course is established along the North Western coast of Portugal in a Coastal Plain of about 3km long, characterized by sandy beaches with sand dunes. On Estela, the frontal dune has been shaped into a dune erosion cliff with tendency to be eroded furthermore inland.

This erosion, consequence of beach thinning caused by the decrease on the volume of sediments transported by the littoral drift, is being stopped throughout emergency dune restoration interventions.

This is a limited intervention made only to protect the golf course areas. The option for the coastal defence of Estela is “soft”, using geotextile sand-filled containers and sand ripping. Furthermore, the acquisition of adjacent fields and the re-location of the golf course to a more inland position are being considered.

Even so, this dunar system must be preserved, as it is the main protection against flooding of the inland fields – mainly agricultural areas with significant value.


Coastal characteristics
  • Study area: 3 km ; Sedimentary cell: 20 km
  • Type of coast: beaches (with fine sand)
  • Tidal regime: meso-macrotidal (2-4m)
  • Range of waves : mean Hsig = 2-3 m and T = 8-12 s ; max H: 8 m (storms)
Policy options Limited intervention
Socio-economic activities Tourism and services
Engineering techniques Dune nourishment, sand ripping, wind trap, sand bags


Name Fernando Veloso Gomes
Francisco Taveira Pinto
Institution Hydraulic and Water Resources Institute - IHRH
Address Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n
4200-465 Porto
Telephone / fax +351 22 508 1907 / +351 22 508 1952