At the time of the Portuguese Maritime Discoveries, Esposende was an important fishing and sea port. These activities have continued into the present day, although it is also a very popular seaside resort. In the nearby village of Apúlia, besides fishing, one of the most typical activities is the gathering of seaweed at low tide.
The coastal strip stretching from Esposende to Ofir and Fão has been classified as a protected landscape area and is considered to be one of the most beautiful stretches of Portugal´s northern coastline.
Roughly 6 km to the north, São Bartolomeu do Mar is famous for its religious festival of 24 August, which includes the "Banho Santo", a ritual of bathing in the sea that according to tradition cures illnesses and makes children strong and healthy.
With its substantial area of sand flanked by dunes separating it from the adjoining fields, the beautiful Cepães Beach is part of the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape.
Surrounded by dunes and pines, Suave-Mar Beach is to be found next to the mouth of the Cávado river and within the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape.