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.
Part of the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape, Apúlia Beach covers a large expanse of sand surrounded by dunes that serve to protect the Beach from stronger winds. The dunes are also home to former windmills that have now been converted into holiday homes.
To the south of the Cávado river mouth and part of the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape, Ofir Beach, surrounded by dunes and pine trees, covers one of the most beautiful stretches of the northern Portuguese coastline. One natural phenomena is the rocks emerging out of the sea at low tide and which form shapes known locally as the horses of Fão.