I need to dunk my carcass in the sea at least once a year. It's something I look forward to every year, even though the dip itself might only last 10 minutes. Last year off the coast of Galway it was reduced to about 90 seconds to avoid hypothermia.
This year, I planned for two options, Cadiz on the southern Atlantic coast of Spain, and Porto in the north of Portugal, where I am now. The first option was scratched in favour of a trip to Jerez, so this year's swim happens in Porto. Or to be more precise, in Matosinhos (you should hear how they pronounce that) in the suburbs of Porto, 20 minutes on the metro/tram from the centre of the city.
The nearest beach to my hotel is a few minutes' walk away. It's not at all the kind of place that's full of "beautiful" people, so I felt quite comfortable. The water was thick with seaweed (last night's caldo verde came to mind) but pleasant apart from that. The waves were big enough to make it interesting — enough also for some young people learning to surf — but not overpowering. The sand is white and soft and the whole area is very clean.
Looking forward to next year's dip already!