The added value of a trip to Lisbon lies in its incredible variety of beaches that you find just a short distance from the city. It means that you can combine the pleasure of visiting the characteristic streets so ably narrated by the writer Antonio Tabucchi with the priceless relaxation of golden sand and clear waters that the coast offers to visitors in just one trip. It seems like you are in some gigantic nature park, but with all the convenience of a nearby town.

And so from the centre to the coast it is easy to travel even in just one day, by getting on a public bus or on a train that will also give you the unexpected gift of amazing views with the magic of red sunsets on the coast. Or you will have the possibility of using a hire car, which are generally inexpensive, of planning your itinerary between one dip and the next, one beach and the next.

Golden expanses that continue for kilometres or hidden heavenly coves beneath the characteristic cliffs, nature parks that open up suddenly or sand dunes that characterize the landscape, adding an exotic touch. And then the many places that are especially suited to surfing lovers, with the majestic waves and wind that whip up adrenaline-filled thoughts: this is the beauty within the beauty of Lisbon.

Carcavelos Beach

It is so beautiful and easy to reach, that at weekends it is often really crowded. It is loved by both Lisbon locals and by tourists who are visiting the area. And just thing that we are talking about the largest beach on the Lisbon-Estoril-Cascais coast, with its one and a half kilometres of sand. Getting here is simple. There is also a convenient train that comes from Lisbon, on the line for Cascais.

The water is clean (the Tago estuary is a long way from here) and is the favourite playing field for swimmers and surfers who ride the fantastic waves. By the way: all the equipment can be hired cheaply in one of the many shops in Carcavelos. There are also three surfing schools open in the area.

Fast food bars are also available on the seafront. But they are small cafes. The lack of large hotels nearby, as also any typically seaside-tourist buildings, is not a fault, for sure. The view over the beach is intact. There are plenty of sports that you can try with your friends: beach volley or football matches are the main ones.

Conceicao (Cascais) Beach

From May to September  it is decidedly pleasant to spend a bit of time on the beach here, one you get used to the ocean water that is always quite cold on first impact and on certain days. The small headland where Villa Casa Faial stands actually splits the beach into two, the one to the west named Praia du Duquesa and the one to the east named Praia da Conceiçao, closer to Cascais. Both beaches join up during low tide.

We are just a short distance from the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao. There is always a lot going on on the beach in the summer, from banana boats to tyres and dinghies pulled by boats, and pedalos: you can choose transport in the water. Children are welcome. Families can relax and count on the lifeguards who keep watch and the calm sea without currents.  

Costa da Caparica

strip of shoreline that is almost thirty kilometres long. It starts in the town of Costa da Caparica and reaches as far as Fonte de Telha. Almost the entire large beach is part of the protected landscape area named Arriva Fossil da Costa da Caparica and is divided into three large areas, Terras da CostaAcácias and Medos. The blue flag is a guarantee of clean waters and distinguishes these beaches that lie one after the other for the entire walk, changing names as they go.

They are easy to reach and all have a car park close to the entrance, although it is more fun reaching them using the Transpraia service, the little train that leaves the city of Costa and stops at Fonte de Telha, stopping at each of the beaches that you come across on its route.

The best known beaches by way of the popular open-air bars are mainly Praia da Morena and Paria da Sereia, while do Castelo, do Rei and da Rainha are more family-friendly. Here there is also the first beach dedicated to naturism in Portugal, Praia da Bela Vista. Fonte de Telha is the last beach on this stretch, protected by a 70-metre wall of rock, which is perfect for paragliding.   

São Pedro Beach

We are in the town - not far from Lisbon - that the car-racing circuit has made famous worldwide: Estoril. You come here from Lisbon by train and is a wonderful panoramic experience. São Pedro do Estoril Beach is bordered by a natural stone wall formed by sea erosion. On one side, the shore is bordered by a harbour, while on the other side there are the buildings in Ponta do Sal.

Pale sands and surfing waves: these are the main characteristics, although often at low tide the sea forms large water pools that are popular with children. The sand is incredibly clean, guaranteed by work of volunteers. At weekends it is a destination for so many tourists, while in the week it is much quieter. Two restaurants offer the possibility of lunch or dinner with an ocean view, as well as showers and facilities.

Tamariz Beach

There is also a casino in Estoril and opposite the building we find Praia do Tamariz, known for its elegance and fine, golden sand that make it one of the most popular beaches along the entire Lisbon coast. Accessible by train, it has all the amenities that are appreciated especially by those travelling with children. There is, in fact, a big choice of coffee shops and restaurants with panoramic external areas and terraces but also a large natural pool formed by the breakwaters and that fills with sea water.

Clean water: Tamariz was the first Portuguese beach to be awarded the blue flag, in1987. Trying the great fresh fish here while enjoying the view of the sea, is almost inevitable. And if you want a walk after your meal, you can reach the centre of Cascais in about twenty minutes.

Santo Amaro de Oeiras Beach

The wonderful strip of sand called Praia do Santo Amaro, the largest in the area, almost one kilometre long, is found on the Oeiras cost, close to Lisbon.. The São João das Maias fortress borders the bathing area to the east. A day here is well spent due to the chance of enjoying the breath-taking view over the sea and the nature that surrounds the shoreline. Not just that. At night the lights of the bars turn on and the fun continues, protected by surveillance and bathrooms, showers and other facilities.

The promenade that runs behind the beach allows you to visit the beautiful places around the beach too. Just further west, we find the tourist port of Oeiras and immediately behind the salt water Ocean Pool with lots of diving boards. By following the path, we come to the small, welcoming Praia da Torre. Nearby, it is possible to walk in the Jardim da Quinta dos Sete Castelos and at the centre of the park you can admire the view of a vintage building entirely covered in ivy.

Do Creiro Beach

For many people, this is the beach with the whitest sand in Europe, surrounded by lush trees full of chirping birds. Walking on the paths of colourful pebbles, enjoying the view and then swimming in the clear water is a wonderful experience. A Californian beach in Portugal, in the context of a beautiful city like Sesimbra, famous for its fish delicacies.

All around there are splendid natural beauties, for example the hills of Serra de Arrábida where there are lovely lanes leading to the beach and the beautiful cliffs of Cabo Espichel. The harbour in Sesimbra is a part of the panorama, adding beauty to the place, as does the wonderful little fort. It is easy to get here from Lisbon for a day trip. The bus service is extremely reliable and comfortable, but another interesting option is car hire, as it is not expensive.

Guincho Beach

With a journey of just 5 kilometres from Cascais, travelling along the magnificent road along the Atlantic Coast to the north west, we come to the enchanting and characteristic Guincho Beach. This continues for a kilometre and is known for its wonders and for the wind and waves that makes it a favourite destination for surfers who come here from all over Europe and at all times of the year.

The water is crystal-clear and the sand dunes on the beach are now an attraction for everyone. From Cascais you can reach Guincho Beach thanks to a cycling path that is popular with runners, cyclists and skaters. It continues for ten kilometres and crosses several interesting places. Cascais also have a free hire service. There are several bars, restaurants and hotels, generally affordable for everyone. 

Adraga Beach

We are in an environment that is striking due to the line of crags shaped by the force of the sea over the centuries, but also the cliffs, caves and tunnels. Praia da Adraga, close to the town of Almoçageme, is crowded during summer months but is also busy in other periods of the year for people wanting to take long, pretty walks.

The beach has been awarded a blue flag, has access for disabled people and all facilities. From here, it is easy to reach the true jewel-like beaches such as Praia do CavaloPraia do Caneiro and Praia Grande. Or you can climb the hill, following a small lane that everyone can tackle, first covered with white gravel and then becoming brown sand amidst the slim trees. There are patches of yellow, white and purple flowers and on top of the hill there is a wonderful view over the cliffs and the entire Almoçageme landscape. 

Dis Maçãs Beach

Tradition would have it that this beach’s name comes from ripe apples that in the past would fall from the trees onto the sand, and were transported from the orchards by sea, until they reached this beach via Ribeira de Colares.

There is a deep beach, ideal for beach sports. Water sports enthusiasts are also at home here, such as body boarding and surfing and the beach can be reached by tram from Sintra, that runs along the whole valley, from the city to the beach, which also has shops, restaurants, coffee shops, bars and a salt water swimming pool.

Dis Bicas Beach

South of Moinho de Baixo beach, and close to the Campimeco campsite, Praia dis Bicas is another paradise for surfers and bodyboarders. On blustery days, however, it becomes dangerous for everyone to enter the challenging sea. Its beauty lies in the woodland that surrounds the rocky coastline and the strip of sand lose to the river bank. The flow of fresh water makes it unique.

A big set of steps leads up to a beautiful observation point. As it is so small and wild, the beach does not have tourist facilities, there are no bars and restaurants. They can be found just outside, near the car park. How clean the beach is really catches your eye. A day here brings special emotions with it. 

Tróia-Mar Beach

One of the most beautiful settings of Portugal's coastline, 13 kilometres of unspoilt beaches, clear waters and plenty of sand due that go as far as the pine forests. There are also exclusive tourist facilities for exclusive holidays in the shade of the trees.

The Troia area occupies the northernmost point of this elegant peninsula. The area's reputation of exclusive, amazing venues started in the 1980s, when the Troia Golf was completed, one the most beautiful courses in the whole of Portugal.

But everyone can afford to come to this seaside resort thanks to the wide range of accommodation. The beach is always busy but if you want to try other activities there is no end to your choices here. You can also hire bikes and cycle to the deserted beaches and cool woods. It is also possible to choose a trip to visit the ruins of a huge Roman settlement in the Cetobriga area, where the ancient population spent their time salting fish. 

São Julião Beach

A tiny area of sand, about 600 metres that offers wonderful glimpses, a place especially loved by those who want to enter the rough but bright blue waters on their surf boards or by fishermen. Everyone agrees to meet at the famous Pedra Davide. A reference point for every adventure. Fishing can produce excellent results here, especially if the technique used is the right one based on the weather conditions. This is the beach of São Julião, split into two counties by the River Falcão, a place that maintains its special attraction.

Magoito Beach

By bus or car, it is quite easy to get to the car park near the entrance. Once you have stepped onto the sand, you will find yourself in another dimension with cliffs plunging into the sea, making this beach unique. If you look carefully, you can glimpse Cabo da Roca, the amazing cliff that is also an uncontaminated place full of wild nature. Due to its particular shape and position, Praia do Magoito is considered to be one of the beaches with the highest iodine content in Europe. It is therefore also healthy. 

Cresmina Beach

It is attached to the larger Guicho beach, beyond the small rocky headland that separates the two shores. It lies on the Atlantic coast at the edge of the beautiful Sintra and Cascais Park. Struck by the constant waves and winds (however, the sand is compact and doesn't fly around), it is protected by the cliffs that shelter it from the bad weather. There are also sand dunes that contribute to creating an extraordinary natural landscape. The beach is reached by steps and is loved by families with children or by visitors with dogs.   

Do Meco Beach

Another pleasant discovery on the coast that becomes Costa da Caparica beyond the mouth of the Tejo, south of Lisbon. It is frequented mostly by people living in Lisbon who often spend the summer here. In winter, in fact, the town of Meco becomes empty, but in the summer period, here you find high quality fish restaurants and bar that are full of life in the evening. The large spaces on the beach – including the space between one parasol and another - provide moments of excellent relaxation and a Caribbean-style  panorama. You can watch the ocean from the bar terraces, while sipping a glass of the local white wine.  

Figueirinha Beach

If you are searching for calmer, shallow waters, where there are no currents, going for a swim in Figuerinha can be an excellent solution. During low tide, the entire beach becomes similar to a small lagoon, protected by the waves. The horizon grabs your gaze, with the view of the Arrábida headland, that shelters the beach from the bad weather. Walking along the nature paths, you come to some amazing coves that are perfect for a swim. With a bit of luck, you  might see dolphins while accompanied by bird song.

Rainha Beach

This is practically a small beach in the centre of Cascais. You can reach the beach from one of the main roads, Rua Frederico de Arouca, near the railway station, and it fits between the houses and craggy rocks. So easy to reach that even Queen Amelia came here regularly in the summer: that is why it is called “Queen’s Beach”. As it is in the city centre, it has all the amenities and in the evening, entertainment is always guaranteed. This way, the beach becomes an unmissable meeting point.

Morena Beach

This is a beautiful, wild beach, lying on an unspoilt area of Costa da Caparica not far from Lisbon. The water here is crystal clear. The beach is golden: two ingredients that the young people love. They come to meet here, for the parties in the kiosks and bars that stay open until late, offering cocktails and music. Also known as Praia do Ferro de Engomar, coming from the name of the island opposite the shoreline, it is called “iron” or “underwater” for its shape. And in the centre of the beach, we find the other distinguishing landmark here, the arch that leads to a small cave. It is said that the air here is iodine-rich: this is the reason why so many families with young children come here.

Ericeira

Are you looking for the best place to go surfing? Ericeira is thought to be the surfing capital, the most desirable destination for surfing enthusiasts in Europe and one of the top destinations worldwide. Crags and coves make it ideal for waves and therefore also for surfing at all levels, from beginners to professionals.

Surfing is not the only attraction, however. The Ericeira area is decidedly beautiful, with its narrow lanes down to the beach, the little houses with their blue roofs, and the view of the ocean and crisp air that all help to create the magical atmosphere. This place deserves more than one day to visit it, although it is so easy to reach from Lisbon and can be included as a a stop on your itinerary to discover the beautiful spots in this part of Portugal.

The old town centre is charming, including Praça da República surrounded by pretty villas, but also restaurants specialised in seafood recipes, in particular with lobster. Palacio nacional de Mafra was the majestic residence of the Portuguese royal family and is definitely worth a visit.

Set sail for Lisbon with Costa Cruises

Beaches for families, youngsters and surfing enthusiasts, wide or narrow beaches between crags and an old castle standing over the sea; choosing your destination on the coast around Lisbon will be no simple task. A feast of beautiful places!

Set Sail with Costa Cruises