Portinho da Arrábida just south of Lisbon in Serra da Arrábida Natural Park

The Top Undeniably Beautiful Lisbon Beaches You Must See

04 May 2019 By Adele Grant
Portinho da Arrábida just south of Lisbon in Serra da Arrábida Natural Park

When it comes to beaches, Portugal’s Algarve tends to take centre stage. But did you know the Lisbon coast is home to some striking shores, and they stretch for 600 miles? When you’re done sightseeing, there’s something satisfying about being so close to the Atlantic Ocean.

From quaint coves offering plenty of shelter to lengthy expanses backed by sand dunes and Blue Flag awarded sands filled with watersport opportunities – check out the top beautiful Lisbon beaches you must see.

Costa da Caparica

 

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Location: Costa da Caparica is just 10 kilometres south west of the capital on the south bank of the river Tagus and forms part of the Setúbal district.

Why visit: This seaside spot is favoured for its easy access from the city. Portuguese natives have been hitting this town for years, and it seems tourists are slowly catching on. Celebrated for its far-stretching sands, ideal surfing conditions and overall cleanliness – it has mass appeal.

This coastal delight is often peaceful during low season but can get busy during the height of summer with more and more people wanting to escape the city heat. You’ll also find a selection of shops and restaurants offering exceptional value for money thanks to their popularity with the locals.

Best for: Convenience

How to get here: With fantastic transport links getting here is easy, not to mention you have several options. You can either catch a direct bus or drive – this will take around 20 minutes from the centre. Alternatively, you can catch the ferry. Departing every 10 minutes, this is the best choice for guaranteed coastal views.

Did you know? Costa da Caparica is the longest continuous sandy shoreline in Europe at a staggering 24 kilometres.

Portinho da Arrábida

 

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Location: This stunning patch of sand belongs to Serra da Arrábida Natural Park, and is situated in the region of Setúbal, which is just south of Lisbon.

Why visit? You could be fooled into thinking you have arrived in the Caribbean when you first step foot on this white sand paradise. Set in the stunning Serra da Arrábida National Park, its secluded location adds to its allure as does its limestone cliff backing and surrounding pine forests. As for the water, prepare to be captivated by tranquil blueish-green ripples.

Its sheltered coastline also means you can enjoy wind-free sunbathing sessions. There’s plenty of fun to be had under the ocean’s surface as well with its unique sea caves, varied marine life and remarkably clear water.

Best for: Natural beauty

How to get here: Just 45 minutes down the road from Lisbon, hiring a car is the easiest way to get here. You’ll need to start at the top part of the N379-1 where the coastal views will make the drive somewhat bearable.

When the road comes to an end look out for signs to Setúbal, and its beaches will come after. There are also many private tours which take you to this popular shore with plenty of free time allowing you to take a dip in its serene waters.

Did you know? This beach was named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal in 2010.

Praia Do Tamariz

 

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Location: This popular shore is situated in the resort town of Estoril towards the Cascais side of Lisbon.

Why visit? With a glamorous reputation thanks to the luxury hotels and fancy restaurants that surround it, this sought-after shore comes with a sense of exclusivity. Back in 1950s/60s, this was the place to be seen sunbathing, after its casino was made famous by James Bond author Ian Fleming.  

Today, its classy feel is still present with its nearby bars and eateries leaning towards the pricer side. The shore itself is surprisingly family-friendly with its array of rock pools ideal for small children. There’s also lifeguard supervision during the summer, making those family days on the beach a little less stressful. And you can’t miss the stunning medieval castle which sits at the end of the coast overlooking the sand.

Best for: Families and its sophisticated vibe

How to get here: Taking the train is the easiest and most convenient of your options.

The beach is situated directly in front of the station and trains depart every 20 minutes from Lisbon. The journey will take around 30 minutes and a return ticket will cost just €4.50.

Top tip: If you’re travelling during the summer months, this beach can get extremely busy so you may want to avoid weekends.

Where to stay:

Hotel Marques De Pombal: If you’re looking for a tranquil base away from Lisbon’s biggest crowds, this 4 star property is just the place. With an elegant feel throughout expect rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and eye-catching wall paintings. 

There’s also an onsite restaurant serving a host of international favourites when you don’t fancy wondering the streets in search of something to eat.

Jupiter Lisboa Hotel: Situated at Avenida da República in the heart of Lisbon’s action, Jupiter Lisboa is a great pick. On arrival, you can’t help but notice its stunning exterior, which dates all the way back to 1906.

But don’t be fooled by its old facade, once inside the hotel is extremely modern with contemporary interiors and a swanky rooftop pool setting the tone.

Hotel Real Palacio: With 5 stars to its name, this property is nothing short of amazing! Classic yet contemporary at the same time, it’s a real mixed-bag when it comes to decor.

Close to the city’s transport links, you’re not far from Lisbon’s biggest attractions, while the coast isn’t much further. In terms of rooms, expect a palace style stay complete with canopied beds and rich interiors.

Praia De Carcavelos

 

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Location: Making up part of Lisbon’s lengthy Estoril coastline, this far-stretching body of sand sits just west of the city.

Why visit? As one of the area’s roomiest stretches with a flashy Blue Flag award to its name, there’s little wonder Carcavelos sees its fair share of visitors. Conveniently close to the capital, this handy beach has mass appeal. Not only does it attract keen sunbathers, but it’s also a hit with watersport enthusiasts.

There’s a number of surf schools here ideal for anyone who loves the thrill of catching a wave, while the sand plays host to beach football and volleyball games. At the east of the shore look out for the powerful-looking Forte de São Julião da Barra, a towering stronghold owned by the Portuguese army.

Best for: Watersports

How to get here: Most people travelling from Lisbon will take the train. They are hourly departures from Cais do Sodre station, which will take around 20 minutes. Once there, the beach is just a short 10-minute walk.

Should you choose to drive, take the N6 coastal road for around 25 minutes, traffic permitting. There’s also plenty of car parking once you arrive.

Top tip: If it’s your first time hitting the waves or you haven’t surfed for a long time, this shore’s safe waters are ideal for beginners.

Praia do Guincho

 

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Location: This beach makes up part of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park in the seaside resort town Cascais, which sits just west of Lisbon.

Why visit? Backed by rolling sand dunes and towering cliff edges – its backdrop is truly captivating. This also means you are fully exposed to the Atlantic, so windy conditions are expected. This makes it the perfect spot for kite and windsurfing with strong waves providing the ultimate thrill, not to mention the shore has played host to world championships.

Beside the beach you’ll find a choice of restaurants perfect when you fancy a pick-me-up in between sunbathing. Despite most specialising in seafood and traditional Portuguese dishes, you’re sure to find something delicious among its offerings.

Best for: Kite and windsurfing

How to get here: From Lisbon you’ll need to take the train from Cais do Sodré station. Departing every 20 minutes and taking around 40 minutes to get there, your final stop will be Cascais.

Once at the station, cycling to the beach is extremely popular and a lot quicker if you don’t fancy walking. There is a trailer close to the station where you can hire bikes, just look out for a McDonald’s and continue left.

Did you know? The beach made an appearance on the big screen when it was used for the opening scene in the hit James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.

Meco

 

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Location: Situated around 40 kilometres south of Lisbon in Serra da Arrabida National Park, which lies near the municipality Sesimbra.

Why visit? If you’re seeking an isolated sunbathing experience, this is just the spot! When you first step on this flawless stretch, it’s hard to believe you’re just 40 minutes from Lisbon’s crowds. Only discovered in 1970s, the sand has an untouched feel with little development surrounding it.

There may not be a heap of amenities here, but you can always rely on the beach bar turned restaurant when you need to refuel. Backed by stunning sea cliffs and pine forests, this lengthy expanse is easy on the eyes too.

Best for: Seclusion

How to get here: Due to its solitary location, getting here can be a little trickier than some of Lisbon’s more convenient sand spots. We suggest taking the bus to Sesimbra from the capital’s Praça de Espanha bus terminal.

From there, you will need to get off at the Santana stop, where multiple buses run every day to Meco village. It is important to check the timetable for your return as you don’t want to miss the last bus and have to fork out for a taxi.

If you’re planning on driving, take the A2 towards Sesimbra then look out for signs to Fernão Ferro, where you’ll take a right turn. From here, follow the road until you see another right turn to Alfarim. It should be easy to locate the beach after this. There are also a number of payable car parks nearby.

Top tip: When visiting this beach, you may want to bear in mind that it’s often frequented by nudists, hence its lonely location. However, they usually head for the south side of the sand to the left of its central towering dune. The right end is where you’ll find families.

So, if you’re planning a trip to the sunny shores of Lisbon make sure you add these stunning beaches to your Portugal holiday to-do list

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