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Lisbon Beaches

One of the things that makes Lisbon such a special city is its proximity to so many truly amazing beaches. This is something no other European capital can offer and in fact very few cities worldwide come close.

Within half an hour of the city centre you can be lying on golden sand soaking up the sun or even surfing world class waves. A little further afield and you could be on the dramatic and wild Atlantic coast. 

Lisbon's nearest beaches are located along the coast that stretches westwards from the city towards the popular resort town of Cascais. These tend to increase in quality (and cleanliness) the further out of Lisbon you head with Carcavelos beach being the first beach where you would want to consider heading into the sea. The beaches beyond here include those of Estoril and Cascais, all of which have their own individual characters. What makes this stretch of coast so fantastic though is the train service that runs between Lisbon and Cascais - the "Linha". Cheap and reliable the trains stop within minutes of virtually every beach along the coast, taking less than an hour to go from one end of the line to the other.

For those happy to travel a little further there are a range of options, all of which are well within day trip territory. The choice basically boils down to whether to head south, across the river from Lisbon or north and west towards Sintra. But whichever you choose the beaches are very different.

Across the Tejo river, just minutes from the huge 25 Abril suspension bridge are the beaches of Costa da Caparica. This gently curving coastline is made up of 15 km of virtually unbroken golden sand backed by dunes which becomes increasingly wild the further south you head.

Further south still and you will reach the stunning coastline of Sesimbra and Arrabida.

The coastline to the north and west of Lisbon starts once you round the corner from Cascais. A few minutes drive out of the town and you will arrive at Guincho beach, a wild, beautiful and often windswept beach. Popular with surfers and kitesurfers this beach takes the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and the waves will be significantly bigger than along the Lisbon-Cascais coast.

Beyond here is Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point in mainland Europe. As you can imagine the coastline here is quite rugged, but it is dotted with some spectacular coves, although some of these are rather challenging to get to. A little north and this becomes the Sintra coast where there are a number of very good, easily accessible beaches. The biggest of these is the aptly named Praia Grande which is a wonderful, wide beach only a few kilometres west of Sintra itself. Also not to be missed is Praia das Maçãs (Apple beach); this charming, family friendly beach is equally close to Sintra but can be reached by tram from the nearby village of Colares.

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Guide Lisbon's closest and best beaches

Beaches near Lisbon (in order of distance)

  • Praia de Paço de Arcos - Praia Velha

    Praia de Paço de Arcos is one of several sandy beaches that line the broad River Tejo as it leaves Lisbon to empty into the Atlantic. Like the other beaches it is backed by the busy N6 "Marginal" road and also within...

    Lisbon
  • Praia de Santo Amaro

    Praia de Santo Amaro de Oeiras is located on the banks of the river Tejo roughly halfway between Lisbon and Estoril. This makes it one of the closest...

    Lisbon
  • Praia da Torre

    Separated from neighbouring Carcavelos beach by the small headland that is home to Forte de São Julião da Barra is the sandy little crescent of Praia da Torre...

    Lisbon
  • Carcavelos beach and fort

    Carcavelos is the first wide, sandy beach on the Lisbon - Cascais coast. It takes just 20 minutes to get here from Lisbon by car (traffic permitting) along the Marginal road. There is also a train station around 10...

    Lisbon
  • Parede beach

    Parede beach is a small but pleasant stretch of sand which is often overlooked. Located midway between Carcavelos beach and Sao Pedro...

    Lisbon
    Blue Flag beach Accessible beach
  • Praia das Avencas

    Despite being right next to the main Lisbon - Cascais road, the "Marginal", Praia das Avencas is somewhat tucked away under the steep cliffs which overlook this beach. For this reason, unless you are actually looking...

    Estoril
    Blue Flag beach
  • Praia da Bafureira

    Praia da Bafureira is a little beach tucked away just around the headland from Praia de São Pedro do Estoril next door. If it wasn't for the quirky looking restaurant and nightclub built into the cliff face not many...

    Estoril
  • Sao Pedro do Estoril beach

    The beach of São Pedro do Estoril is a small stretch of sand backed by cliffs and rocks at either end. There is a raised concrete esplanade running along the western end of the beach which runs past a couple of beach...

    Estoril
    Blue Flag beach Accessible beach
  • Praia da Azarujinha, Estoril

    Praia da Azarujinha might be considered the first of the Estoril / Cascais "Riviera" beaches. Located in São João do Estoril this diminutive beach is the start of the broad promenade which runs all the way to Cascais...

    Estoril
  • Praia da Poça, São João do Estoril

    Praia da Poça, also known as São João do Estoril, is a popular little beach at the start of the Estoril - Cascais coast. As with all the beaches along this stretch there is the wide promenade running behind, with a...

    Estoril
    Blue Flag beach Accessible beach

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