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 da Cresmina - Cascais

    Cresmina beach (Praia da Cresmina) is located right next to the bigger, much better known Guincho beach - in fact it is sometimes referred to as "Little Guincho". A...

    Blue Flag beach
  • Praia do Abano

    Situated just around the corner from Cascais's famous Guincho beach is the lovely intimate little cove of Praia do Abano. This little gem is easily overlooked. After the sand strewn vista over Guincho the Sintra...

    Naturist / Nudist beach
  • Fonte da Telha - End of the line

    The beaches of Costa da Caparica seem to be one long stretch of golden sand running from the river Tejo almost to the rugged promontory of Cabo Espichel. However, the miniature train (Transpraia) which drops visitors...

    Costa da Caparica
  • Praia da Ursa

    Set on the Atlantic west coast just north of Cabo da Roca is a little gem of a beach - Praia da Ursa. Unspoilt and wild, this little beach is often cited as one of the most beautiful in the area. The name of the...

    Naturist / Nudist beach
  • Adraga Beach

    Just around the corner from Praia Grande is another local favourite Praia da Adraga. This sandy little cove is backed by high cliffs with a deep valley winding down to the beach. The beach here is usually quieter...

    Naturist / Nudist beach
  • Praia Grande - Sintra

    Praia Grande is probably the closest, and certainly the mostly easily accessed, beach from Sintra. The name translates to "Big beach" and whilst the beach isn't massive, it is the biggest on the Sintra - Cascais...

  • Praia das Macas

    Praia das Maçãs (Apple beach) is one of the most popular beaches within striking distance of Lisbon. The name comes from the fact that once upon a time apples would fall off trees upstream of the (Ribeira de Colares...

  • Praia do Magoito

    Backed by imposing cliffs this long sandy beach is located at the mouth of the river Mata.

  • Praia do Meco

    Praia do Meco is a fairly remote beach located within the Serra da Arrabida national park near Sesimbra. It occupies a 4km stretch of coast to the south of the beaches of Costa da Caparica, around 40km south of...

    Naturist / Nudist beach