Eight Beautiful Beaches Near Lisbon

We’ve picked out the best beaches near Lisbon, from the famous coasts of Cascais and Estoril to lesser-trodden shores and the sands that locals would rather keep secret

its pastel houses, rattling yellow trams and endless, balmy
summers, Lisbon is a destination defined by a laid-back
way of life and somewhat tropical feel – much of the charm of the
Portugese capital stems from its proximity to an array of gorgeous,
sandy beaches, championed by the world’s surfing community.

Jutting out into the roaring Atlantic, many of the beaches near
Lisbon are wild and unspoiled, their cool waters the perfect remedy
to the country’s high summer temperatures.

Despite being only a short drive apart, each beach destination
has a character of its own thanks to the diverse Portuguese landscape. On the city’s southernmost
peninsula, the Costa da Caparica is a surfer’s paradise, with long
stretches of sand thrashed by waves; farther south, the sheltered
beaches of Arrábida Natural Park are accessible only by rocky

Finding it difficult to choose from these shores? We’ve composed
a selection of the eight best beaches near Lisbon to help you get
the most from an excursion to Portugal’s sunny coast.

Discover the best beaches near Lisbon – plus, how to get

Praia de Carcavelos


At the first sign of spring, Lisbon residents grab their beach
bags and flock to Carcavelos, the most popular beach north of the
River Tagus. Easily accessible by train from the centre of Lisbon, this commercial beach should not be
underestimated in its beauty. Its wide expanse of honey-coloured
sand is framed by a row of bars and restaurants, which sit along
the 1.5km-long promenade above the beach. During summer, these bars
are the perfect respite from the blazing sun, serving cocktails,
smoothies and such under the shade of wide, red umbrellas.

The relatively gentle waves at Carcavelos make it an ideal spot
for budding surfers to learn the basics, with a number of
surf schools offering both private and group lessons in English and
Portuguese. To the very eastern end of the beach lies a spattering
of rocks, leading up to the imposing São Julião da Barra Fort, a
16th-century military defence complex, which originally controlled
access to the port of Lisbon.

How to get there: To get to Carcavelos from
Lisbon, a direct train runs from the city’s Cais
do Sodré station, which takes roughly 30 minutes. From Carcavelos
train station, it’s a 10-minute walk down Avenida Jorge V directly
to the beach.

Seeking more summer travel inspiration?

Praia de Caxias


The tiny coastal town of Caxias is one of Lisbon’s closest
neighbours, only 5km from the city’s renowned Belém Tower. Its
pint-sized beach – the two halves of which stretch out from either
side of the São Bruno Fort – is a secret well-kept from tourists,
frequented mainly by sun-seeking locals. Looking east from Caxias
beach, Lisbon’s ruby-red 25 de Abril Bridge is visible, reaching
across the water to the iconic Cristo Rei statue, a great backdrop
to your sunbathing spot.

While the water here is not as crystal-clear as some of the more
southern beaches, its temperature is slightly less shocking,
lapping against the dark rocks which are dotted throughout the
shallower waters. The compact size of this beach makes it popular
among families, with neighbouring bar Baía dos Golfinhos offering
cool drinks, light snacks and, most importantly, shade. A short
walk away, El Train Carruagem Bar marks one of the best settings in
town; the bar itself is housed in an old-fashioned,
forest-green train carriage, settled just next to the railway
tracks. A sizeable garden, decorated with white wooden furniture,
makes this spot an ideal summer hangout.

How to get there: Caxias can be easily reached
from Lisbon directly by train, taking only 15 minutes from Cais do
Sodré station. As you step onto the platform, the beach spreads out
directly in front of you.

Praia do Tamariz


Admired mainly by James Bond fans, Estoril is a coastal town
located roughly 25km west of Lisbon. Celebrated as the main filming
location for the 1969 blockbuster On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,
the town retains an air of dazzling, old-fashioned glamour. The
Hotel Palacio Estoril remains one of the area’s
most sought-after locations, popular among visitors who have come
for the adjacent casino; its palm-tree-lined pool area and regal,
marble bathrooms wouldn’t seem out of place in a glitzy Las Vegas hotel.

It is unsurprising, then, that the town’s main beach, the Praia
do Tamariz, also carries this old-school elegance, bookended by the
artistically detailed Forte da Cruz. Another spot which is often
overlooked by visitors, this beach is more relaxed than its larger
neighbours, its thick white sand dropping fairly steeply into the
water. The stone promenade behind Praia do Tamariz is picturesque –
particularly at sunset. A small number of beach bars and cafés sit
along this pathway, rubbing shoulders with the swankier Reverse
Pool & Beach Lounge.

How to get there: Estoril is accessible by a
direct train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station, taking roughly 35

Praia da Conceição


Known as the favourite seaside haunt of Portugal’s royal family during the 1800s,
Cascais today is a popular destination, and also one of the
wealthiest areas within the entire Iberian Peninsula. Characterised by its patterned tiles
– which seem to echo the movement of the waves – and by its quaint,
white houses, Cascais is the perfect day-trip location for anyone
looking to escape Lisbon’s lively city centre. Its main beach, the
Praia da Conceição, is located just outside the historic centre,
yet offers a view towards the gaggle of masts and sails which make
up the marina. The water here is clear and crisp, with a deep
stretch of sand leading towards the lapping waves. The aptly named
Bar da Praia sits above the beach, its interior inspired by the
light wood of local fishing boats.

How to get there: During the summer, this beach
is buzzing with visitors soaking up the blazing Portuguese sun.
Spring and autumn are the most tranquil seasons in which to drop
by. From Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré train station, a direct train to
Cascais takes roughly 45 minutes.

Praia dos Galapinhos


Nestled into the dramatic backdrop of the Arrábida Natural Park,
through a rugged expanse of wild vegetation, lies the
postcard-worthy Praia dos Galapinhos. This tranquil crescent of
white-gold sand sits at the foot of a steep incline, tucking it
away from civilisation. It is unsurprising that this picture-book
beach was awarded 2017’s Best Beach in Europe by European Best Destinations;
its tropical-island feel is rendered distinctly unique by the dense
forest which frames it. Rocks punctuate the icy-blue waters, which
stretch out into the vast Atlantic. The water here is calmer than
the peninsula’s other west-coast beaches with gently lapping waves
grazing the soft sand. There is a solitary wooden beach bar which
serves drinks and ice creams to anyone craving something cool.
Thatched, rustic umbrellas are scattered across one side of the
Praia dos Galapinhos, blending seamlessly into the surrounding

How to get there: To access Praia dos
Galapinhos from Lisbon, it’s easiest to hire a car. The beach is
just a 45-minute drive from the awe-striking Vasco da Gama bridge,
though it’s easiest to park at the Praia da Figueirinha and catch
the free shuttle bus 10 minutes along the coast, before clambering
down the snaking stairway which leads to the beach.

Praia de São João


Azure waters, crashing waves, and whitewashed beach bars define
the Praia de São João, a beloved summer haunt for locals and
visitors alike. Its natural, untouched feel is brought into the
modern world by a range of swanky, Ibiza-inspired beachside restaurants and bars,
all of which are surrounded by gently sloping sand dunes and
rustling beachgrass. With soft house music echoing through the
speakers and the sound of clinking cocktail glasses, the Praia de
São João is arguably the most luxurious of all the beaches on the
Caparica coastline. Among these bohemian beach clubs are Pé Nú and
Clássico, both of which draw revellers with live DJ sets, an
extensive cocktail menu and delicious seafood platters. The
west-facing location of this beach makes it perfect not only for
budding surfers but also sunset-chasers.

How to get there: To get to the Praia de São
João from Lisbon there are a number of buses which leave
from outside Alcântara-Terra station and go to Caparica, driving
over the iconic Ponte 25 de Abril. Alternatively, an Uber costs
only between €15 and €20 and takes no longer than 20 minutes.

Praia Fonte da Telha


Around 10km south of Praia de São João, the Costa da Caparica is
also home to the slightly sleepier Praia Fonte da Telha. At the
heart of the Arriba Fóssil Nature Reserve, this beach is backed by
rocky cliff faces and dense, green hills. Its beach, much like its
northern counterpart, is characterised by a long expanse of soft,
golden sand and crashing blue waves. Although this stretch of coast
was originally known for being one of the more remote seaside
locations in this area, a number of small beach bars and
restaurants have set up shop here, making it a favourite location
for locals to spend entire weekends during the summer. These bars
are open long after the final rays of sunlight have ducked below
the water’s edge, tempting beachgoers to stay well into the

What renders this part of the coastline unusual, however, is the
Transpraia railway which runs along it – a tiny, somewhat rickety
train service which reaches the more remote beaches, its tracks
embedded into the sand. Running north to south, Praia Fonte da
Telha is the final stop of this offbeat transport system, which
operates only during the summer months.

How to get there: To get to the Praia Fonte da
Telha from Lisbon, it’s easiest to take the bus from Praça de
Espanha to Caparica, and then catch the Transpraia train down into
the nature reserve. Hiring a car is also an ideal way of reaching
this particular stretch of coastline.

Praia da Ursa


Recognisable by its sharp, distinct rock formations which rise
dramatically from the crashing waves, Praia da Ursa is only a short
distance from the most Westerly point in mainland Europe: Cabo da Roca. Its rugged wilderness and lack of
commercialism have rendered it one of the most beautiful and
untouched beaches in Portugal; its beauty, in fact, seems
otherworldly, as if set upon an entirely different planet. The
beach is popular among keen trekkers and hiking aficionados, its
sandy cove notoriously difficult to access. Located as it is, at
the centre of the stunning Sintra-Cascais National Park, Praia da
Ursa is graced by visitors all year round, the raging winter
Atlantic a true spectacle for all nature-lovers. It goes without
saying that there are no bars, stores, or restaurants on this
unspoiled stretch of sand, so pack a picnic if you plan to spend a
day enjoying its dramatic scenery. Make sure to bring trainers or
comfortable walking shoes, even in blazing summer temperatures. The
descent to the sand is not for the faint-hearted, but the view is
worth it.

How to get there: This is one of the least
accessible beaches from Lisbon, so you’ll need a car to reach the
Praia da Ursa. After a 45-minute drive, park the car at nearby Cabo
da Roca and hike for around an hour to reach the beach.

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