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A Traveler's Guide to the Best Beaches in Lisbon


Lisbon is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country of Portugal. If you're making plans to visit, it's good to know the best places to go. No trip to the city is complete without getting in on some great beach time and checking out the local attractions. Some beaches are better than others though. Here is a mini traveler's guide to help you find the best beach locations in Lisbon to make the most out of your time there.

Praia da Ursa, Sintra

This beach is one of the more secluded locations. It's about a 30-minute walk from Cabo da Roca. The reason for its seclusion is that the walk can be a bit challenging. It's isolated because you must travel down a steep descent, but the cove offers some of the best scenery with limestone stacked rocks and clean pristine sands. It's not a beach for swimming, but rather for romantic getaways for two, with a picnic basket, blanket, bottle of wine, and your favorite partner.

Praia do Guincho, Cascais

Praia do Guincho lies north of Cascais. This is a beach that fills up fairly quickly on the weekends with kitesurfers and windsurfers. It's a site for both national and international competitions. Bar do Guincho serves drinks and snacks and there's also a rental center on the beach to acquire equipment for various types of water sports. This is a beach that frequently sees evening parties that go long into the night. You can access Praia do Guicho via one of the regular buses that make the trip to and from the city to the beach. This is the best beach for watching big competitions and for enjoying water sports activities. This is a gentle cove of limestone that drops into a crescent-shaped beach with tan-colored sand and beautiful views of the rolling green hills behind you and the turquoise waters of the sea ahead. It lies to the north of Cascais. This is the ideal beach for surfers with crashing breakers and accommodations that offer rentals if you need sports equipment. It's not far from a group of lodges made to accommodate surfers. You'll also find a lovely bar on the beach to enjoy your choice of chilled beverages.

Praia da Figueirinha, Setubal

If you're in Lisbon with your family, one of the best beaches is Praia da Figueirinha, Setubal. The beach is formed in the shape of an arc with calm waters for wading and swimming in the sheltered lagoon. The water is so clear that you can watch the fish underneath you as you swim. There is a lifeguard on duty for summer recreational safety and a beach cafe to serve refreshments.

Praia dos Galapos, Parque Natural da Arrabida

Parque Natural da Arrabida is one of the most picturesque parts of Lisbon. It lies to the south of the city and features craggy mountains in the background with forested slopes leading to a cove filled with pristine white sandy beaches. It's a great place to enjoy a day of relaxation or take part in water sports. It gets crowded on the weekends because of its popularity. There are several excellent walking trails nearby. There are some ideal snorkeling spots near the beach and calm waters that are good for wading or swimming. It's best to access the beach via train from Lisbon. The trip takes about an hour, but it's preferable to driving because of the shortage of available parking at the beach. You can also plan on eating at one of the two restaurants conveniently located on the beach to make a day or night of it.

Praia do Baleal, Peniche

This beach is located on the Peniche peninsula. It's an hour north of the city of Lisbon and offers a crescent sandy beach that is a hot spot for surfing. There are multiple rocky nooks and lagoons to find privacy. Travel north of the beach to explore ravines, sea caverns, and limestone cliffs for working on your bouldering and rock climbing skills. You will find a line of beach bars and seafood restaurants along this part of the coast to enjoy your meals without leaving the beach.

Praia de Carcavelos, Cascais

This beach is one of the most outstanding for visitors who enjoy water sports. It's a busy beach but also a great place to play games such as volleyball, football, and a lot more. It's usually filled with sports-minded beachgoers who seem to keep a constant flow of games going. It's also a great place to bodyboard and surf with strong swells. It's a large beach on the Estoril coast and there is usually some kinds of sports competition going on, but there's plenty of room for non-competitors to get in on the fun.

Praia da Adraga, Sintra

Sintra lies just North of Lisbon and it is famous for its perfect beaches. Praia da Adraga is one of the more undeveloped coves if you're trying to get away from the huge crowds. It features the Restaurante da Adraga for some of the best food in the region with fresh seafood, wine, and other beverages. There is also a quaint village that has been carved into the face of a cliff nearby. It's a great place to enjoy the beach, sightsee and get a nice meal and spend the day having fun in the sun.

Final thoughts

These are the seven best beaches near Lisbon, Portugal. Each offers visitors a different atmosphere but all of them are highly recommended by locals and visitors alike. If you like crowds, you'll find plenty on the weekends, but if you prefer privacy, you'll find some tranquil secluded beach areas if you're willing to hike into locations that are off the beaten path.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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