Lisbon beaches and the best beach
There are several of Portugal’s best beaches dotted around Lisbon, so we can’t help but advise you to take a day trip to one of these amazing beaches.
The Lisbon region’s beaches stretch along four very different types of coastline, providing a variety of beaches, from the wild, ideal for surfers, to the quiet, family-friendly beaches of the charming resort towns.
Lisbon’s proximity to stunning beaches is largely unmentioned in travel guides, so few visitors know that not only can you discover the sights, but also have a great time at one of the nearby beaches.
Many of the beaches are easily accessible by public transport, so be sure to visit one if you are in Lisbon. This guide will introduce you to the beaches in Lisbon and will show you the best beaches in the region. You will also find links for more information.
Carcavelos beach before the start of the summer season
Our favorite beaches in the Lisbon region
Best beaches (using public transport) – Carcavelos beach (30 min by train from Lisbon center) – Conceição beach, Cascais (45 min by train ) – Costa da Caparica (30 min by bus) – Santo Amaro de Oeiras beach (20 min by train) – Tamariz beach, Estoril (40 min by train) – São Pedro beach (40 min by train)
Great beaches to visit by hire car – Creiro beach (Serra da Arrabida) (48km from Lisbon) – Bicas beach and the southern part of the Costa da Caparica (41 km from Lisbon) – Guincho beach (32 km from Lisbon) – Adraga beach (44 km from Lisbon) – Macas beach (43 km from Lisbon) – Troy Mar beach and the Troy Peninsula (55 km + ferry)
The four types of coasts of Lisbon
The coastline around Lisbon has four very different types of coasts: the Oeiras Estorides-Cascais coast, the Serra de Intra coast, the Costa da Caparica coast and the Serra da Arrabida coast.
Oeiras Estoril-Cascais The Oeiras Estoril-Cascais coastline stretches west of Lisbon. It offers sandy beaches, calm seas and diverse resort towns. This is where most tourists head for one of the many amazing beaches.
There is a regular train service, making it easy to get to any beach from the center of Lisbon. The only drawback is that in the summer all these beaches are literally swarming with people.
The largest and most popular beach in the region is Carcavelos. The two other gorgeous beaches of Santo Amaro de Hueões and São Pedro are not far behind and are highly recommended. The historic town of Cascais, which is the terminus of the railway line, is a fantastic spot for a beach holiday on the wonderful Conceição beach.
View of São Julião da Barra Fort from Torre Beach
The Serra de Cintra Coast The Serra de Cintra is a coastline north of Cascais, rugged with wind and sea, wide beaches and unique natural scenery. Blown by all winds, it feels the full force and power of the Atlantic Ocean and is an ideal place for surfing, kitesurfing, hiking and cycling.
The coastline is home to the Sintra Cascais Natural Park, making it an undeveloped area. The only problem is the lack of public transportation, so you have to rent a car to explore the coast.
The most famous beach in the region is the magnificent Guincho surfing beach. At the same time, the picturesque beach of Adraga offers towering cliffs, golden sands, and a rough sea. Further north are the pleasant beach towns of Macas and Azenhas do Mar. Insider tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Cape Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point.
Costa da Caparica The Costa da Caparica coastline is just south of Lisbon and stretches along the entire western side of the Setúbal Peninsula. It is essentially one continuous beach, about 15 kilometers long. It has stunning beaches and great spots for surfers. Some beaches have trendy night bars.
The northern part of the coast of Costa da Caparica is home to the resort town of the same name, while the southern part remains less developed and attracts its natural beauty. There are regular buses from Lisbon to Costa da Caparica, so these beautiful northern beaches are a great alternative to the beaches of Cascais and Estoril.
Insider tip: In summer, you can take a mini train from the town of Costa da Caparica to Fonte da Telha beach (8 km to the south). During the peak tourist season, this beach is usually not very crowded.
Fishing boats are still parked on the beaches of Costa da Caparica
The Serra da Arrabida Coast The Serra da Arrabida is in the southern part of the Setúbal peninsula between Sesimbra and Setúbal. It is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in Portugal. Framed on one side by the picturesque hills of the Serra da Arrabida, they offer soft sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. It’s hard to believe that these paradisiacal beaches are less than a 45-minute drive from Lisbon’s center.
Our tip: One of the best beaches in Portugal is Creiro beach, not far from which is the equally beautiful Figueirinha beach.
Sesimbra is the main resort town on the Serra da Arrabida coast and has a truly Portuguese feel to it, as it is a favorite destination for Portuguese vacationers. Setúbal is a lively port city that will be fun to visit on a day trip. To the south of Setubal is the Troy Peninsula with its many excellent beaches, but it is too far from Lisbon to take a day trip there. There are regular buses from Lisbon to Sesimbra. In the Serra da Arrabida Natural Park, on the other hand, there is no public transportation.
Turquoise-colored water on Creiro beach
Let’s not complicate things
If you are thinking about which beach to take a day trip from Lisbon, go to Carcavelos, Santo Amaro de Oeiras or Conceição. Getting to these beaches is easy by taking the Lisbon-Cascais train from the Cais do Sodré train station in Lisbon (GPS: 38.70610, -9.14494). Carcavelos, Oeiras and Conceição are large sandy beaches with clear water and everything you need for a great vacation. They are ideal not only for adults but also for children.
Safety precautions: Many surf beaches have underwater rocks and dangerous currents, so always slide your boards (and swim) where it is safe to do so and follow lifeguard instructions.
Carcavelouche Beach in Summer
When to arrive.
The weather in Lisbon allows you to be on the beach (and sunbathing) from May until late September. The beaches are most crowded from July to August. The summer weekends give the impression that Lisbon’s entire population has gone to the beach, so you are better off on weekdays (Monday to Friday).
The sea lapping the coast of Lisbon is surprisingly cold, even at the height of summer, when the water temperature is barely 18 degrees Celsius. The cold currents of the Atlantic Ocean contribute to these low temperatures. If you are going to be in the water for quite a long time, bring/hire a wetsuit.
Lisbon’s beaches: serene relaxation, conquering waves and stunning scenery
Colorful and hospitable Portugal delights tourists with a variety of recreation: interesting excursion routes, numerous monuments, castles, churches, museums, delicious cuisine, and, of course, a wonderful holiday on the Atlantic coast. Traveling around the country, you should definitely visit the beaches of Lisbon. Surfers, families with children, couples in love – everyone will find the perfect place for themselves.
Weather and Climate
The Atlantic Ocean defines the climate of Portugal: winters are relatively warm, with daytime temperatures hovering around +10 degrees and above, and summers are moderately hot, with average July and August temperatures of barely +30 degrees.
The beach season in Lisbon lasts from May to October, although it is worth bearing in mind that even in the hottest weather the water temperature does not rise above +21 degrees. However this does not stop the inhabitants of the city and tourists. In summer the beaches near the capital are filled with sunbathers and surfers. The Atlantic is very favorable to the latter, the waves near the coast allow to engage in this spectacular sport at most.
Lisbon’s best beaches
There are no beaches for swimming directly within Lisbon, because the capital is remote from the ocean, and the river Tagus, flowing through the city, is not suitable for a beach holiday, although the waterfront is so nice to sit and admire the sunset. The Belém area near the Belém Tower, one of the main tourist attractions, is especially popular.
For pure sand and endless ocean, head to one of the many beaches near Lisbon. Most are around Cascais and Estoril, which are both easily accessible by public transport and take no more than 45 minutes to reach the Portuguese capital.
The coastline of Oeiras Estoril-Cascais stretches west of Lisbon and is famous for its clean beaches and pretty resort towns. The coast is connected to Lisbon city center by direct train links, making this a very popular region with locals and visitors alike, not easy to find a seat during the season.
The trains leave every half hour from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station. The fare is around €2 depending on how you pay. With the Zapping card you can save some money. This destination is popular not only because of the beaches, but also because of the beautiful town of Cascais. Here tourists from all over the world like to relax, hold yacht regattas and international windsurfing competitions.
The sandy beach of Conceição is full of tourists in the summer thanks to its convenient location near the station and the city center, and to the excellent infrastructure that provides a comfortable and safe holiday.
The photo shows all 3 beaches from left to right Ribeira, Rinha and Conceição in the distance
Central Praia Ribeira is located in the bay. There’s always something going on here: entertainment in the summer, a Ferris wheel in the winter, and people taking part in contests to build the best sandcastle.
Lovers of a quiet, secluded holiday will be attracted to Praia da Rainha, also located in a quiet bay. Rocks protect it from the winds, muffle the waves, so in May the water is well warmed, you can refresh in the sea breeze.
For picturesque scenery and privacy is worth a trip to the beach Ursa, which means “bear”. It is named for the bear-shaped rock and the legend of the bear family that lived here millions of years ago. The beach is far from the center of town – behind Cape Rock. Smooth beach vacation with swimming here will not work, because you have to get over the hilly terrain on the way, and swim is not so easy – the water is colder than usual. But it does make sense to come here for the spectacular social media content.
Estoril’s beach facilities are ideal for a relaxing holiday. There are showers, lifeguards and a medical center for safety. There are cafes and restaurants along the promenade, golf courses and a busy nightlife after sunset.
Less than 10 minutes walk separates Pedro do Estoril beach from the train station of São Pedro de Estoril. Surfers love to catch a wave here, and there is a surfing school for those who want to learn the art.
Azarujinha, a small beach, is also close to the station in a picturesque cove. There are two stairs leading to it. At high tide it is flooded with water. The beach is surrounded by a beautiful palm alley. And half a kilometer away is the 16th-century fortress of San Antonio da Barra.
Next door is another beach in the area, Posa. It is less than a kilometer from the São Pedro de Estoril and Estoril stations. The water here is very clean, as confirmed by the blue flag. But because of the underwater rocks only the central part is suitable for swimming. To the east is the 17th-century Fort da Cadavieira.
A 7-minute walk from the Monte do Estoril station is Moitas. Its disadvantage is not quite an easy entrance to the sea because of large stones. However, there is a seawater pool, swimming in which makes up for this inconvenience.
Praia da Poça Photo Por pedrik – Warm day in Estoril, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63532723
Perhaps the best beach in Estoril is the Tamariz beach, which is next door to the park. Here you can swim not only in the ocean, but also in a pool with ocean water, and completely free. For more than 30 years, Tamariz has been awarded the blue flag for its cleanliness and environmental friendliness. Gambling tourists can combine a beach holiday with a visit to the Estoril Casino.
Photo By ceiling – originally posted to Flickr as Carcavelos, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4524969
The sandy beach of Carcavelos is a pleasant 10 minute walk from the homonymous station, and only 15 kilometers from Lisbon. It is popular with young people and surfers. Apart from a relaxing holiday, you can have a good meal in the seafront café, have a nice evening in the bar or restaurant, which is open late in the summer and those who want to learn water sports can take a surfing course in the school right on the beach. The necessary equipment can be rented.
Facilities include showers, and sports fields for volleyball, soccer, and tennis, so you won’t get bored.
Costa da Caparica
Feel like a local on the beaches around the Costa da Caparica on the Setubal Peninsula south of Lisbon. It is, after all, the beach preferred by Lisboetas. It was once a fishing village and now has been transformed into a beautiful resort. The weekend is the busiest time of the year, with huge traffic jams on the roads. The popularity of these beaches is not surprising: 20 kilometers of clean sand, excellent infrastructure, excellent conditions for sports. In addition, the water is very clean, marked by a blue flag, and the waves are infrequent. And the boundaries between the beaches are virtually erased.
After sunset, it’s nice to have a glass of port in a trendy bar, dance in the disco of Morena and Serea beaches, or rent a yacht and have a party on the open sea.
The northernmost beach of this coast of San Juan is surrounded by lush greenery. It is especially beautiful here in the spring, when everything is in bloom. A campsite is set up nearby.
A couple of dozen more beaches along this coastline are well equipped for a serene holiday. And nearby are the Mata Nacional dos Medos and Arriba Fossil nature reserves, with picturesque cliffs and pine forests.
A special feature of the Costa da Caprica is the undercurrents, which make the water quite cold in the summer. And in the first half of autumn, the temperature becomes more comfortable for swimming. Due to its location on the border of the mouth of the Tagus River and the Atlantic, big waves on the beach are rare and you can safely enjoy a swim.
In the evening, buy some fresh fish and seafood brought in by the local sailors.
The best way to get from Lisbon to Costa da Caprica is by direct bus 153 or 161 which cost no more than 3,5 euros.
To avoid traffic jams, in the summer you can take a mini-train every hour from the Costa to the beaches.
Guincho Beach, photo By Alvesgaspar – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26444144
The Serra de Sintra coast north of Lisbon is a wide beachfront, stunning rocky landscapes with a riot of greenery. Tourists love to stroll in the refreshing ocean breeze or take a bike ride along the promenade.
The Atlantic’s power is unbelievable, making it a favorite place for surfers. Ginshu Beach is Blue Flag rated for its cleanliness. Both beginners and experienced surfers can take lessons on how to conquer the waves and rent the necessary equipment.
Grande Beach, photo By User:Nikater – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5192922
Grande Beach hosts annual water sports competitions. For swimmers, the largest ocean water pool here.
The white sand beach of Adraga, surrounded by cliffs, is perfect for sunbathing and catching waves. Swimming is almost impossible because of the waves, but you can eat the freshest fish and seafood in the local café, listening to the sound of the surf.
A fun old streetcar takes you to Masas beach from Sintra. That in itself would be a little adventure. Families with children like to vacation here most of all. The beach is popular all year round because of the excellent seawater pool.
The minus of this area – poorly developed public transport, so to get here, you have to rent a car. However, this does not stop travelers. In addition to beach holidays here you can visit the magnificent natural park Sintra-Cascais and Cape Cabo da Roca. This is the westernmost point of Europe, where there is an observation deck with an endless panorama of the ocean.
When does the bathing season start?
The swimming season in Portugal begins in May. The peak is in July-September, when the sea warms up to the most comfortable temperature.
It is worth bearing in mind that at the weekend to enjoy the beach vacation seeks not only tourists, but also local residents. Therefore, to find a free place on the coast will be difficult.
Lisbon is one of the most interesting cities in Europe with a rich culture and history, where a fascinating tour program can be combined with a great beach holiday.