If you are passing through Lisbon and looking for the best beaches to have fun, sunbathe or even surf, know that there are a lot of good options close to the capital of Portugal. When the heat is on, going to a beach is at the top of many people's preferences to cool off and relax with family or friends. Follow the itinerary that All About Portugal prepared and discover the 10 best beaches around Lisbon, which are less than an hour away from the city. You will find incredible landscapes, golden sand, clear and crystalline water, in addition to lifeguards during the bathing season. If you're a fan of secret agent James Bond, get to know a beach where some scenes from one of the 007 movies were filmed.
Santo Amaro Beach, Oeiras
It is the beach on this list that is closest to Lisbon, being the largest in the municipality of Oeiras, and is an excellent option to enjoy refreshing moments of leisure and summer in good company. Despite being an urban beach, it has an extensive sandy area and is surrounded by the pleasant and popular Passeio Marítimo de Oeiras, where it is possible to walk, run, cycle or skate. Nearby are the beautiful Forte de São Julião das Maias, the Porto de Recreio de Oeiras, an ocean pool and several restaurants. The beach is cleaned daily and has showers, selective waste disposal points and eco-ashtrays. Given its proximity to Lisbon, it is possible to enjoy splendid views of the 25 de Abril Bridge or Cristo Rei. In addition, it is easy to get there by public transport from the capital.
Carcavelos Beach, Cascais
It is one of the most popular beaches on the outskirts of Lisbon, both by residents and tourists. With a large stretch of sand, more than a kilometer, it is the first beach in the municipality of Cascais that you can find when traveling, by car or train, from Lisbon. Situated close to the stunning Forte de São Julião da Barra, one of the highlights of the neighboring municipality of Oeiras, it usually has strong waves, which is why it is very visited by surfers, bodyboard and windsurf practitioners. Fans of sports on the sand can also have fun and play football or beach volleyball. Even if you don't have a car, you can take a train to Carcavelos and walk the rest of the way. In the pedestrian area next to the beach, there are restaurants, bars and terraces.
São Pedro do Estoril Beach, Cascais
It is usually quieter and less crowded than the beaches found in the more central areas of Cascais and Estoril, which is why it is an excellent option to take children, who love to play in the small “natural pools” that are uncovered between the rocks during low tide. The sand area is considerable, but when the tide rises, it reduces significantly. The water is also traditionally calm in the summer, and that's one more reason why kids really enjoy going there. Furthermore, São Pedro beach has good access, both pedestrian and road, in addition to being accessible by train. In the colder months, the swell is usually quite pronounced, and very popular with surfers in the area. At one of its ends is Pedra do Sal, a geological “accident” composed of limestone and marl with more than 90 million years.
Tamariz Beach, Estoril
It is a must in any itinerary on the best beaches in the Lisbon area and on the famous Estoril Coast. It is in front of the Estoril Casino Garden and offers excellent conditions, which make it very popular with tourists and locals. The seafront promenade and the area where beautiful mansions stand, combined with the blue of the water and the fine golden sand, provide a setting of remarkable beauty. The oceanic pool at one end, of free access, is another of its attractions, as well as the good conditions it offers for water sports. In the vicinity, there is a variety of bars and restaurants, where fresh fish dishes are popular. Estoril Train Station is right in front of the beach, so it's a great way to get there.
Praia Grande do Guincho Beach, Cascais
It might be one of the largest beaches in Portugal with more than a kilometer in length. It became world-famous in 1969, when some scenes from the movie “On Her Majesty's Secret Service”, from the 007 saga, were shot. It is located in the area of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and has a magnificent natural setting in the middle of two rocky points, which “plunge” into the sea: Ponta do Abano and Ponta Alta. The beautiful Sintra Mountain and the dunes give it even greater charm. When the tide is low, it is possible to see a volcanic “chimney”, composed of a remarkable outcrop of basaltic rock. It is, usually, windy and, therefore, much sought after by surf, windsurf and kite surf fans. In the vicinity there are several restaurants where fresh fish and seafood are the main dishes.
Adraga Beach, Sintra
In 2003, it was elected one of the 20 most beautiful beaches in all of Europe, by the English newspaper The Sunday Times. A distinction that made this beautiful beach located in the area of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, which is framed by remarkable cliffs shaped by the erosion of the sea, become even more sought after by bathers and curious. The sand is more than 400 meters long and few people can resist taking a picture at the arch “carved” naturally into one of the rocks, with the sea appearing “in the background”. Access to Praia da Adraga is made by the village of Almoçageme, trought the somewhat winding road that links Cabo da Roca to Colares. It is very popular for the landscapes it offers and also for the different geology it presents, even if it is not summer.
Maçãs Beach, Sintra
What do you think of the idea of traveling to the beach on a picturesque tram that departs from the charming village of Sintra, whose Cultural Landscape is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site? Original, at the very least. The 11 kilometer route takes 45 minutes but is well worth it, on a journey that covers the Serra de Sintra and ends by the Atlantic Ocean. According to tradition, this beach owes its curious name to the apples that in earlier times reached the beach, after being dragged down the Ribeira de Colares from the orchards. It has an extensive sand, suitable for beach sports and water sports fans, such as surf or bodyboard. The beach has good access and nearby there are two attractive saltwater swimming pools, in addition to several restaurants and bars.
São Julião Beach, Sintra and Mafra
It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the outskirts of Lisbon, situated between the municipalities of Sintra and Mafra. It has a vast expanse of sand, excellent for walking along the seaside, intersected by large cliffs, which give it great natural beauty, great for helping to recharge. It is usually suitable for surfing and bodyboarding, so it is often very popular with fans of those sports, especially when they crave waves on the calmer summer days. This beach is also visited by sport fishing practitioners, who find many fishing boats there. It is a regular presence in itineraries on the best beaches near Lisbon and has good access and bars to support holidaymakers.
Ericeira Beach, Mafra
Pescadores Beach, located in the center of the tourist and fishing village of Ericeira, was the place chosen by the Royal Family of Portugal to go into exile after the fall of the monarchy and the Implantation of the Republic on October 5, 1910. But not only the historical reasons lead it to be very popular and to appear in this article about the best beaches in the Lisbon area. The size of the beach and the fact that it is protected from the south and southeast winds, thanks to the seawall and also the pier, as well as the location close to the old town area also contribute to this. Accessibility is good and there are several bars and restaurants in the vicinity. In August, Pescadores Beach is the central stage of the Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem festivities, whose highlight is the nocturnal maritime procession.
São João da Caparica Beach, Almada
“I'm going to flee from Lisbon, I'm going to the Caparica sun”. This sentence immortalized in a song by the Portuguese band Peste & Sida, which greatly promoted Caparica Beaches, located on the so-called “Margem Sul”, on the other side of the 25 de Abril Bridge. São João Beach has a sand area of almost a kilometer and a half long and if in earlier times it welcomed bathers to do wild camping, nowadays, it is also famous among wealthier families and visited by some national public figures. It has favorable conditions for surfing, bodyboarding and stand-up paddle. It usually bears the Gold Quality Beach distinctions and also the Blue Flag. At one end of the beach, Arte Xávega is still practiced, a traditional fishing technique that constitutes an identity heritage of Costa da Caparica.