An Insider Guide Of The Best Beaches Around Lisbon

Where are the best beaches around LISBON? How do I get there? Which ones are the less crowded? It is all here!

I really enjoy a full beach day and I feel almost like a beach embassador of Lisboa. Plus:

1. Lisboa is a city with a crazy amount of sunshine hours per year and a long and varied coastline.
2. I’m a picky sunseeker that has been living here for 10 years and therefore accumulated a lot of beach expertise all over the country. I’ve shared with you some of the best ones in Portugal in my road trip guide through Portugal.
3. Portugal as a whole has a huge aura of a top-notch beach destination. And that’s indeed one of the reasons to visit.

These are some of the reasons I’ve decided to write about beaches to go around Lisboa. Enjoy the sun!

1 SINTRA

Remember this name: Adraga. It is the best beach around here! Located in the Sintra-CascaisNatural Park in the bottom of a valley, it stands out as an hidden gem enclosed in the green hills. It is never as crowded as its neighbours Praia das Maçãs and Praia Grande and it is decorated with huge rocks and caves that only add to is natural beauty. Parking is available but it still can get crowded during the summer. Don’t miss the sunset!

Minimum time to get there from Lisbon: 40min (car)Valuable tip: Take a walk to the south side of the Adraga beach where you will find the Pedra de Alvidrar, a huge rock formation which drops almost vertically into the sea.

Personal overall grade: 7/10

ESTORIL/CASCAIS

best beaches around Lisbon portugal - São Pedro do Estoril
São Pedro do Estoril.

The beaches of Cascais and Estoril are the easier ones to get to from center Lisbon: approximately every 20 min from Cais do Sodré station departs a train stopping near all of them until Cascais.

Yet, these are still urban beaches. They are small so they can get severely crowded. And despite the blue flag atesting the water quality, it is far from the crystal clear you can find on other beaches.

That’s why I only resort to Cascais/Estoril in case of an extreme tanning emergency and/or when I can’t persuade anyone to go elsewhere. And because I don’t have a car and I don’t plan to, sometimes this have been too frequent. Anyway, the least bad options on this area are Praia de São Pedro do Estoril and Praia das Avencas, even though the latter has a very rocky ocean bottom.

Minimum time to get there from Lisbon: 15 min (car) or 30min (train)Valuable tip: If you value your health, only attempt to put your feet in the sand on Carcavelos and further away. Before that, I hardly consider them as beaches (I am picky, remember?).

Personal overall grade: 5/10

COSTA DE CAPARICA

Located just across the river Tejo, this is undoubtely where Lisboners flock to during summertime. Grab a survival kit if you are crossing the 25 de Abril bridge after lunch and coming back at the end of the day as it can be a traffic odyssey. Regarding the value-for-distance criteria, in my opinion these are the best beaches around Lisbon. And there is a gigantic strip of sand with 15km of them! My personal favorites are Praia da Mata and Praia da Morena. But the further south you head, the more likely you are to find less crowded beaches and better beach bars. The last ones can also be more liberal and nudity is common in Fonte da Telha for example.

Minimum time to get there from Lisbon: 20min (car). You could do a combination of a bus and a mini-train that runs along the beaches during the summer months: it won’t take you less than 1H though.Valuable tip: Get there in the mid afternoon (15-17h) and return only after having dinner while enjoying the sunset in one of the many beach restaurants.

Personal overall grade: 8/10

 

MECO

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, head further south to the Meco beaches. These are the next ones on the coastline following Costa de Caparica and since the 1970s are known as a naturist/nudist paradise. Nowadays, it has gone much more mainstream, but still didn’t lose its appeal as a getaway with perks such as lots of sand space and huge cliffs surrounding the beaches that even have waterfalls for indulging in fun mud baths. A natural spa! Bar do Peixe facing the sea at Praia do Meco is popular even outside bathing season and it has great seafood.

Minimum time to get there from Lisbon: 45min (car)Valuable tip: To avoid the traffic, use the Vasco da Gama bridge as it can be a huge time-saver during weekends

Personal overall grade: 8/10

ARRÁBIDA

I have only been to three different beaches, but it was more than enough to understand how beautiful Arrábida is. This bay entails several beaches with the Arrábida Natural Park as the backdrop. Oh and the crystal-clear waters. The only place where I’ve seen waters this clear was in Zlatni Rat beach in Croatia.

I remember being fascinated with the vibrant colours: the contrast between the blue of the waters, the white of the sand and the green of the hills is amazing. It is seldom crowded due to the lack of public transport to reach it, as well as only a few parking spots. Although the majority of people praise the beach at Portinho da Arrábida, I personally think the best ones are Praia de Galapinhos and Praia dos Coelhos (you will need an additional 15-20min hike for both).

Minimum time to get there from Lisbon: 1H (car)Valuable tip: Parking is done on a one-way road, which means you’ll need to go all around Serra da Arrábida to come back to Lisbon. Don’t park your car too soon.

Personal overall grade: 10/10

 

COMPORTA

best beaches around Lisbon - Comporta beach

I have discovered Comporta only this year and I loved it. Great food, an unique involving nature scenery of rice fields and a river estuary and of course, top-of-the-notch beaches with clear waters and more than a m2 of sand to put your towel on. It is the perfect summer getaway weekend. The biggest beaches around are the side-by-side Praia do Carvalhal and Praia da Comporta. They seem crowded with families at arrival, but I only needed to walk a few minutes to find a fully inhabitated area.

Minimum time to get there from Lisbon: 1H20min (car)Valuable tip: After getting a tan, make a stop at Café Central in the center of the village and order a delicious octopus salad.

Personal overall grade: 10/10

 

Planning a trip to Lisbon?
Find some more useful Lisbon travel information below and feel free to comment or drop me an email if you do have additional doubts!

Fonte: geekyexplorer.com

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