Lisbon beaches, Portugal

Nova Vaga beach on Costa Caparica, near Lisbon, Portugal

Praia (beach) Nova Vaga on Costa Caparica. The Caparica coast embraces one of the best collections of spacious, fine sand Lisbon Beaches within easy drive. Photo by Darwinius.

Lisbon Beaches easily reached

Nestling against the Atlantic Ocean, this diminutive, dilapidated but sunny city offers low-cost tourism with enough magical sights to keep the average visitor on the hoof for several days, dying for a splash in some cooling waters.

But wait! They have that too off the nearby Atlantic-thrashed beaches. Not as warm as Algarve beach waters perhaps but a short train ride takes you to city beaches around Cascais or hire a car for a 30 minute drive out to wild strands of sweet sand stretching out to left and right such as Guincho, Praia de Carcavelos, or Praia Portinho da Arrabida and a dozen more await your attention, making Lisbon one of the best city/beach-combo destinations in Europe.

Cascais beach, a main rail station stop from Lisbon centre, Portugal

Cascais town beach, a main rail station stop from Lisbon centre.

Several broad beaches on the train line from Lisbon (Cais do Sodré station) to Cascais attract a lot of action in the summer as locals escape the heat, so head out there early if you’re going and be prepared to be packed in.

Cascais, away from the beach, has a small, walkable historic centre, an impressive Citadela (fortress), a fair number of architecturally interesting buildings and a couple of worthwhile museums so – at a push – a visitor could stay in Cascais and visit Lisbon, rather than vice-versa.

Praia de Carcavelos, near Lisbon, Portugal

Praia de Carcavelos.

Carcavelos and Tamariz in Estoril as particularly favoured by local youth while Praia da Conceicao and Praia da Rainha have a more mature flavour.

Praia Portinho da Arrabida beach, Lisbon, Portugal

Praia Portinho da Arrabida.

However, get yourself a car and suddenly there are a dozen attractive beaches within an hour’s drive. Costa da Caparica (several great strands), Meco (quiet and OK for nudists), Troia (soft sand) and Adraga (beautiful environment) all present lovely surroundings, peaceful seas and uncrowded sands.
If you want a challenge then surfing or kiting at Guincho or Ericeira a little further away should do the job, though the wind-blown sand can be irritating for sunbathers.

Good beaches – especially for surf – not far from Lisbon

Portugal, Guincho beach windsurfing

Guincho beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

And if you want more grand sights as well as beaches, head for Sintra, just over an hour’s drive from Lisbon on excellent roads. But avoid peak times!

Praia Grande, near Sintra, Portugal

Praia Grande, near Sintra, a bit further but not a lot. Photo by Nikate.

Praia da Ursa, in the Sintra region, Portugal

Praia da Ursa, also in the Sintra region. Photo by Rosino.