One of the best things about Lisbon is that it is one of the few European capitals with beautiful beaches just a few minutes away. Although most of these beaches are urban, that is, located right next to coastal cities, the water is of high quality, and many of them have the blue flag award.
Still, if you are willing to drive a little further, in places like Cascais, Sintra, Sesimbra, and the Arrábida Mountains, you will find wild beaches and small paradises that invite you to relax. In the Lisbon region, there are beaches for all tastes, whether you want to spend a day with friends or enjoy the sun and the sea with your family and children.
To make your life easier, we have divided this list by location and by type of beach. You can also check the time and distance to each one. So, if you are looking for a beach destination near where you live to go and come back in just one day, discover our list of the best beaches near Lisbon.
1. Praia de São Julião
This is the northernmost beach in the municipality of Sintra, on the border with the city of Mafra. Most of the beach, with 2 kilometers long, is located on the Sintra side, on the left bank of the Falcão River.
It is very frequented by fans of bodyboarding and surfing, as well as other water sports. Besides that, it is also an excellent place for sport fishing. Unfortunately, it is a relatively windy beach with cold water. Still, it is always worthwhile, thanks to its extensive sandy beach and the support bars.
2. Praia das Maçãs
There is a legend saying that the name of this beach derives from the fact that once upon a time, a river flowed here, which passed through orchards and carried the fallen apples to the sea. And so Praia das Maçãs was born, one of the most famous beaches in Sintra.
The beach is about 250 meters long, and there are many bars, cafes, and restaurants around it. There is also a saltwater swimming pool and a children’s playground. Praia das Maçãs was one of Sintra’s favorites in the past, much because of the famous tramway, whose last stop is here.
3. Praia da Adraga
In the Sintra/Cascais Natural Park, Praia da Adraga is very popular during the bathing season. The sand is fine, and the cliffs surrounding it provide a welcoming environment.
You can enjoy excellent fish and seafood dishes in the restaurant that supports the beach. And to top it all off, be sure to appreciate the Pedra de Alvidrar and its caves in the southern part of the beach. On the north side, it is possible to practice nudism with some privacy.
4. Praia Grande
The name is not misleading: it is one of the most extensive beaches in Sintra. It is also one of the most frequented and several important competitions of sports such as Bodyboard are held here. The sand is golden, the cliffs and the water is a little cold: you are in Sintra, no doubt! The beach is quite crowded during August, but there is always room for one more.
5. Praia de Ribeira d’Ilhas
It is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in Ericeira, in the municipality of Mafra. In the last few years, it has become the stage for several international surf championships, thanks to the quality of its waves. The swell is usually strong with large waves, especially during winter.
6. Praia da Foz do Lizandro
This is the largest beach in the municipality of Mafra. It is located, as its name indicates, at the mouth of the Lizandro river. Besides all the necessary conditions for an excellent day of sunbathing, Foz do Lizandro beach is also a place of entertainment: bars, restaurants, and sports equipment on the sand delight the bathers and provide all the necessary conditions for a day well spent.
7. Praia do Sul
It is one of the most familiar beaches in Ericeira. Here everybody knows each other, and it is one of the best for families with children. Moreover, it is sheltered from the northerly winds, which makes it one of the safest beaches in the region. But even so, its waves are good enough to delight surfers and bodyboarders.
8. Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo
The publicity it has received in recent years has destroyed some of its charms. But we believe that if this is the first time you visit Ribeiro do Cavalo beach, you will love the experience. This was one of those almost secret treasures of Arrábida.
But the internet era has taken this mysticism out of it. Today, many vacationers come here to enjoy the landscape and the crystal-clear waters. But don’t forget: being a wild beach, there are no services, and the beach has no lifeguards.
9. Portinho da Arrábida
This is one of the most famous postcards of the best Arrábida beaches. And that is no reason for less! Portinho da Arrábida beach is one of the region’s most famous and crowded beaches. The water is turquoise blue, and behind it lies a forest of dazzling green that provides a unique environment.
It started as a small fishing village but soon attracted vacationers. Visiting Portinho da Arrábida is also worthwhile for the fish and seafood served in its restaurants. And walking along the sandy shore makes it possible to reach Creiro beach.
10. Praia de Galapos
The stunning silhouette of the Arrábida Mountains in the background, behind the beach, reminds us of where we have just arrived at Galapos beach. However, any resemblance to a tropical beach is unfair. Arrábida’s beaches are unique and unrepeatable, and Galapos is one of the best proofs of that.
The sea is calm, and the swell is weak. The water is crystal clear (or were we not in the middle of the Natural Park). And even though it receives many more vacationers than before, it’s always worth coming back and being dazzled by the landscape.
11. Praia do Creiro
It is next to Portinho da Arrábida beach and has received many more bathers since a parking lot and an access road was built. With good access also came the services. Today, Creiro beach has restaurants and is watched over during the bathing season. And if the tide is low, you can dare to walk along the sand to your left to the secret and isolated beaches of Monte Branco and Anixa.
12. Praia dos Coelhos
Promise us one thing: don’t tell anyone about this beach! Can you do that? Coelhos beach has the rare privilege of not having any signposts or even a road to get there by car. For this reason, despite the flood of tourists in recent years, it remains one of the most secret beaches of Arrábida. It is a wild beach, so it has no lifeguard, nor does it have support services.
You must walk through a somewhat hidden footpath (wear comfortable shoes) to get there. However, the effort is compensated by the tranquility of a beach paradise, one of the most beautiful in Arrábida.
13. Praia de Albarquel
Here begins the Natural Park of Serra da Arrábida. But you are still in Setúbal. Praia de Albarquel is, therefore, the most urban of the Arrábida beaches. You can get here by car, but perhaps the most pleasant is a walk through the Albarquel Urban Park, which ends at the Albarquel Fort. Right after that is the beach! Because it is closer to the city, it is also a good option for families with children.
14. Praia da Figueirinha
In the list of the best beaches in Arrábida, Figueirinha beach should be included. It is the largest in the region and one of the closest to Setúbal, and, therefore, one of the most crowded. But there is room for everyone!
You can see the Troia Peninsula on one side and Portinho da Arrábida on the other. A dream scenery! The waters are calm and shallow, which makes Figueirinha beach one of the best for families with children.
15. Praia do Ouro
Praia do Ouro beach is one of the most central beaches in Sesimbra, along with California beach. And because it is right in the center of town, it is also one of the most frequented.
The high quality of this beach makes it one of the Portuguese beaches that have had the Blue Flag for more years. The beach has large dimensions, and the sea is calm, with gentle waves. A walk along the waterfront takes you to Forte de Santiago, where the beach ends.
16. Praia da Califórnia
It is one of two beaches in Sesimbra, together with Praia do Ouro (from which the Forte de Santiago separates it. The California beach is on the left side of the Fort and has a sandy beach of more than 1000 meters where the sea is calm and with gentle waves. Although large, it is a beach that attracts many vacationers and can become quite crowded.
It has a Blue Flag and plenty of bars and restaurants. It is also possible to rent sun loungers in the shade. It is one of the best beaches in Sesimbra for families with children.
17. Praia do Infante
It is one of the most extensive beaches of Costa da Caparica. Its sand, besides being extensive, has fine white sand and is protected by well-preserved dunes with undergrowth.
Moreover, Infante beach is one of the closest beaches to the Protected Landscape of the Fossil Cliff of Costa da Caparica. Its forest environment is part of the network of National Forests. It is, therefore, one of the most pleasant beaches in this region.
18. Praia Morena
Used mainly by young people, Morena’s Beach is known as “Borda d’Água Beach”, the bar’s name that supports it. And it is not by chance… it is said to be one of the best beach bars in Costa da Caparica. On this beach are also frequent families with small children that, in low tide, take advantage of the small lagoons formed to have fun.
19. Praia da Rainha
This is one of the best beaches for families with children in Costa da Caparica. The sand is extensive, with fine white sand. Rainha beach has a very well-arranged parking lot and even a heliport.
Perhaps this is the reason why it is so popular with vacation camps. If you are lucky (if it is the right day and time), you can see the fishers making the so typical Xávega Art, which is characteristic of this region.
20. Praia da Cabana do Pescador
Long gone are the times when, on this beach, there was only a fisherman’s hut (hence the name of the beach). Its good conditions have attracted more and more vacationers, and now it has days, especially at weekends, when it can be pretty crowded. It is mainly sought after by groups of young people and those who practice sports on the sand. Wooden walkways protect the dunes all along the beach.
21. Praia da Fonte da Telha
This is the train’s last stop that runs along the beaches of Costa da Caparica. The Fonte da Telha beach is much sought after by surfers and has one of the most extensive beaches in the region.
In reality, there are several beaches on one single strand, which are divided according to the restaurant that serves as support to each one. The high number of restaurants here is not by mere chance: the fish and seafood dishes at this beach are some of the most popular in Costa da Caparica.
22. Praia de Carcavelos
This is the first of the beaches in Cascais for those traveling from Lisbon. The beach is of large dimensions, and the strong waves of its waters make it very sought after by fans of Surfing, Windsurfing, and Bodyboarding, being held here in several national and international competitions. In addition, framed by the Fort of São Julião da Barra, there are usually volleyball and beach soccer championships.
23. Praia do Tamariz
It is another of the most famous beaches of Cascais and the beach of excellence on the Estoril Coast. It is located right in front of the Casino Estoril gardens and has good access. Schools and vacation camps seek after it, and few Lisboners do not have childhood memories of this beach. It also has an ocean swimming pool with free access.
24. Praia da Torre
Located between São Julião da Barra Fortress and the Oeiras Marina, it is perhaps the best beach for families near Lisbon. This is thanks to its sophisticated environment and the quality equipment it has. Being more sheltered, it is also protected from strong winds, and its waters are calmer. In addition, the Oeiras Oceanic Swimming Pool is next door and another attraction for children.
25. Praia do Guincho
It is one of the most emblematic (and mythical) beaches of Cascais. Guincho beach is part of the Sintra/Cascais Natural Park, and world Surf, Windsurf, and Kitesurf championships are held here.
It is one of the most extensive beaches in the region (and in the country), and even with the high affluence of vacationers, there is always room for someone else. The best of all? The surrounding landscape! A beach not to be missed!
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