Soft sandy beaches, fresh ocean breeze, and sunny days await for you in one of the many Lisbon beaches.
Frank and I spent 3 days in Lisbon city on my birthday, and the rest of our vacation we spent on the beautiful coastline near the Portuguese capital. After all, it’s not so difficult to find the best beaches in Lisbon District, since many of them have good public transport connections. On the other hand, there are some paradisiac and secluded places, that I risk saying that are among the best beaches in Portugal, that you won’t regret visiting!
To help you visit the best beaches in Portugal near Lisbon city, we have come up with a complete guide with the places we recommend, what kind of traveler will they please the most, how to get there, and lots of practical travel tips so you can get the most out of your trip! Great, right?
For full disclosure: When we say Lisbon beaches, we mean Lisbon District. There are no beaches in Lisbon city, only in the district.
Want to know the best Lisbon beaches or even the best beaches near Lisbon? Read on!
Lisbon district has two gorgeous coastlines, Oeiras-Estoril-Cascais and Sintra. The first one is the most popular and crowded, but it also has conveniently beautiful and lively beaches to enjoy a day chilling in the sun. Sintra is a bit further away and has more pristine beaches then the latter. At Costa da Caparica and Serra da Arrábica are excellent beaches near Lisbon, both in Setúbal. The first one is easily reached by either public transport or car, making it a great day trip option. The second is a bit further away, but definitely worth the trip!
Best Time to Visit Lisbon Beaches
The weather in Lisbon is good all year long, but it might have chilly and wet days in the winter since it’s pretty mild. I’d say that during winter, you can have a pleasant walk on the beach, drink some coffee with a view, and do some people watching. Depending on where you come from, the temperature might be good for sunbathing even in the colder months.
Water temperature ranges between 59°F and 68°F (15°C and 20°C) throughout the year, so it’s still pretty cold, in our opinion. Frank swam a couple of times and in each time he came back to the sand saying the water was freezing. I tried to put my legs into the water in June, but the water was icy indeed. Well, sunbathing has never been a problem for me.
I’d say that the best months to visit Lisbon beaches or even the city, are May, June, and September. If you can, avoid August as this is the busiest month on Lisbon beaches. Tourists, locals, students, everybody is there, so you might consider adapting your plans. If that’s not an option and you really want to avoid crowds, choose beaches that are the farthest away from Lisbon.
Lisbon Beaches Map
Tips for visiting Lisbon beaches:
- The farthest away from Lisbon, the less crowded the beach is;
- Expect to find crowds during Summer months;
- Expect the water to be icy all year long. See temperature above;
- Wear sunscreen – always;
- In high season, book your hotel in advance to score the best fares;
- The same goes for car rentals, especially if you want to visit more secluded beaches in Lisbon. If you book in advance you might score better fares and get to choose your car. We use Rental Cars for that;
- Traveling during summer by car? Program yourself to arrive early so you find a spot in the parking
- Some beaches mentioned below don’t have a good public transport connection, so besides renting a car, you might need
internetfor navigation too. Frank and I use and recommend Skyroam, a pocket WiFi that you can connect up to 5 devices – meaning you can also share the bill with your friends 😉 (don’t forget to use your coupon code MAPSNBAGS);
- Some routes have tolls (towards Cascais – Sintra
andTroia), so keep some cash with you;
- You might want to check our guide on how to plan your trip with Google My Maps;
- FYI – A color system with flags is used on the guarded beaches in Portugal. A red flag means danger, swimming is forbidden. Yellow means caution is required. Green means that it is safe to go into the sea. If there is a white and blue checkered flag next to the flag, there is temporarily no supervision. Most beaches on the coast between Lisbon and Cascais have the green flag, the sea is calm and you can go far into the sea. Always look out for the strong wind and treacherous current;
- Topless is more common at the beaches in Cascais and at Caparica Coast. There’s even a nudist beach at Sesimbra (Meco beach), but nudism isn’t so common in family-friendly beaches, such as Adraga.
Best Lisbon Beaches for Your Next Trip to Portugal
Praia da Ursa (Ursa Beach) – Sintra
Perhaps the most beautiful beach in Lisbon district, Praia da Ursa isn’t for the faint-hearted, unfortunately. The access to it is precarious, so it requires a little attention while walking the trail down to this secluded beach. Nevertheless, the effort is worth it. Praia da Ursa is a pristine beach perfect for those who want to chill, meditate, sunbath, photograph, and enjoy the pleasant weather.
If you want to visit offbeat Lisbon beaches, Praia da Ursa should be your first option. Be warned – this is a semi-nudist beach, so you might see some naked people chilling around.
Also, be sure to bring a picnic basket together with a trash bag (there are no restaurants or infrastructure here), and only leave footprints behind. Nothing more.
Pro tip: Try watching the sunset here! It’s perfect!
Where to stay
As I said, there is not much infrastructure near Ursa beach, so you can either stay in a simple, but clean and decent B&B in Almoçageme, called Pensao Sisudo or you can stay a B&B in Cascais. The first one is a simple B&B which has good WiFi, breakfast, and it’s only a 10-minute drive to the beach (no parking available). Walking is also an option (45 minutes).
On the other hand, the latter is a mansion that is ridiculously pretty and has a gorgeous garden, besides being very close to Cascais beaches and train station. WiFi and breakfast are included in the fare.
- GPS location: 38.790508, -9.492283
- How far is Praia da Ursa from Lisbon city? 25.5 miles/ 41km.
- Travel time: 45-minute drive or 1h15 by public transport.
- How to get to Praia da Ursa from Lisbon: From Lisbon take the A5 towards Cascais. At the end of the A5, you take the N9-1 towards Malveira. Once in Malveira da Serra, the N9-1 turns into the N247 between Cascais and Sintra. Follow the direction Colares / Sintra and take the exit to Azoia/ Cabo da Roca N247-4. From here it is easy, you just drive on that road for 1.5 mi/ 2.5 km until you see a small white sign to Praia da Ursa. Take that exit and it will lead you to a small parking lot at the end of this narrow road. Know that the road is in bad conditions and only one lane is available, so there’s not much space for turning. At the top of the cliff, remember to take the far left path which leads to the beach.
- By public transport: Take the train to Cascais then take the 403 bus to Cabo da Roca at the bus station under the shopping center opposite the train station. Get off at the Ursa sign (it’s the last stop before Cabo da Roca) and follow the path until you reach the point when you start the descent (about 5-10mins from the Ursa sign) then take the far left path which leads to the beach. Walk slowly and be sure to wear walking shoes as the trek down can be steep at times.
Fun fact: The legend has it that during the Ice Age a female bear lived in this area with its cubs. After the ice melted, God ordered they leave the coast, but the bear denied it. God was mad at the female bear, so he transformed her in a rock looking forever at him, with its cubs around her. Some years ago, part of the rock fell down so it doesn’t resemble a bear as used to be. FYI – Ursa means bear in Portuguese.
Praia de Carcavelos (Carcavelos Beach) – Estoril
Popular among locals and tourists, Carcavelos gets packed during summer, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s a lively sandy beach with lots of shops, restaurants, and bars. On top of that, Carcavelos is easily reached by train from Lisbon city center and has great waves for surf (there are some surf schools in the area too!). The visuals won’t disappoint you either – blue water and the São Julião da Barra Fort on the left end.
Perfect for those who want to easily reach a beach from Lisbon city center and don’t care much about the crowds in high season. Also, it’s excellent for sunbathing and surf lovers, as mentioned.
Where to stay
Because Carcavelos and Tamariz (beach below) are so close to Lisbon, I’ll recommend a place to stay in Lisbon itself. HF Fenix Garden is spacious, has excellent public transport connection (the shuttle bus to the airport passes right in front of it), and it’s just outside the noisy/ party city center. Free WiFi and breakfast are included in the price.
- GPS location: 38.679457, -9.335852
- How far is Praia de Carcavelos from Lisbon city? 15 miles/ 24 km.
- Travel time: 25-minute drive or 30 minutes by public transport.
- How to get to Praia de Carcavelos from Lisbon: you can get there by car, but since it’s only 30 minutes by train, I highly recommend you use public transport. From Cais do Sodre take the train (
comboio) to Carcavelos. One-way ticket costs between 1-4 euros.
- Keep in mind that it might be crowded in peak hours as local use it to go to work.
Praia do Tamariz (Tamariz Beach) – Estoril/ Cascais
Walk distance from Cascais, Tamariz is a trendy beach in Estoril, just outside the train station. Due to the proximity to Lisbon, this beach can get pretty crowded in high season and weekends. Nevertheless, the water and sand are clean, and there’s a beautiful natural pool, just next to the Cruz Fort.
There are lots of bars and nightclubs in the area, and many restaurants nearby too.
Perfect for those who want to watch the sunset on the beach, go for a jog, sunbath with family, or eat and drink by the promenade (it can be pricey) without having to travel far.
- GPS location: 38.702804, -9.399975
- How far is Praia do Tamariz from Lisbon city? 16.5 miles/ 26.5 km
- Travel time: 27-minute drive or 36 minutes by public transport.
- How to get to Praia do Tamariz from Lisbon: It’s almost the same instruction as for Carcavelos: you can get there by car, but I suggest you use public transport. From Cais do Sodre take the train (
comboio) to Estoril. One-way ticket costs between 1-4 euros. Keep in mind that it might be crowded in peak hours as local use it to go to work.
Praia do Guincho (Guincho Beach) – Cascais
Adventure seekers will find the perfect place in Guincho Beach to kitesurf and windsurf in the summer and to surf in the winter. The winds are quite strong here all year long what makes it unsuitable for sunbathing and small children.
If you want to surf, there is the possibility to take some lessons and rent the necessary equipment right there on the beach.
At Guincho, you will also find a large dune area where a walkway of wood is built through so that you walk above the dunes. Note that the dunes are protected, so you must walk on the boardwalk.
Guincho Beach is only 6 miles/ 10 km away from Cascais city center, so maybe it’s a good idea to rent a bike in the latter and cycle to your destination. Stunning landscapes await you along the way.
Where to stay
You can better stay in Cascais and then go to Praia do Guincho. The accommodation near the latter is either costly or has terrible reviews, so we can’t recommend them.
The B&B we recommend in Cascais is a mansion that is ridiculously pretty and has a gorgeous garden, besides being very close to Cascais beaches and train station. WiFi and breakfast are included in the fare.
- GPS location: 38.732030, -9.473003
- How far is Praia do Guincho from Lisbon city? 20.5 miles/ 33 km
- Travel time: 31-minute drive or 1h30 by public transport.
- How to get to Guincho Beach by bike: From Cascais, just follow the cycle path along the coastal road
. Howto get to Praia do Guincho from Lisbon: To get to Praia do Guincho you actually need a car, public transport almost does not drive here. From Lisbon take the A5 towards Cascais. At the end of the A5 you take the N9-1 towards Malveira, and after a few minutes turn left at Avenida da Charneca, turn left and right onto Rua Palmeira which turns into Rua Varao. Continue to the road N247 and follow the signs to Praia Abano. There is a large parking lot there (paid in high season). From there it is a 5-minute walk to Praia do Guincho. You can also try to park on the side of the road N247 at Guincho, but often there are no spots there.
Praia da Adraga (Adraga Beach) – Sintra
One of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches, if not Europe’s, Adraga is the local’s favorite. Nestled at the foot of a cliff, this sandy beach is ideal to walk chill, sunbath, enjoy a day with your family or just nature – there are grottoes, caves, and natural tunnels here. On the south side of the beach, hidden behind the rocks, you will find a long stretched corridor with a small beach in front of it (only reachable in low tide).
There is a restaurant (Restaurante D’Adraga) at the beach, but be to make a reservation otherwise you might have to wait at least 30 minutes for a table. Also, sun umbrellas are available for rent.
Where to stay
As I said, this is a secluded place so the closest accommodation is a clean and decent B&B in Almoçageme, called Pensao Sisudo, which is 15 minutes walk from the beach (no parking available).
Alternatively, you can also stay in Sintra and drive to the beach.
- GPS location: 38.803047, -9.484897
- How far is Praia da Adraga from Lisbon city? 27 miles/ 44 km
- Travel time: 50-minute drive.
- How to get to Praia da Adraga from Lisbon: Access by public transport is difficult, so you need a car. From Lisbon take the A5 towards Cascais. At the end of the A5, you take the N9-1 towards Malveira. Once in Malveira da Serra, the N9-1 turns into the N247 between Cascais and Sintra. Follow the direction Colares / Sintra and take the exit at Almoçageme. From here, you just follow the signs Praia da Adraga. There is a parking lot near the restaurant.
Best Beaches near Lisbon – Caparica Coast & Setúbal
Praia do Meco (Meco Beach) – Sesimbra
One of the last beaches of Costa da Caparica, Praia do Meco is known for being a quiet beach nestled by the cliffs, but also, for having a nudism area at the southern end. Perfect for families and non-naturalist adapters at the northern end, you can watch a fantastic sunset here. Note that this is a steep beach and weaves can stack up to 8 feet, making it unsuitable for the average or recreational swimmers (children too!). It’s a long beach, ideal for long walks. At the entrance, you’ll find a restaurant, chair rentals, and some infrastructure.
- GPS location: 38.489548, -9.183188
- How far is Praia do Meco from Lisbon city? 23.5 miles/ 38 km
- Travel time: 45-minute drive or 1h20 by public transport.
- How to get to Praia do Meco from Lisbon by car: From Lisbon, take the A2 towards Setúbal, then the exit to A10 towards Sesimbra/ Azeitao, but stay left to continue in the N378. After 3.7 miles/ 6 km, turn right towards Alfarim (N377), and at its central roundabout take the exit to the right onto Rua da Marconi. Drive to the end of the road and you’ll end up right in front of the ocean. The parking there is inexpensive.
- By public transport: Near the Alcantara-Terra subway station, take the 754 bus towards Setúbal, get off at Vila Nogueira Azeitao. There take the 225 bus towards Aldeia Meco. The whole trip costs around 4-8 euros.
Praia da Mata (Mata Beach) – Caparica Coast
If you want to avoid Cascais and Estoril, but still want a convenient beach, know that Praia da Mata is easily reached from the city by car or public transport.
Popular among young people and families, this beach is ideal for surfing, picnicking, and sunbathing. The water is clear and clean, and overall, this beach is more pleasant than the others near Lisbon city center.
At the promenade, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, and toilets. The structure isn’t the most modern, but the view is great though.
- GPS location: 38.623889, -9.223757
- How far is Praia da Mata from Lisbon city? 12 miles/ 19.5 km
- Travel time: 30-minute drive or 30 minutes by public transport.
- How to get to Praia da Mata from Lisbon: From Alcantara-Terra subway station, take the 153 towards Costa da Caparica, get off at Caparica, then take another bus to Fonte da Telha or walk. Alternatively, take the ferry from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas, then take the 124 or 135 bus to the beach. Or take an Uber from there, it isn’t expensive. (Get 5 euros off your first ride with Uber!)
Praia dos Galapos and Galapinhos (Galapos/ Galapinhos Beaches) – Setúbal
Narrow stretches of white sand, bright blue water, and the Arrábidas Natural Park as a backdrop – what else do you need? These two beaches are hands down among the prettiest beaches in Lisbon District and rightly so because of the crystal-clear water and the untouched landscape of Serra da Arrábida.
Perfect for those who want to see paradisiac beaches and venture on stand up paddle (as it doesn’t have waves). Great place for families, but watch out for the depth as it gets deep pretty fast.
There you can find some small restaurants, but don’t expect much. You can rent their chair and sun umbrella though. I recommend bringing your own picnic basket (plus trash bag!) and some small cash to use the toilet.
Note that Galapinhos Beach was voted Europe’s most beautiful beach in 2017. And, of course, it can get quite busy in the summer.
Where to stay
Stay in Setubal city center and take an Uber or drive to the beach yourself (15 minutes). The Bocage B&B is a simple, centrally located accommodation, ideal for a short stay. Both WiFi and breakfast are included.
- GPS locations: Galapos Beach 38.484491, -8.964010/ Galapinhos Beach 38.483969, -8.968302
- How far is Praia dos Galapos from Lisbon city? 30.5 miles/ 49 km
- Travel time: 1-hour drive or 1h20 minutes by public transport + Uber.
- How to get to Praia dos Galapos from Lisbon by car: From Lisbon, take the A2 towards Setúbal, then the exit to A10 towards Sesimbra/ Azeitao, but before Azeitao, turn right onto Avenida 25 de Abril/ N379 and take left onto N379-1, but stay right stay to continue in this road. Finally, turn right to Portinho da Arrábida, it leads you to the coast. Also, know that you might have to park on the side of the road, so I’d arrive early there to get a spot in the parking lot. If you’re traveling around in the summer, know that the municipality closes the road to these two beaches, so you have to park at Praia dos Coelhos or Praia da Figueirinha (it depends from which side you come, East -described above – or West). From there you can take a free shuttle to Galapinhos or Galapos, but you could also walk. It isn’t far. When you arrive there, hike down some narrow, dirt paths. It takes some effort, but again, it’s worth it!
- By public transport: Near Alcantara-Terra subway station, take the 563 or 561 bus or at Gare do Oriente, take the train towards Setúbal. From there, take an Uber to the beach. It’s not expensive. The trip to Setúbal takes around 1h, and a one-way ticket costs 5 euros.
(Get 5 euros off your first ride with Uber!)
Praia dos Coelhos (Coelho’s Beach) – Setúbal
Have you heard the cliché “hidden gem”? They meant Coelho’s Beach. It might look like an Algarve beach, but it’s in Setúbal. The ridiculously pretty Coelho’s beach will make you want to stay in Portugal for good. Swim in the crystal clear waters and then sunbath for a while in this small beach near Lisbon. The area is super calm (and so is the sea). You will love it!
Bring your picnic basket, sunscreen, and maybe a stand-up paddle too? To get to the beach you have to hike a path in the hill for 10 minutes, but it isn’t super challenging. Although it has a bit difficult access, it’s totally worth it! Ideal for travelers who want a tranquil place to enjoy nature, swim, sunbath, photograph, or venture on SUP.
Coelho’s beach is in the Portinho da Arrábida area, near Galapinhos. A great green region in the Serra da Arrábida.
- GPS locations: 38.481470, -8.969709
- How far is Praia dos Coelhos from Lisbon city? 30.5 miles/ 49 km
- Travel time: 1-hour drive or 1h20 minutes by public transport + Uber.
- How to get to Praia dos Coelhos from Lisbon by car: Follow the same instructions as the Galapos and Galapinho. Coelho’s beach is a little to the west of Galapinho. I’d arrive early there to get a spot in the parking lot. If you’re traveling around in the summer, know that the municipality closes the road, so you have to park in the parking lot before and take the free shuttle to the beginning of the trail down to the beach. You could also walk (~20 min).
- By public transport: Follow the same instructions as the Galapos and Galapinho.
Praia de Tróia (Troia Beach) – Setúbal
Situated on the Tróia Peninsula, this sandy beach near Lisbon is a bit difficult to reach, so I highly recommend you stay for the weekend, otherwise, you’ll travel too long and won’t enjoy much the place.
The coast stretches over 12 mi/ 18 km of sandy, beautiful beaches. Troia beach is the first near the ferry, but take a walk and go explore the other ones, such as Praia do Bico das Lulas and Galé. They are worth your time for sure! It’s a quiet place, ideal for families and couples, but know that it can get crowded as it’s pretty close to Setúbal city.
Saw many people complaining about the bar service though. Hope you have a better experience or consider picnicking. I love picnicking, as you might have noticed.
- GPS locations: 38.491046, -8.908885
- How far is Praia de Tróia from Lisbon city? 33 miles/ 53.5 km
- Travel time: 1h40 drive + ferry or 2h by public transport + Uber + ferry.
- How to get to Praia de Tróia from Lisbon by car: It’s very tiring From Lisbon, take the A2 towards Setúbal. In Palmela-Gare, take the exit to Setúbal A12 and drive until the end of this road. It will lead you to the coast. There take the ferry to Troia (there is one for people on foot and other for cars, etc).
- By public transport: At Gare do Oriente, take the train towards Setúbal. From there, take an Uber to the ferry (or walk for1.6 mi/ 2.2 km) and cross to the peninsula. The ferry takes around 25 minutes to cross and a one-way ticket costs 5 euros.
(Get 5 euros off your first ride with Uber!)
What are your favorite Lisbon beaches?
There are lots of stunning beaches in Lisbon where you can have a pretty good time as well as some beaches near Lisbon District. But now tell me, which ones are your favorites and why? I’d love to hear from you!