Best Lisbon Beaches

Lisbon is the European capital with the most spectacular beaches nearby.

Endlessly long, extremely wide, often natural or even wild Atlantic beaches are definitely some of the best in Europe. All the coastline facing west offers you the perfect dreamlike sunsets melting with the ocean – a truly romantic experience you’ll never forget.

Moreover, Portugal is a paradise for surfers, kitesurfers and windsurfers – and seeing hundreds of them in action is a real spectacle.

Lisbon is also one of the absolutely most sunny places in Europe, so get your swimming suit ready!

Visitors coming to Lisbon for the first time often assume that the city is located by the ocean. Not really! What you see on the map is the estuary of the Tagus (Tejo) river. The good news is that there are numerous attractive beaches close to Lisbon – and it’s easy to get there.

Here is a quick guide to choose the best Lisbon beach for your needs:

  • Large Truly Atlantic Beaches: Costa da Caparica (1), Praia de São João da Caparica (2)
  • The Most Spectacular Beach & Lagoon: Lagoa de Albufeira (3)
  • The Closest Beaches from Lisbon: Praia de Carcavelos (4), Praia de Tamariz (5)
  • Surfers’ and Kitesurfers’ Paradise: Guincho (6) and Costa da Caparica (1)
  • Best holiday resort towns nearby Lisbon: Cascais, Estoril, Sesimbra

1. Costa da Caparica beaches

The Widest Truly Atlantic Beaches

Costa da Caparica offers extremely pleasant beaches quite easy to get to.

Definitely a truly Atlantic experience nearest to Lisbon. It’s a 15 km-long strand of the beach divided by beautiful piers in between them. These beaches offer anything you want: some are equipped with umbrellas and sun beds, others are fully free, on some you can play beach volley, but mostly – you can rent a surf board and hit the waves! Surfing is extremely popular in Portugal, with good conditions both for beginners and advanced surfers.

Highlights: Sunset, Bars & restaurants by the ocean, Surfers

How to get there: Bus TST 161 from Lisbon from the bus stop at Avenida Praça Manuel Da Nóbrega (Praça Do Areeiro – station of green metro line) to the bus stop Costa Da Caparica (Mercado).

From Costa da Caparica to Lisbon Take the bus from the bus station in Avenida Dom Sebastião, the main road along the edge of Costa da Caparica, with the the entrance to the station from Rua Padre Mario Lopes street.

2 buses every hour Monday-Sunday between 8:00-20:00.

Price of the ticket Lisbon-Caparica is €3.20 for a single ticket which is purchased directly from the driver.

You’ll love:

  • Crossing the 25 April Bridge with its breathtaking view of Lisbon from the height – a memorable experience!
  • Along the beach there is a long promenade with a comfortable boardwalk, great for walking, rollerblades, running, cycling, or just sitting by the ocean.
  • Lovely long stone piers perfect for a walk, for a great photo or for watching surfers from close-by: there are always hundreds of them and it is a really cool spectacle!
  • It’s an excellent place to have a nice drink in one of numerous bars – again watching surfers or gazing at the ocean.
  • In the evening it gives you the opportunity to have an unforgettable romantic dinner watching the beautiful sunset from one of many seafood restaurants.

2. Praia de São João da Caparica

The Widest Truly Atlantic Beaches

Highlights: Wide and spacious, so usually not crowded, Sunset, Beautiful restaurants by the ocean

How to get there: By car (by public transport it’s rather complicated)

You’ll love:

  • Crossing the 25 April Bridge with its breathtaking view of Lisbon from the height – a memorable experience!
  • This beautiful beach is surrounded by nature: pretty sand dunes and a pine forest behind.
  • It’s an excellent place to have a nice drink in one of comfortable chic bars with a view – watching windsurfers or just admiring the ocean.
  • In the evening it gives you the opportunity to have an unforgettable romantic dinner watching the beautiful sunset from one of a few pretty restaurants.

3. Lagoa de Albufeira

The Most Spectacular Beach & Lagoon

Long, wide, wild beaches near the pretty town of Sesimbra.

Highlights: Perfectly beautiful lagoon (with warm water, very rare in this part of Atlantic!), with infinitely wide, wild beach with sand dunes and view at cliffs and a lighthouse. Absolutely stunning!

It’s an extremely romantic spot for a couple for a perfect quiet evening with the sunset.

How to get there: By car. This gem is not very easy to find and parking may be difficult, but it’s certainly worth the effort!

You’ll love:

  • The Lagoa de Albufeira lagoon and its sandy “islands” constantly changing their shapes and sizes.
  • The warmest water in this part of Portugal – the lagoon is very shallow (great for children), so it warms up quickly – it’s very pleasant to swim here.
  • The perfect views of endless sand – it’s really impressive!
  • There is a nice beach bar and two restaurants a bit closer to the lake for a nice dinner or drink.

4. Carcavelos

The Closest Beaches from Lisbon

Carcavelos is a nice resort just out of Lisbon.

Very easy and quick arrival by frequent and cheap train, with pleasant small towns along the way.

Definitely recommended for a short beach getaway for just a few hours, with an easy return to the centre of Lisbon.

Highlights: Fort of São Julião da Barra – you can’t visit it (it’s owned by the Portuguese army), but it makes a beautiful background to the beach – and it’ll look great on your photos!

Things to do: 1.5 km of soft sand beach, surf rental, SUP (stand up paddle) rental, beach volley, many events throughout summer, restaurants, bars, cafes, nice promenade

How to get from Lisbon to Carcavelos: By train

Station: Lisbon, Cais do Sodré train station (a nice walk from Praça do Comércio or the last stop of the green metro line).

The frequent trains run every 15-20 mins from early morning till 1:30 in the night.

A journey to Carcavelos station will take only about 20 minutes.

Price of the ticket: super cheap, only €1.90 adult (€0.95 child) for a single ticket (return ticket €3.80 adult; €1.90 child)

The train ticket is charged to the reusable “Viva Viagem” card, used for all the public transport in Lisbon, plus initial cost for the card €0.50 (keep the card and reuse it).

Other options: 24-hour unlimited train ticket for €6.00 for the Sintra railway and travel from Carcavelos to Cascais

“Beach Pass”, 7-day unlimited ticket for the Lisbon-Cascais railway for €12. Available  from the 20th May to the 30th September.

About Praia de Carcavelos beach:

You’ll love:

  • The view from the train: a glimpse on the famous 25 April Bridge, Torre de Belem, the point where the estuary of the Tagus river meats the ocean, and a series of pretty historical towns with elegant villas and palaces and a very pretty lighthouse Bugio.
  • Beach with a view at a fort (Carcavelos).
  • Pleasant promenade to walk along the beaches.
  • Nice bars to cool down.

You won’t love:

  • The crowds – these beaches are usually very crowded in the summer (as all the beaches along the Lisbon-Cascais train line).

5. Praia de Tamariz – Estoril

The Closest Beaches from Lisbon

Highlights: Forte da Cruz – a charming medieval-style faux castle.

Things to do: rockpool for kids, restaurants, bars, cafes, nice promenade, 15 mins walk along the ocean to beautiful town of Cascais.

How to get from Lisbon to Tamariz beach (Estoril): By train

Station: Lisbon, Cais do Sodré train station (a nice walk from Praça do Comércio or the last stop of the green metro line).

The frequent trains run every 15-20 mins from early morning till 1:30 in the night.

A journey to Estoril station will take only about 25 minutes.

Price of the ticket: super cheap, only €2.25 for a single ticket, €4.50 return ticket.

The train ticket is charged to the reusable “Viva Viagem” card, used for all the public transport in Lisbon, plus initial cost for the card €0.50 (keep the card and reuse it).

Other options: 24-hour unlimited train ticket for €6.00 for the Sintra railway that lets you travel also from Estoril to beautiful resort of Cascais, well worth a visit.

“Beach Pass”, 7-day unlimited ticket for the Lisbon-Cascais railway for €12. Available  from the 20th May to the 30th September.

About Praia de Tamariz beach:

You’ll love:

  • The view from the train: a glimpse on the famous 25 April Bridge, Torre de Belem, the point where the estuary of the Tagus river meats the ocean, and a series of pretty historical towns with elegant villas and palaces and a very pretty lighthouse Bugio.
  • Beach with a view at a castle (Tamariz).
  • Pleasant promenade to walk along the beaches.
  • Nice bars to cool down.

You won’t love:

  • The crowds – these beaches are usually very crowded in the summer (as all the beaches along the Lisbon-Cascais train line).

6. Guincho (Praia Grande)

Surfers’, kitesurfers’ and windsurfers’ Paradise – even if you are not into these sports, watching them is quite amazing!

Highlights: Wild beach, Romantic Sunset

How to get there: By car

You’ll love:

  • Scenic sand dunes, view at the cliffs, beauty of the surroundings.
  • A fascinating spectacle of surfers, kitesurfers and windsurfers showing off their skills – harsh ocean conditions of the bay are not for faint-hearted, only advanced surfers have courage to hit the waves here!
  • Perfect sunset by the ocean – it’s a very romantic spot for a couple.
  • There is a surf/kitesurf/windsurf rental shop and a nice bar, so you can grab a bite or a drink with a perfect view.

General Tips about Lisbon beaches

  • Water Temperature

Many people are surprised that the water in this part of the Atlantic ocean is always cold, including the summertime. The range of temperature is somewhere between cold, very cold and freezing, depending of the tides, so don’t expect too much – on average the water is around 18°C or less. A good idea is to invest in a wetsuit (you know, the “surfer’s suit” – you can find a good choice at reasonable prices for example in Decathlon in Lisbon), which will keep you isolated from the cold. For those of you planning on doing some water sport, it’s a must. It is also possible to rent a wetsuit from a surf rental service.

  • Best Period to Visit

The weather in Lisbon is mostly sunny throughout the year. If you plan sunbathing and spending time on the beach, visit Lisbon any time between May and (the end of) September. July and August are the most crowded months.

  • Don’t Take Risk with the Ocean!

Remember that the ocean is powerful: its waves can easily overthrow you, so be careful while swimming or surfing/windsurfing. Be aware of the underwater rocks and currents. If you are not a good swimmer, swim only on protected beaches.

I hope this guide will help you to make the most of your trip to Lisbon. Portuguese beaches are truly amazing!

 

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