Lisbon is a renowned city-break destination, famed for its ageless streets and authenticity; its rattling yellow trams, painted terraces, and breath-taking views of the city’s seven hills.
Visitors are often enticed by its stunning architecture, local delicacies, arts and cultural scenes, and vibrant nightlife. With so much to offer as a bustling metropolis, the beautiful beaches in and around the city often go under the radar.
Another reason for this is that many tourists in search of a Portugal beach holiday naturally gravitate to the Algarve—another stunning seafront location.
But with effective transport links to some of the finest beaches in Europe, and 290 days of sunshine per year, Lisbon makes a strong rival and has coastal spots for beach-lovers of all kinds.
Praia de Carcavelos, Cascais
Situated on the famous coast of Cascais, Praia de Carcavelos is a beloved beach destination, famed for its white-gold sands that stretch alongside a 1.5km promenade. It is 40 minutes from Lisbon by car, and regular trains run from Cais do Sodré, the capital’s main station.
Due to its accessibility, Praia de Carcavelos is one of Lisbon’s most popular beaches; this makes for a lively yet relaxed atmosphere and great beach day out.
It is a great spot for sporting activities, with regular volleyball and football competitions taking place throughout the summer. Strong southern winds also attract surfing fanatics from across the globe.
Its central location means there are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops just a stone’s-throw away.
São Julião da Barra Fort, which dates back to the 16th century, peers down onto the beach and adds an element of historic charm to his modern-day coastal hotspot.
The Costa da Caparica coast
Regular buses from Lisbon’s city centre run to Costa da Caparica, one of the region’s most popular seaside towns. Despite being a largely local area, this beach becomes very popular with tourists during the summer. Tourists are drawn to its expansive coastline, just shy of 30km long, as well as its clean sand and waters.
Powerful Atlantic waves make the Costa da Caparica coast another popular surfing destination.
The cliffs that line the coast of Costa da Caparica are rich in fossils, and lie in the nature reserve of “Arriba Fóssil”. A number of beaches can be found along this magnificent stretch of sand, each with their own distinct feel—but all held together by their breath-taking natural beauty. You might like to journey south to Praia Fonte da Telha, a particularly stunning spot, with sandstone cliffs and Eucalyptus trees.
Praia do Tamariz, Estoril
Around 25k west of the capital, Estoril is another adored coastal town, home to one of Lisbon’s best beaches.
The area attracts beach-goers looking for a bit of sophisticated glamour. Estoril is also thought to be the birthplace of Ian Fleming’s James Bond character, and was the filming location for the 1969 film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
It has been graced by royalty since the early 20th century when monarchs once retreated to this sunny spot on the capital’s coast. To the east of Tamariz beach, you’ll see an impressive castle dating back to the 17th century, which is thought to have been owned by the Monaco royal family.
With historic ties to high society, Tamariz became known as “Elegant Beach”, and has certainly retained a relaxed and stylish feel to it. This attracts a large number of visitors from Lisbon, where you are able to get a direct 35-minute train from Cais do Sodré station.
Praia da Ursa, Sintra
Now this is one for the nature-lovers of the world. Situated in Arrábida Natural Park, Praia da Ursa is rural, rugged and will take your breath away.
It is a 45-minute drive from Lisbon, and then an hour’s hike through the national park. Although not very easily accessible, this sandy cove still attracts a substantial number of visitors, and is especially popular with hikers.
That said, Praia da Ursa still feels untouched by civilisation, making it undoubtably one of the best beaches near Lisbon. Because it hasn’t been commercialised, there are no shops, restaurants or bars, so remember to pack a picnic for your travels.
A picture of wild natural beauty, this hidden gem is definitely worth the hike.
Love Lisbon? Discover more in our destination guide,
and contact us today to secure your perfect property.