The 6 best beaches near Lisbon
Latest update: May 5, 2023
In a nutshell: Lisbon’s beaches
- Lisbon is practically right by the sea, and you can easily get to some stunning beaches from the city center.
- Our top pick for a beach close to Lisbon’s center is Praia de Carcavelos.
- For beautiful beaches surrounded by nature, check out Praia da Ursa, Galapinhos, and Praia do Guincho.
That’s our brief overview of Lisbon’s best beaches. In our article, we’ll introduce you to the 6 most beautiful beaches near Lisbon in more detail. We’ll give you recommendations for beach hotels and show you how to get to the beaches near Lisbon.
Map of the best beaches near Lisbon
To give you a better idea of where the Lisbon beaches are located, we’ve put them on a map for you.
Carcavelos: Beautiful beach very close to the center of Lisbon
Praia de Carcavelos is the closest and easiest to reach beach from the center of Lisbon. And despite being so close to the city, it’s actually quite beautiful!
You can explore the highlights of Lisbon in the morning and then spend the afternoon lounging on the beach.
Carcavelos beach is approximately 1.5 kilometers long and very wide, giving you plenty of space to lay your towel out on the soft sand.
However, it’s often quite windy as the beach is not very sheltered. You can see that in the waves, which attract many surfers all year round. The beach is also a great spot for beginner surfers, and you can book surfing lessons there.
Book a surfing lesson in Carcavelos
Getting to Carcavelos:
From Cais do Sodré station, take the train towards Cascais and get off at Carcavelos station. The trip takes about 20 minutes. From there, it’s about a 15-minute walk to the beach.
The Cais do Sodré station is located below Bairro Alto, directly on the Tagus River. You can reach it by taking the Metro Linha Verde or walking from the city center.
Our hotel recommendation in Carcavelos:
The ABLA Guest House is only a six-minute walk from the beach and offers comfortable rooms and a lovely garden with an outdoor pool.
Praia do Tamariz: Sheltered beach near Cascais
Located just before the beautiful town of Cascais, which is a popular day trip destination from Lisbon, you’ll find the beach Praia do Tamariz.
It’s perfect if you are in Lisbon with children, as it is sheltered in a bay and less windy, making the water calmer. However, the beach is quite small, and in high season, it can quickly get crowded.
You only need to walk five minutes from the train station to reach Praia do Tamariz.
Getting to Praia do Tamariz:
Take the same train from Cais do Sodré as you would to Carcavelos, and after about 40 minutes, get off at Estoril station. From there, it’s a short five-minute walk to the beach.
Our hotel recommendation for Praia do Tamariz:
The luxurious InterContinental Cascais-Estoril hotel is only a few minutes’ walk from the beach and offers sensational views of the sea, a beautiful pool, and spacious rooms.
Guincho Beach: Lisbon's Surfer Paradise
This bay is perfect for windsurfing when there’s very strong wind and less swell. When the waves are higher, the area is great for experienced surfers. It isn’t ideal for beginner surfing though.
Located northwest of Cascais, Praia do Guincho is a beautiful natural beach surrounded by the mountains of Sintra.
Due to the strong winds, this beach is not that great for relaxing, but it’s perfect for taking some beautiful photos of the landscape or going for a walk and feeling the force of the wind and waves.
Getting to Praia do Guincho:
Take the train from Cais do Sodré to Cascais, which takes about 40 minutes. From there, take the M15 bus and travel for about 25 minutes until you reach the Praia do Guincho stop.
Our hotel recommendation for Praia do Guincho:
The 5-star Boutique Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho Relais & Châteaux is located directly on the beach and has a restaurant that has been awarded a Michelin star.
Ursa Beach: Between Dramatic Cliffs
It’s hidden between dramatic cliffs to the west of Sintra. Not many tourists venture here, making it a true secret spot.
You’ll need good footwear to make your way down to the beach and some endurance to get back up, but this little adventure is totally worth it.
Since not many people go down to the beach, you’ll have plenty of peace and quiet to take amazing photos of the impressive cliffs.
By the way: If going down to the beach seems too strenuous, you can still take great photos of the cliffs from above.
Getting to Praia da Ursa:
Take the train to Cascais until the last station (about 40 minutes). Transfer to bus 403 to the Azoia – Chafariz stop (about 30 minutes). Alternatively, take the train from Rossio to Sintra (about 30 minutes), then take the 403 bus to the same stop.
From Azoia – Chafariz, it’s about a 40-minute walk to Praia da Ursa.
As you can see, getting there is not easy. It’s much faster by car. We recommend combining your beach visit with a trip to Sintra or Cascais and staying there overnight.
Our hotel recommendation for Praia da Ursa:
The Chalet Saudade hotel is located directly in Sintra, just a few meters from the bus station. The lovely rooms are tastefully furnished, and the breakfast is world-class.
Costa da Caparica: Local's Beach in Lisbon
On the other side of the Tagus River, near the Cristo Rei statue, there’s a 26-kilometer long coast called Costa da Caparica with several nice sandy beaches.
The further you go from Lisbon to spread out your towel on the beaches of Costa de Caparica, the less touristy it gets. Mostly locals hang out at these beaches in Lisbon.
It’s usually windy at the beaches here, making it perfect for surfing.
Getting to Costa da Caparica:
It’s a 10-minute bus ride from the city center to Alcântara – Av. 24 Julho (lines 714, 728, 732, 760).
Then, about a 5-minute walk to the Lisboa (Alcântara) Avª Ceuta Fte Banco) stop. From there, take line 153 or 161 to the Costa Caparica (Avª Dr Aresta Branco) stop – it takes about 25 minutes.
You can then reach several beach sections of Costa da Caparica in just a few minutes on foot.
Our hotel recommendation for Costa da Caparica:
If you’re looking for a cool hotel, check out Quinta Tagus. It’s a great place for a beach holiday in Lisbon. The hotel is located between Costa Caparica and the Christ statue, with a breathtaking view of Lisbon.
Galapinhos: Crystal clear water in a peaceful natural landscape
Last but not least, we want to show you the beach that is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, but also won the title of best beach in Europe by the European Best Destinations portal in 2017: Galapinhos.
It is located south of Lisbon, near the town of Setúbal in the Arrábida Natural Park.
Galapinhos is situated in a bay, which is why the water is usually calm and crystal clear, making it perfect for snorkeling.
The only catch: Without a car, this beach near Lisbon is not that easy to reach.
Getting to Galapinhos beach:
From Rossio, take the train to Sintra and get off at Campolide after about three minutes. There you take the train towards Setúbal (travel time about 50 minutes).
In Setúbal at the train station, get off and take the bus Linha 4472 to Praia da Galapinhos. From there, several footpaths lead down to the beach, all of which are easily walkable if you are sure-footed.
Our hotel recommendation for Galapinhos:
We recommend spending at least one night in Setúbal, as you will then have enough time to get to the beach and explore the beautiful Arrábida Natural Park. For this, we recommend the Rio Art Hotel – directly by the sea in Setúbal.
General tips for a beach vacation in Lisbon
Now that you know about the most beautiful beaches around Lisbon, we’ll give you some important tips to prepare you for your beach vacation.
Swimming in the sea near Lisbon: Water temperature
We haven’t mentioned it yet, but be prepared that the sea near Lisbon is quite cold. It’s wonderfully refreshing for a quick dip, but swimming for a long time on the west coast of Portugal is usually not an option.
The warmest months are August and September with temperatures of around 19°C. The average temperature throughout the year is 17°C. In winter, the water temperature drops to around 14°C.
Public transportation to Lisbon’s beaches
You can easily reach the beaches near the city with public transportation. It’s a bit more complicated to get to the beaches that are located farther away amidst nature, but not impossible.
Where to stay in Lisbon
If you haven’t booked your accommodation for your Lisbon vacation yet, check out our hotel articles for Lisbon.
Do you know any other beautiful beaches near Lisbon?
These were our tips for the most beautiful beaches around Lisbon. Have you been to the sea near Lisbon and can recommend another beach? Please leave us a comment!