Published on February 21st, 2015 | by Tamsin0
The Beaches of Lisbon
And as beach culture is a big part of Lisbon life, no trip to the city would be complete without a visit to one of its many seaside spots.
If you’ve hired a car, there are an enormous variety of beaches to choose from when it comes to topping up the tan, but as most visitors to the city come for a weekend break sans automobile, we’ll start with the best beaches accessible by public transport.
Even if the weather isn’t playing ball, the pretty fishing town of Cascais is well worth a visit.
The train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre station takes around 40 minutes to meander its way along the coast to Cascais, and costs just €1.80 for the entire trip.
In the town itself, you’ve got a choice of beaches with the Fishermen’s beach in the centre of Cascais probably the easiest to spot.
With plenty of great restaurants, bars and shops, you can easily spend a day soaking up the atmosphere, as well the sun, in Cascais, before jumping on the train and heading back to Lisbon for some night time fun.
A couple of train stops before Cascais you’ll find the popular resort of Estoril. Linked to its neighbour via a seaside promenade, Estoril is a favourite beach spot for locals and tourists alike.
On the walk between Cascais and Estoril you’ll find plenty of beaches and bars, so just pick your favourite, roll out your towel and enjoy.
If you prefer you beaches a bit more rugged, one of the best spots to head for is Guincho, a beautiful, dune-backed beach about 6km west of Cascais.
Though there is a bus that takes visitors from Cascais train station to Guincho, the most enjoyable way to get there is to hire a bike from the town and cycle along the coastal bike path to the beach.
Popular with surfers, Guincho faces directly west and can get very windy, even on days that feel relatively calm in more sheltered spots.
Located around half way between Lisbon and Cascais, Carcavelos is a little less touristy than the better-known spots, though it still gets busy on sunny weekends and after work.
Boasting a great choice of bars, beach volley ball and beach football, the medium-sized, consistent waves also make Carcavelos the perfect place to go if you want to have a go at surfing or stand up paddle boarding.
For those who really want to get away from it all, one of the most beautiful stretches of coast close to Lisbon is the Costa Caparica.
Located across the estuary from the main part of the city, the Costa Caparica stretches for 30km and forms one of the longest continuous beaches in Portugal.
Though you can jump on a bus from the city to Caparica, the best way to get there is to hire a bike and catch the ferry from Belem to Trafaria. The ferry coasts around €1.15 and takes around 30 minutes to reach the opposite bank.
From Trafaria an easy to follow bike path leads you to the start of the beaches or if you’re on foot, you can jump on a bus from here to the seaside.
The beaches close to Trafaria are all a little built up, though if you’re a fan of beach bars, promenades and seaside snacks they’ll be perfect. To find the best beaches you’ll need to cycle through the apartment blocks and caravan parks into the more rural part of the region.
Once past the built-up areas, all the beaches are pretty nice, offering sand dunes, relaxed beach bars, good surfing and a lot of sunshine.
If you’ve got a little more time in Lisbon or just feel a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of beautiful beaches a little further afield to explore.
For those with their own transportation, head for the beaches directly north of Guincho. Though they can all be a little windswept, all these beaches are ruggedly beautiful and most have picturesque villages and restaurants close by.
One of the best is the Praia Adraga, though any little cove or bay you find is likely to be a winner.
Further south of Lisbon, you’ll find Sessimbra, Setubal and the Troia Peninsular, all of which boast great sandy beaches and plenty of attractions.
Though the water may not be as warm as the Algarve, the Lisbon coast really does have some great sunbathing and swimming spots. So if you’re planning a city break to this ancient capital, make sure you fit a few trips to the seaside into your itinerary.