9 Best Beaches in and Around Lisbon

With bar-lined shores, secluded bays and bustling surf beaches, the Portuguese capital is one of the best places in the world to soak up the sun.

Praia da Ursa near Sintra, Portugal

4min read

Published 25 April 2024

Flight Centre Author


Kaitlyn Funk



With bar-lined shores, secluded bays and bustling surf beaches, the Portuguese capital is one of the best places in the world to soak up the sun.

When you think of travelling to Portugal, what comes to mind? We’re willing to bet you picture azulejo tiles, trams, fresh seafood and, of course, beautiful beaches — and we don’t blame you! It’s home to some of the most pristine beaches in the world, many of which are located in and around the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

To make it easier for you to have your perfect beach day, we’ve rounded up some of the best shores for you to explore. Whether you prefer to swim, surf or sip a cocktail, there’s a sparkling Lisbon beach calling your name!

Praia de Carcavelos

Carcavelos Beach on the Estoril Coast is one of the most popular beaches around Lisbon — and that’s because it offers something for everyone. Waves for surfing, bodyboarding and other water sports? Check! Nets for beach volleyball and soccer? Check! Umbrellas for shaded naps? Check! Views of the fort of São Julião da Barra? Check!

One of the other things that makes Praia de Carcavelos so busy is that it’s easily accessible via public transport. The 19045 train from Cais do Sodré station leaves approximately every 20 minutes and will get you to the shore in about half an hour’s time. If you can face the crowds, this is one of the Lisbon beaches that should be on your must-visit list.

Costa da Caparica coastline

At first glance, the town of Costa da Caparica appears to only have one (albeit large!) beach, but this 26km stretch is actually divided into more than 20 separate beaches. So, take your pick — or, even better, spend a day migrating from one patch of sand to the next. 

Those that are closest to the town of Costa da Caparica, including Praia da Saúde, Praia da Riviera and Praia do Castelo, have beach bars and surf schools to keep you busy. Beachgoers who want a more relaxed environment, however, should head a little further south to Fonte da Telha. Tucked inside a nature preserve, this former fishing village exudes a ton of charm… and its beach is obviously great, too.

Praia da Ursa

Love the beach, but not a fan of swimming? No problem! Due to the force of the Atlantic Ocean, swimming at Praia da Ursa isn’t recommended. Instead, this is the ideal spot for keeping dry and taking in gorgeous coastal views from the shore — particularly at sunset. 

That said, getting here requires some effort. You have to descend down a steep slope, but the natural beauty (think golden sand, towering sea stacks and crashing waves) is worth the effort. And if the views at Praia da Ursa aren’t enough, you can head over to Cabo da Roca for even more incredible scenery. The famous cape, which just so happens to be the westernmost point of mainland Europe, is within walking distance.

Praia da Adraga

It’s a good thing the whole “wait 30 minutes after eating to swim” thing is just a myth! In addition to being one of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches, Praia da Adraga has one of the best seafood restaurants! Foodies flock to Restaurante da Adraga for fresh octopus salad, heaping bowls of steamed mussels and clams, perfectly grilled mackerel and more. 

You couldn’t ask for a better way to refuel after a long day in the sun. (And no, we won’t judge if you stay long enough to enjoy both lunch and dinner here.)

Parque Natural da Arrábida

Parque Natural da Arrábida doesn’t just give you access to one of Lisbon’s beaches. This 176-square-kilometre park, located between Setúbal and the fishing town of Sesimbra, actually contains several stunning shores. You really should try to visit as many of them as possible (they’re that beautiful!) — but if timing is tight, prioritize making your way to Praia da Figueirinha, Praia dos Galapinhos or Praia de Galápos.

  • Praia da Figueirinha is the largest beach of the three and is ideal for families with young children. It boasts soft white sand, shallow waters, a small café and a lifeguard.
  • Praia dos Galapinhos has not only been called one of the best beaches in Lisbon, but one of the best beaches in Europe. Here, you’ll find turquoise waters surrounded by lush green trees.
  • Praia de Galápos is a secluded bay, making it one of the least crowded spots to soak up the sun in Arrábida Natural Park. Its crystal-clear waters are also great for snorkelling, so remember to bring your gear!

Praia do Ribeira do Cavalo

Are quiet, secluded beaches more your style? Make your way to Praia do Ribeira do Cavalo near Sesimbra (approximately 40km from central Lisbon). It’s only recently that tourists have discovered this beautiful beach destination — and it’s easy to see why locals worked so hard to keep it a secret.

White sands, turquoise waters and craggy cliffs create a pristine landscape that’s worthy of every postcard, screensaver and Instagram feed. Of course, being a remote beach, Praia do Ribeira do Cavalo isn’t easy to get to; you’ll need to climb down (and eventually back up) a steep cliff to get to the shore, so exercise caution.

Note: Be careful not to confuse this with other beautiful beaches of a similar name! There’s a Praia de Ribeira near Cascais that’s much more central and therefore way, way busier than the beach we’re talking about here.

Praia da Conceição

If ecotourism is important to you, look no further than Praia da Conceição in Cascais. This is a Blue Flag-certified beach, meaning it has met specific criteria for water quality, facilities (e.g. lifeguards, washrooms, parking areas), environmental protection and more. And that’s on top of having soft sand and calm waters!

This is an idyllic spot for everyone, from young couples and families to solo adventurers, to spend a beach day at — especially since it’s in close proximity to the Cascais train station and the Centro Historico de Cascais (Old Town) area. You can walk from the beach to both of these landmarks in less than 10 minutes. 

Praia das Maçãs

Situated at the edge of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park where the Colares meets the Atlantic, Praia das Maçãs is part river beach and part ocean beach. This means that it’s suitable for beach lovers of all ages — kids can splash around in the shallow stream while more seasoned swimmers can venture out into the waves. 

It’s not as popular a spot for surfing as the nearby Praia Grande, but it’ll do! Plus, there’s a good variety of cafes, restaurants and beach bars nearby.

Fun fact: Praia das Maçãs (which translates to “Beach of Apples”) got its name because apples often wash up on the beach; the Colares River flows past several orchards. 

Praia da Rainha

Like Praia da Conceição, Praia da Rainha is located smack dab in the middle of Cascais. This means it’s on the smaller side and often very busy — but don’t let that deter you! One of the biggest draws of this beach, aside from its crystal-clear waters, is the Rainha Beach Club.

With a large menu of refreshing cocktails (try the Mango Colada!), toasted sandwiches, salads and pizzas, you can refuel without even having to step foot off the beach. Unless you’re craving pastéis de nata, that is; the beach bar unfortunately doesn’t serve these Portuguese egg tarts. It’s a good thing a NATA Lisboa shop is just a short walk away...


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