Where are the best beaches around Lisbon, Portugal? How to get there? Which ones are less crowded? It is all in this beach guide!
There’s a reason why Lisbon is trendy. The crazy amount of sunshine hours, the loads of historically rich sights and attractions and the unique things to do to have make it a top-notch travel bucket list destination.
Another plus: you don’t need to go far from Lisbon to experience some of the most exciting beach landscapes. I’ve lived in Lisbon for 9 years and as a very picky sun seeker, I accumulated some expertise on how to get around and where to go to escape the crowds.
Here are my suggestions for the best Lisbon beaches (in portuguese: praias!) you can go on a day trip. In the end, I added some recommendations as to where NOT to go too. Enjoy the sun! 🌞
The Best Lisbon Beaches On A Map
To make your life easier, I’ve put all the best beaches I’ve visited in this map. The first thing you should note is that there aren’t any good quality beaches in Lisbon per se. They’re all scattered around Lisbon in different regions:
Let’s go into detail for these now!
1Beaches in Sintra
Sintra beaches are some of the best! All of them are near the stunning Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, which means they are pretty much unspoilt.
- Praia Grande
- Praia da Adraga
- Praia das Maçãs
- Praia da Ursa
- Praia do Magoito
Best beach in Sintra
Remember this name: Adraga. For me, it’s the best beach around! Located in the bottom of a valley, it stands out as an hidden gem enclosed in the green hills. It doesn’t get as crowded as its neighbours Praia das Maçãs and Praia Grande and it is decorated with huge rocks and caves that only add to is natural beauty.
Parking is available but it can get crazy during summer weekends. Oh – and don’t miss the sunset!
- How far is it? It takes roughly 40 minutes to get there from Lisbon by car.
- Public transport easily available?: No.
- Tip: Take a walk to the south side of the Adraga beach where you will find the Pedra de Alvidrar, a huge rock formation which drops almost vertically into the sea.
2Beaches in Cascais
The beaches in Cascais and Estoril are the easier ones to get to from center Lisbon.
Because they are still considered urban beaches, they tend to be smaller and more crowded. They still hold the Blue Flag atesting water and sand quality, so it’s a safe place for a beach day!
- Praia de São Pedro do Estoril
- Praia das Avencas
- Praia da Torre
- Praia do Tamariz
- Praia da Rainha
Best beach in Cascais
Quite frankly, I only resort to beaches in Cascais/Estoril in case of an extreme tanning emergency and/or when I can’t persuade anyone to go elsewhere. In any case, the more interesting options in this area is Praia de São Pedro do Estoril. It’s a small beach backed by cliffs with a shoreline of 330m that gets even smaller during high tide!
Praia das Avencas is also enjoyable and fun, despite the very rocky ocean bottom during low tide. Can be fun for some seaside explorations though!
- How far is it? It takes roughly 15/20 minutes to get there from Lisbon by car.
- Public transport easily available?: Yes. Approximately every 20 min from Cais do Sodré station there is a train heading to Cascais that stops near all of these beaches.
- Tip: Consider going only to the beaches east from Carcavelos. While there are quite a few other beaches between Lisbon and Carcavelos, they consistently fail to pass water and sand quality standards.
3Beaches in Margem Sul
Located in the south margin of river Tejo, this is undoubtely the favorite destination of day trippers from Lisbon.
Considering a value-for-distance criterion, these would probably be the best beaches around Lisbon.
The area known as Costa da Caparica is a gigantic strip of sand with 15km of beaches to choose from. As a rule of thumb, the further south you head, the more likely you are to find less crowded beaches as well as better beach bars.
- Praia da Mata
- Praia Morena
- Praia da Fonte da Telha
- Praia do Meco
- Praia da Sereia
Favorite beach in Margem Sul
It’s hard to pick a favorite here. My favorite would probably be Praia do Meco.
Known since the 1970s as a naturist/nudist paradise, the beaches near Meco have gone more mainstream, but still didn’t lose its appeal as a getaway with perks such as sand space. The cliffs surrounding the beaches even have waterfalls for indulging in fun mud baths. A natural spa!
The oceanside Bar do Peixe, is popular even outside bathing season and it has great seafood.
- How far is it? Without traffic, it takes roughly 15/20 minutes to get there from center Lisbon by car.
- Public transport easily available?: Yes. There are buses to Caparica departing from Areeiro and Praça de Espanha. You could do a combination of a bus plus a mini-train that runs along the beaches during the summer months.
- Tip: Traffic is a pain to get here. Avoid going around lunch time (11-15h) on weekends or you’re likely to get stuck before, during or right after crossing 25 de Abril bridge. Alternatively, use the Vasco da Gama bridge.
4Beaches in Arrábida
I have only been a handful of times to the beaches in the Arrábida coast, but it was more than enough to understand how stunning this area is. This scenic bay with the Arrábida Natural Park as the backdrop nests several beaches with crystal-clear waters:
- Praia dos Galapinhos
- Praia dos Galapos
- Portinho da Arrábida
- Praia da Figueirinha
- Praia dos Coelhos
Favorite beach in Arrábida
Most people praise the beach at Portinho da Arrábida, but I personally love Praia de Galapinhos. Maybe it’s the 15min hike to get there that gives it a more secluded vibe. Getting there, the contrast between the blue of the waters, the white of the sand and the green of the hills is just amazing!
- How far is it? It takes you at least 45/50 minutes to get to these beaches by car.
- Public transport easily available?: Technically, you hop on a Fertagus train to Setúbal. From there, a bus service connects you to Setúbal to the beaches in Arrábida. This is likely to take more than an hour though.
- Tip: To limit the number of people in this protected region, cars aren’t allowed by the beaches between June 15 – September 15. You’ll have to park in one of two parking lots: one just before Praia da Figueirinha, and the other is above Praia do Creiro. There is a TST bus #722 linking the parking lot and the beaches.
5Beaches in Sesimbra
Talk about seaside towns! Right in the heart of Sesimbra, there are two of them, divided by a 17th old century fort. A to-go destination among Lisboners’ families, beaches in Sesimbra boast calm and pristine waters.
In fact, beaches only compete with restaurants here. The town is known for its great seafood that attracts lots of day trippers from Lisbon, so make sure you stay for dinner!
- Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo
- Praia do Ouro (Sesimbra)
- Praia da Califórnia (Sesimbra)
Favorite beach in Sesimbra
I’ll go ahead and say it: this is probably one of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches. A hidden secret until very recently, Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo is truly something out of a postcard. Keep in mind you’ll need to follow a steep 20-min trail down the cliff to get there and there aren’t any facilities there.
- How far is it? It takes you at least 50 minutes to get to Sesimbra.
- Public transport easily available?: Transportes Sul do Tejo has a bus connecting Lisbon (Sete Rios) and Sesimbra.
- Tip: The problem here is parking. There are a few parking lots in the city, but come too late on weekends and you’ll be sure to have a hard time finding a spot.
6Beaches in Comporta
Comporta as seen above by my drone.
When I discovered Comporta I fell in love. Great food, an unique natural scenery of rice fields and a river estuary and of course, top-notch beaches with clear waters will make you fall in love too.
No wonder if has been discovered by the elite. Famous actors, monarchs, and politicians have turned Comporta into an unlikely luxury getaway village. While it may be a stretch to find cheap accommodation, but is definitely worth it to do it as a day trip.
- Praia da Comporta
- Praia do Carvalhal
- Praia do Pego
- Praia de Tróia-Mar
Favorite beach in Comporta
Honestly, you can’t go wrong here with any of the side-by-side Praia do Carvalhal, Praia do Pego, or Praia da Comporta. Pick a square meter of sand to put your towel on and you’re already on your way to a perfect summer getaway.
- How far is it? Comporta is a 1h30 drive away from Lisbon.
- Public transport easily available?: No.
- Tip: Tróia peninsula is a popular beach getaway for the more wealthy. If you decide to head there, bring everything you need and avoid the super expensive supermarkets.
7Beaches in Oeste region
Praia de Santa Rita in Torres Vedras.
The Oeste (West) region goes located north from Lisbon comprises cliffs and massive Atlantic beaches. It may take some luck for the weather to cooperate here – sunny, windless days are rare – but when it does happen, these are truly fantastic places to be on a beach day.
- Praia dos Pescadores (Ericeira)
- Praia de Santa Cruz
- Praia de Santa Rita
- Praia Azul
- Praia da Foz do Arelho
- Praia de Ribeira D’Ilhas
- How far is it? Roughly 30-40 minutes from Lisbon.
- Public transport easily available?: There are frequent buses to Ericeira from Lisbon (Campo Grande), but that’s pretty much it.
- Tip: This area is usually very windy, making it particularly interesting if you’re into surfing or windsurfing.
The best things to do in Lisbon
Enjoy Lisbon to the fullest.
Beaches I do NOT recommend near Lisbon
As you may expect, the closer you are to Lisbon, the more your beach experience will likely be impaired. The first few beaches in Costa da Caparica (e.g. Praia de São João) will be too crowded and same happens with most of the beaches in Estoril and Cascais. If you hop on the train in Cais do Sodré towards Cascais there is an entire coast of beaches to explore. Locals from all the Lisbon suburbs – Amadora, Sintra and Oeiras – all converge here. Despite the huge offer of restaurants, surf shops, and bars available, these aren’t definitely the best beaches you can find near Lisbon.
Praia de Carcavelos is one of the most popular beaches near Lisbon. From my experience, this beach can get way too much crowded during summertime and the water and sand are usually far from minimum quality standards. It can get noisy, packed, and dirty fast. I haven’t been there in years and I don’t recommend you go here.
Avoid: The northern section of Costa da Caparica!
In Margem Sul, try to avoid the beaches nearest to the river Tejo like Praia da Cova do Vapor and Praia de São João. Just go a bit further down and the quality of the sand and water will be considerably higher.
Book your hotel in Lisbon as soon as possible for the best deals!
I’ve made the hard work for you.
This is a pre-filtered list of hotels in the best areas to stay in Lisbon.
The Lisbon beach experience
Considering this is an European capital, the offer of beaches in Lisbon is pretty impressive. There are plenty of stunning beaches around to experience a great beach day trip or weekend.
I highly recommend you rent a car to go to these beaches to minimize the time lost in public transportation, which to be honest is not great in the Lisbon suburbs.
It is definitely worthwhile to go farther away from the city and explore the wildest Atlantic beaches. Use the map I’ve shared with you in the beginning as a reference.
If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon, find some more useful travel information below. And let me know about any beaches I’m missing!
Going to Lisbon – Essential things to know
✈ Flying to Lisbon
You can now fly to Lisbon virtually from all the major airports in Europe. If you are flying from the rest of the world, you might want to check TAP Portugal (US, South America and Africa) or Azores Airlines (US).
To choose the best price and check my options in terms of airlines, I usually use Skyscanner.
💰 Travel packages for Lisbon, Portugal
If you’re coming from the United States, take a look at Azores Getaways. They have some flight + hotel + transfers deals for Lisbon, like this 6-night one, starting from 1149USD.
🌞 Best time to go to Lisbon
Shoulder season has the best value-for-money relation in Europe – Portugal is no exception. While summers are long and you can expect good weather anywhere between May and October, make sure you avoid August unless you have a thing for packed baches.
My travel tips valid anywhere
- 🏨 To find the best deals and book your stay with free cancellation, I recommend Booking.com (from my experience, often cheaper than Airbnb)
- 🚗 Always compare car rental prices before you book anything (and if possible use local rental shops!).
- ☑️ Travel insurance is a must these days – don’t overlook it! I recommend Allianz or Safety Wing if you’re always on the go.
- 💰 Use Revolut to save in exchange rates and payments abroad; it’s a game-changer!
- ⚙️ Amazon has the largest offer in travel gear, clothing, and accessories – check my Travel Store
- ✈️ Are you dealing with a delayed or cancelled flight? Airhelp may help you get a compensation for it.
Have you been to any of the Lisbon beaches? Which was your favorite beach in Lisbon?
50 comments 💬
Do you love beaches in Algarve I’m go to Lisbon 6 days then train to Lagos was that a good choice
Is 6 days Lagos to long it’s in May not hot hot but mild
Then I come back to Lisbon
While in Lisbon want to go to
Sintra of course and obidos
And all interesting stuff in Lisbon
Alfama Graça Belém Baixa what are your thoughts is Algarve worth it. The beach’s near Lisbon are easier but seem more like beach’s I can find elsewear
If you’re in Algarve, then there’s really no point in going to Lisbon for the beaches
We are traveling soon to Lisbon. We will not have a car and will thus rely on public transport. We will only have 1 day for the beach. Arrábida Looks like your fav… is it easy to get to with public transportation? If not, which would you suggest. We are a couple traveling with no kids so nudity wouldn’t scare us off. We just want a beautiful beach that isn’t packed.
It isn’t easy to get from public transportation unfortunately. I recommend hiring a car to get there.
This is a great guide! I will be traveling alone late September and will have 3 nights to myself before having to stay in Lisbon’s city center for a meeting. I prefer to stay somewhere quiet those 3 nights where there is views/access to the beach. I would prefer not to rent a car but I can if I have to. Do you have a recommendation of area/hotel? Thanks!
Unfortunately, Lisbon’s city center doesn’t have beaches. I can recommend staying in Cascais or Estoril, it’s the closest you can get!
I’m so pleased I found your brilliant site! We are visiting Lisbon in October with another family. We have children or varying ages, from 5 yrs up to teenagers & looking to stay somewhere which will pretty much cater for everyone, including us adults too. We would be looking to rent a villa with heated pool – Is there a particular location(s) you can recommend with a beautiful beach (walking distance ideally but we plan to rent a car) and also has a few nice restaurants/bar & shops. It would be nice not to have to get in the car everytime we wanted to go anywhere….we unfortunately did that on our last holiday! Any suggestions will be most welcome.
Well not sure about the heated pool – that’s very specific – but I’d look for Aldeia do Meco, great little spot with amazing food.
Have you already booked your holliday?
I think I can help you…
I am a Lisbon’s native and I am working with a company that runs more than 100 propertys in south of Lisbon, by a long stretch of wonderfull golden sanded beaches.
Great list, congratulations! I am from Lisbon and could not agree more with you. I would just add Praia da Galé and Praia da Aberta Nova to your list (both south of Comporta – which nowadays atracts too many “wannabee rich and famous crowds”…From Comporta you can actually walk to Galé…you will recognise it’s impressive rock formations). Para da Ursa near Cabo da Roca is also stunning!
Galé is a top-notch beach too! Unfortunately I don’t know Praia da Aberta Nova, but now you made me curious 😉
Great site and info. Thank you!
I am coming to Portugal for 8 days over late June/early July. Looking to do a few days each of beach, Lisbon, and Porto.
Of the beaches within 60-90 minutes of Lisbon, what are the best ones that also have options for places to stay on the beach(hotel, villa, condo, home, etc..)? Thanks!
I’d say the best would be Estoril/Cascais or Costa da Caparica. Some stuff in Sintra too.
Thank you so much for this article – I’m finding your website very helpful! I’m travelling to Lisbon between Nov 16-22 and although I know tanning time is definitely over by November I still want to visit the beaches just to see their beauty. I’m thinking my favourite on your list is Arrabida (plus I want to visit the park also). Would you recommend driving to Arrabida in November just to see and photograph the beach? Or is it closed at this time?
The beach will be open all year round, hope you had good time with the weather though!
Hi. Really helpful website thanks. We are planning to spend 4 days in Lisbon next summer (it has to be August as we have kids aged 11 and 13). We want to explore the city and coast but really unsure whether to stay in the city or at the coast . What would you suggest? If we stay in city we won’t hire car. Can we access these beaches easily by public transport? Or would we better to stay at coast and hire car to explore then hop on public transport to get into city? Help please!
The beaches from Estoril/Cascais are easily accessible. The ones from Costa da Caparica there’s a bus running, but it takes 30-40 minutes. For the remaining ones there’s no public transport options.
Great article! We are staying in Lisbon 9 days and we want to visit some of the beaches also. We don’t know how to swim. I guess this is an important factor :). So, we’ve been to Praia de São Pedro do Estoril and it was very rocky. Where do you recommend to go?
If you don’t know how to swim, pretty much all the beaches on the list will be a problem because they’re wild Atlantic beaches.
I’d try Arrábida though, just because they have a bit more natural protection from cliffs.
This blog is great! I am planning a last-minute trip to Portugal at the end of August and would love to visit a beach for a day or two. I am not renting a car (traveling solo) and was looking at your blog to see if there was a beautiful beach closer than going all the way down to Algarve but I am not sure which of these I can get to via bus or train. Comporta or Arrábida look amazing! Any suggestions? Or should I just squeeze in the train ride to Algarve?? Thank you!!
Not sure how long are you staying, but a train to Algarve seems a bit too much.
You can do Arrábida by public transport although it’s tricky. Costa da Caparica is easier.
Hi. We love your site. We are planning to go to Lisbon in mid September this year. Since we have a baby and an active toddler we would like to base ourselves at a nice beach and do day trips into Lisbon rather than staying in the city. Which beach/area would you recommend? Ideally kid-friendly beach (even though I’m a surfer, so a combination of waves with kid friendly areas of the beach would be amazing), and an area that has restaurants and bars so we don’t need to drive around too much. Thanks in advance for your advice. Rob
Wow. It’s not easy to find a beach with all those requirements…. A good surfers’ beach is NOT kid-friendly and certainly doesn’t have lots of restaurants and bars around.
I think your best bet is Costa de Caparica.
hi, great informative site!
thinking of november break to lisbon & want to visit the beach for 1-2 days too (know it will be wrap up warmer time!). can you recommend which beach would offer good local restaurants & accommodation – that are open at this tome of the year? thanks!!
The beach season is over by that time, but you can still have some activity going on in Estoril/Cascais and Sesimbra, specially with surfers. Costa da Caparica too, but it has fewer “decent” hotels.
great article, your travel experience is so good, i liked read your post
This list is great! I’m planning a trip with my husband and one-year old in early September. We want to visit Lisbon, Porto and go into the Douro region a bit and then end with a few days on the beach. Is Comporta still your #1 recommendation? It looks lovely but accommodation seems a bit difficult (and expensive). Are there beach areas north of Lisbon that you recommend or do you prefer south?
On the north of Lisbon the beaches normally have bigger waves. The south is more of a mix, but Arrábida, Tróia, Comporta and the beaches in upper Alentejo are ofter calmer and more suited for one-year olds 😉
This is a wonderful list. And I’m basing my 6 day road trip on your 10 day road trip post! Question though, what are the crowds like mid-September. Are the beaches less crowded? I have a toddler so I won’t be able to do 15-20 min hikes (it would take an hour with us!) so I”m looking for easy parking and easy walks from car to the beach.
Glad to know, hope you can have a great holiday!
September is WAY better than August, that’s for sure. You’ll find some crowds, but nothing too worry about, I’d say. 🙂
This list helped us make the best decisions ever! We canceled all of our other reservations and made new ones based on this beach listing. Thank you!
Hope you had a great time!! 🙂
I am considering going to Lisbon with my boyfriend for the first week of August. We were planning on spending 3 days in Lisbon and then finding somewhere to stay on the coast. I know August is a crazy time to travel – ideally we wouldnt want to be on a beach with a million people, do you think any of these beaches will be not too busy?
Thanks for your blog, really helpful!
August is the worst time, hard to find a good uncrowded beach. The farthest away you go from Lisbon, the better your chances!
I am here at lisbon in my eurotrip came because I had too much party at berlin, amsterdam, barceolona, etc… this is the ugliest euro city I ever been, people are shy or rude, girls are ugly and conservative (worst combo ever), beaches are nice but the atlantic ocean is ice cold… worst choice ever! Is so bad that I am considering in leave the hotel and rental car to go someplace else losing more than 1000€ in the process!
Sorry if you had that experience, but one thing I learned in life is that negative attracts negative. 🙂
Thank you so much for this article!
We love beaches and are going to Lisbon this summer for 3 weeks but have no car 🙁 I really want to see those beaches but I dont know how we will manage to..
Also what do you think of Praia da Ribeira do Cavalo? Do you know how to get there?
Well, São Pedro do Estoril is accessible by train and you can go to Costa by bus. The remaining are more tricky.
Sorry, I never been to Ribeira do Cavalo, but it is supposed to be great!
Now the boat sailed to America 🙂
OMG! Woa! theres nothing more that catches my eye than beautiful beaches. I never had too much interest in Lisbon but you convinced me! Which was your favorite out of the 5?
I have to say Lisbon is much more than beaches. It’s a trendy city with tradition which is a hard combination to find!
But from these, my favourite was Comporta, but it’s also the farthest away from Lisboa!
I lived in Lisbon for a year and know a few of these, but Comporta is new to me. It looks pretty perfect once you get away from the crowds and that octopus salad sounds pretty perfect after a morning at the beach.
Oh yeah, you should go there when you come back. It is a really great beach getaway!
1. For me much better are Praia Aguda and Ursa than Adraga form Sintra coast. I would say even that there is no comparison 😉 Still you are able to get my foot to Ursa from Adraga which makes a good hike 🙂
2. I just know Portinho! Tell us the secret how to get to Galapinhos !
fellow travel blogger 😉
Hey there Kasia!
1. I have never been to Ursa, but Aguda is also very nice. Still, I prefer Adraga 😛
2. To reach Galapinhos you’ll need to walk for 15 min through a dirt path that starts right after Praia dos Galapos and before you reach Portinho.