Lisbon has its hypnotizing way to embrace you, to overwhelm your mind and your senses. Even though it is an European capital filled with noisy tourists waving maps everywhere, this fascinating city with some rural-like streets (as we call it during our incursions throughout its ups and downs) can offer a full pack of living intensities.
Alongside the energies that sinks travelers into cultural events, fine drinks at the miradouros (panoramic views spread on the hanged neighborhoods), Lisbon (and Portugal in general) always seems to beckon the ocean to join its magic.
This is why we have decided to share with you some amazing beaches if you plan to stay in Lisbon, ones that you are likely to miss out on during your stay in the city. Beaches that are not so promoted or that are harder to reach, but that can make your soul vibrate.
# Praia da Ursa
Praia da Ursa is our favorite beach in Portugal because it melts together hiking, sunbathing, swimming (only for the strong-hearted, the ocean is cold) and sunset gazing. It is a place like no other we’ve seen in our travels and it has what we can only call “innate magic”.
Once in Lisbon, you will probably hear about Sintra and Cascais, two of the main attractions outside the capital. Well, they are part of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, a place that has a particular climate (sub-tropical, with an amazing variety of vegetation) in comparison with the rest of the central Portugal.
At the edge of the park, situated 40 km away from Lisbon on the western coast, there is Cabo da Roca (the cape which forms the westernmost extent of continental Europe). From there, you can walk on the right side of the cliffs on one of the numerous trails that slide on the rocky landscape down to the remote Ursa Beach (Praia da Ursa).
Another option accessible by car is by following the road which connects Cabo da Roca to the town of Sintra. At only 1 minute drive from the cape, on the left side is a panel that points the way to the beach. Once you park the car in the improvised parking lot (the off-road that goes closer to the cliffs is pretty bad), you have to hike on the trail that leads to the beach. It is a must to see the beautiful sunset from there, but be prepared to have good shoes, some lights and some thick clothes, as the wind might be very strong in the upper part of the trail.
#Praia dos Coelhos & Praia do Galapos
Praia dos Coelhos is located in a small cove at the base of the Arrábida Natural Park, at about 400 meters from the main road that connects Setúbal (50 km from Lisbon) to Sesimbra.
There is a special uncovered bus that goes from Setúbal central bus station to Praia de Figuerinha (the biggest and most crowded beach in the area) and costs around 2 euros. From there you have to follow the main road till Praia de Galapos. It is difficult to see the beach from the road and there are no signs, but it is visible from the nearest beach called Praia dos Galapos. There is also a 10 minutes trail easy accessible that connects the two beaches, if you follow the stairs from the end of Galapos. The white sand beach is very remote and silent, even though it might become crowded in the weekends. Cost per person to get here from Lisbon by public transportation: 12Euros
#Praia do Guincho
Guincho beach is a popular Atlantic beach located on Portugal’s Estoril coast, 5 km from the town of Cascais. It is easy to get there from Cascais, whether it is by car or with a bike (you can rent or you can get free bikes from the local municipality, placed next to the train station in Cascais).
The beach is mostly windy and is popular for surfing, windsurfing, and kite surfing. Strong northern winds are predominant during summer time (June–August) making this beach ideal for water sports. There are also several surfcamps and surfschools in the area that provide accommodation and services including rentals, repairs and surfing classes. There is camping available at approximately 1 km from the beach. The cost for getting here: 1,40 Euro by Metro from Cais do Sodré (and walk or bike rent from Cascais).
# Costa da Caparica
At Costa da Caparica you will find one of the largest beaches in Portugal, a long shore on the Atlantic Ocean placed on the other side of Tejo River, next to Lisbon.
It is accessible by car if you pass the bridge 24 Julho or by bus from Cacilhas. To arrive to Cacilhas, a boat leaves from Cais do Sodré (every 30 minutes and costs around 2 euros), the dock that links the other settlements on Tejo River with Lisbon. Next to the harbor there are several bus stations and there you have to search for the 135 bus which goes to Costa da Caparica (around 4 Euros).
The beach is very popular among water sports enthusiasts, especially for kite surfing, as there are several places on the beach that provide lessons and equipment. Cost per person to get here from Lisbon: around 6 Euros.
# Praia da Adraga
The first striking thing as you reach the soft sand of Praia da Adraga is the perfect turquoise color of the water. And then you have the cliffs that adorn the beach from place to place, making it lovely for short walks.
From Lisbon, you can get to Praia da Adraga by using public transportation ( line 18801 train and line 403 bus, with a total cost of about €5 ) It is about an hour and a half journey, after which you are certain to have no regrets.
This was our personal experience with some of the beaches around Lisbon. We are curious to know if you have hints and tips about other similar escapes. Enjoy bohemian Lisbon and its fantastic surroundings!