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Praia do Guincho Beach, Lisbon

Praia do Guincho is one of the finest beaches of the Lisbon region, that combines intense surfing with dramatic scenery. Guincho is situated on the western edge of the Serra da Sintra National Park and this designation has protected the remote and wild ambience of the beach from tourist development.

Praia Guincho Beach

The amazing surfing beach of Guincho

The main attraction of the Praia do Guincho are the massive waves, which roll in from the Atlantic Ocean and, when combined with the near constant breeze, form the ideal conditions for confident surfers. Guincho is the perfect beach for tourists who appreciate nature’s raw power and are willing to travel that bit further for a stunning location. This article will provide a guide to Guincho beach, including facilities and how to travel there.

Who should visit Guincho?

Guincho is wonderful for surfers and water sports adrenaline seekers but not so great for families or sun worshippers. For tourists who purely want to bask under the sun there are many better choices than Guincho, as there is an almost constant breeze while the low sand dunes provide almost no shelter. The sea waters are powerful with hidden currents, so is not really a beach for children to splashing around in. There are lifeguards patrolling the beach during the summer. Guincho is fantastic for tourists who enjoy battling against the waves, either on a kite board, body board or traditional surf board, all of which can be rented at the beach.



Cascais to Guincho Beach

Guincho Beach is 6km north-west of the resort town of Cascais. For visitors who will be travelling to the beach by public transport there is a regular and inexpensive bus service that connects Cascais bus station to the Praia do Guincho. The two bus services (405 and 415) follow the same route but travel in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction.

Praia Guincho Beach

The amazing surfing beach of Guincho

During daylight hours there is one departure of each service every hour, so there is a bus every 30 minutes to the beach. The journey time is 25 minutes and a single ticket cost 2.25 with the ticket purchased from the bus driver. For those visitors travelling from Lisbon catch the train to Cascais and then take the bus to Guincho. Cascais bus station is in the large shopping mall Cascais Villa less than a 200m walk from the train station.

Praia Guincho Beach

The amazing surfing beach of Guincho

Lisbon to Guincho beach

To travel to Guincho by public transport from Lisbon requires a train and bus ride. The train journey connects Lisbon to the resort town of Cascais and departs from the Cais do Sodré train station in Lisbon (green metro line). The train journey is 30 minutes and a single ticket costs €2.15.

guincho praia

It is a 200 m walk from the Cascais train station to the bus station, which is below the Cascais Villa shopping centre. The bus details are explained above. The difficult public transport journey makes it impractical to go to Guincho as a day trip from Lisbon. For more accessible beaches from Lisbon head to Carcavelos beach or the Costa da Caprica coastline.

Lisbon to Guincho by Car

The beach is 35km west of Lisbon and the most direct route is via the A5. Outside of rush hour the journey takes 30 minutes. The main car park of Guincho is to the north of the beach near the Bar do Guincho. The other access point is to the south of the beach near the Estalagem Muchaxo hotel. Both accesses are from the scenic N247 that follows the coast to Cascais.

praia beachguincho

Facilities at Guincho

There are surf hire shops located at Guincho Beach, so there is no need to bring along your own equipment. Board rental prices for 2015 are €10, €15 and €25 (1 hour, half day, full day). A short wet suit is recommended even in the summer months as the sea temperature is controlled by the cold swells of the Atlantic Ocean and the temperature does not exceed 16°C. Wetsuit rental price is €5 - €15 and is highly recommended.



Lessons for surf/kite surf can be booked at the Moana Surf School with group sessions starting from €25. The strong swells tides and constant breeze do not make this a beach suitable for families with young children. At Guincho there are good amenities including public showers, beach bars and restaurants.

Praia Guincho Beach

Further Details about Guincho

Praia Guincho was a filming location for the 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The beach was the setting for the pre-title scene where James (George Lazenby) prevents the suicide of Contessa Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) and fights two men in the sea.

Praia Guincho Beach

Guincho Beach has a shoreline of approximately 800 meters and this means that there is plenty of space even in during the summer months. While other beaches to the east of Cascais become dangerously crowded in the sea there is always ample room to surf at Guincho.

The sea is always very cold and comes as a shock to many tourists new to the region. The difference between the winter low temperature and the summer high is only 2°C (17-19 °C). If planning a visit during early spring or late autumn consider bringing a thin wet suit as the sea temperature can be surprisingly sapping and tiring. The majority of the day will be spent with onshore breeze but the ferocious Atlantic Ocean still produces some large waves. For extended off shore winds plan to visit during December. The beach is the location for the Portuguese National Surfing and Body Boarding Championships and has appeared on the wind surfing world championship circuit.

The northern side of the Praia do Guincho has favourable conditions for wind and kite surfers while the southern side is more suited for surfers. The beach has a constant breeze, which blows from the sea side in the summer months.


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