The Praia Santo Amaro beach is the first large beach of the Lisbon coastline when traveling from the capital along the Lisbon-Cascais railway. The 1km beach of golden sands extends around a shallow bay and is a popular location for beach sports, due to width of the beach and floodlights that illuminate the beach at night.
The large beach of Santo Amaro de Oeiras
The waters of the Praia Santo Amaro beach are fed by the Rio Tejo and not significantly mixed with the Atlantic Ocean tides, meaning that the water quality is the worst of all of the beach along the Lisbon coastline. Generally the Praia Carcavelos is a better beach, especially for water sports while the Praia da Torre beach is more scenic and better suited for children. The Praia da Torre beach is not a bad beach and is perfectly suited for older teenagers or groups based upon the facilities and easy access from Lisbon.
The 1km long beach extends from the Sao Joao da Maias fort in the east to the Ribeira da Largo River on the west. The most popular section of the beach is closest to the Jardim Municipal and the access to the train station with the eastern side the quietest. The busy N6 road, which connects all the beaches of the Lisbon coastline runs the length of the beach and should only be crossed at designated locations.
The Praia Santo Amaro beach is served by the Cascais-Lisbon railway which departs from the Cais de Sordre train station. This station is the final stop on the green metro line and there are 4 services an hour during day light hours, a zone three ticket is required and a single costs €1.85/€095 (adult/child). Praia Santo Amaro beach is served by the Santo Amaro railway station and it is a very short walk (500m) to the beach. Car parking is very limited as the beach lies within the town of Santo Amaro and the train is the recommended means of travel. The Praia da Torre 5 minutes further west along the N6 offers better car parking while Carcavelos beach has the most free parking.
During the summer season there are life guards but the waters are the calmest along this stretch of the coastline. There are small waves at Santo Amaro, suitable for body boarding but Carcavelos is the place to surf or hire equipment. There are a couple of beach bars and restaurants but because of typical age of most visitors to Amaro beach most head to the massive McDonalds.
Oeiras beach, before the summer crowds arrive!
There is a pleasant coastal promenade that extends from Praia Santo Amaro around the head land to the Praia da Torre. The 2km walk follows the shore line and passes the small Santo Amaro fort, the Oeiras harbour and the ocean swimming pool with the popular high diving boards. The short walk ends at the massive Santo Juliao Bara fort. On the far side of the fort is the eastern edge of the Carcavelos beach.
Santo Amaro was one of the first beaches in Portugal to be "discovered" and develop as a resort town; during the 19th century the beach was popular with bathers who thought that the water would cure a range of illnesses.