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The best independent guide to Lisbon

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The best independent guide to Lisbon

The Praia da Adraga beach

The beautiful Praia de Adraga lies on the western side of the Serra de Sintra and is one of the finest beaches of this dramatic coastline.

The beach lies at the end of an ancient river valley that has a carved a gorge through the towering cliffs of black volcanic rocks. This semi-sheltered cove nestles a golden sand beach, on to which huge Atlantic waves break.

Being situated within the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, Adraga beach is protected from any unsightly tourist development, and it is hard to believe such a wild and pristine beach is only a 35-minute drive from Lisbon.

Praia da Adraga beach

Golden sands, powerful seas and jagged cliffs – the Praia de Adraga has a beautiful setting

The Praia de Adraga is gorgeous to admire, but it is also fantastic for a day on the beach. There is an excellent beach restaurant (Adraga), along with toilets & showers facilities, and lifeguard supervision in the summer months.

The only downside to Adraga is that it is exposed to the strong sea breezes that blow in from the Atlantic – but this is similar to all of the beaches along the western Sintra coastline.
The Praia da Adraga is an amazing beach, but you will need a car to visit.

Praia da Adraga beach

The powerful seas have carved unique rock formations into the solid cliffs

Adraga beach tourist information

The Praia da Adraga can only be visited by car as there is no public transport. The small size of the car park also limits the number of visitors, which prevents it getting crowded but equally makes it difficult to park during the summer months. There is off-road parking further up the river valley, but never enough during the summer.

Our advice is always head to the beach as early in the day as possible and avoid the weekends when it will be busy with Portuguese day-trippers.

Praia da Adraga beach

The Praia da Adraga is one of the most accessible beaches of the region with no cliffs to climb down to reach it

The seawaters are very clean, but as with all of Lisbon’s beaches, the water is very cold. The waves can be suitable for surfing, and the central section is free from rocks, but most surfers head to the Praia Grande, the next beach north along the coastline.

At the beach are clean toilet facilities along with showers.

Next to the beach is Adraga, an outstanding seafood restaurant, which has great meals, excellent service and loved by the locals. This is a wonderful location for an evening meal, but do pre-book in the summer.

Clifftop walks from Praia da Adraga

There are two stunning coastline walks heading north and south from the Praia da Adraga.

The northern route crosses the Adraga headland to the popular beach town of Praia Grande (1km), which is a favourite with surfers. At the end of the coastal path, there is a series of steps that lead down to the beach, and found close by are a set of dinosaur footprints.

The southern path is more challenging but more spectacular. The path crosses the Fojo dos Morcegos headland, with its huge sinkhole and views of the Praia do Cavalo. The path down to the Praia do Cavalo is very steep and too hazardous to really try. Further along is the Miradouro da Praia do Caneiro viewpoint and the amazing views along the jagged coastline. After 1.5km the path reaches the remote beach of Praia da Ursa, and it is possible to walk down to the beach.

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