The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
The coastline between Lisbon and Cascais is absolutely stunning and is lined with picturesque beaches and charming Portuguese resort towns. These beaches are characterised by golden sands, clean waters and great tourist facilities, making them suitable for the majority of visitors including families and older visitors.
The Estoril coastline is directly to the west of Lisbon and covers the resort towns of Paço de Arcos, Oeiras, Carcavelos, Estoril and Cascais, which includes 18 unique sandy beaches. This coastline is one of the most popular in Portugal, and is this in part due to the excellent public transport from Lisbon. This guide will provide an introduction the beaches within the Paço de Arcos, Oeiras, Carcavelos, Estoril and Cascais coastline.
The best beach for visitors based in Lisbon - Praia de Carcavelos
The best beach closest to Estoril - Praia do Tamariz
The best beach closest to Cascais - Praia da Conceição
Best beach for families: Praia das Avencas
Best beach for retirees and more mature visitors: Praia da Parede
Teenagers and twenty somethings: Praia de Carcavelos
The prettiest beach - Praia da Rainha
where to Escape the crowds: Praia de Paço de Arcos
The best surfing beach - Guincho
The following section details the 18 beaches between Lisbon and Cascais, which make up the Estoril coastline. They are listed in an east-west direction, so that the beaches closest to Lisbon are first, and the beaches near Cascais are to the end of the article.
GPS: 38.69862, -9.27968 Nearest Station: Caxias
The Praia de Caxias is the first decent beach when heading west from Lisbon. The water quality may not be great, but it is close to Lisbon, and fine for a days simple relaxing on a beach. The beach is guarded by two different forts, the Forte da Giribita and the Forte de São Bruno de Caxias.
GPS: 38.69329, -9.29135 Station: Paço de Arcos
The Praia Velha is a traditional beach where fishing boats are moored on the sands. It is very pretty beach but as it is within the Tejo Estuary the water quality could be cannot always be guaranteed. The Praia Velha is situated in the picturesque town of Paço de Arcos, an authentic Portuguese resort town.
GPS: 38.69031, -9.29647 Station: Paço de Arcos
The Praia de Paço de Arcos is the largest beach of Paço de Arcos. This beach has golden sands and is one of the better, quieter beaches of the Lisbon coastline. Close by is the craggy coastline of the Praia das Fontainhas.
GPS: 38.68469, -9.31124 Station: Santo Amaro (or Oeiras)
The Praia de Santo Amaro de Oeiras is the a large sized beach heading out of Lisbon. There is a large expanse of sand but the close proximity of the Tagus Estuary means that sometimes the water quality is questionable. The beach tends to attract more teenagers and this is reflected in the construction of the largest MacDonald’s in the Lisbon region. There are much better beaches, just a little further on the train.
GPS: 38.67553,-9.32316 Station: Carcavelos or Oeiras (both 1.5km walk)
The Praia da Torre is a small but pretty beach, that stands in the shadow of the São Julião da Barra Fort. The beach is just to the east of Carcavelos beach and is a suitable option if the larger beach is crowded. As the Praia da Torre is on the estuary side of the fort the currents and waves are less powerful, therefore safer for children. Just along the promenade from the beach is a large ocean swimming pool with high diving boards. Praia da Torre is a beach worth visiting.
GPS: 38.68063, -9.338965 Station: Carcavelos
Praia de Carcavelos in our opinion is the best beach of the Lisbon coastline and is a great place for a day trip. Carcavelos is a massive beach, but it needs to be when the whole of Lisbon descends to the beach at the summer weekends.
The beach has powerful waves that are suitable for surfing and body barding. There are many good snack bars and restaurants along the beach front. The only downside is that it is a 700m walk from the train station to the beach. Surfing can get a little dangerous in the summer due to the number of people in the water.
GPS: 38.68559, -9.35384 Station: Parede
Historically the waters of the Praia da Parede were regarded as having healing properties. This prompted the construction of the Santanna Hospital, which traditional provided care for the very old and infirm. Today the beach still tends to attract a much more mature age of visitor, and is a great choice for a relaxed day away from overly excited teenagers and out of control children…
GPS: 38.68825, -9.36040 Station: Parede
The Praia das Avencas is another small beach, which is nestled between high cliffs and rocky outcrops. This stretch of coastline is protected to support the marine life that thrives on the edge of the rocks and cliffs. Avencas beach is small but is a fun place for children to hunt through low tide rock pools.
GPS: 38.69207, -9.36608 Station: Sao Pedro do Estoril
The Praia da Bafureira a small rocky beach that is next to São Pedro beach. The main attraction of the beach is hunting through the numerous rock pools for crabs or other small tidal marine life. Visit Praia da Bafureira if Sao Pedro beach is too crowded but the beach is unsuitable for surfing due to the rocks.
Note: The Praia da Bafureira has been deemed unsafe to visit due to the fragile cliff behind it
GPS: 38.69382, -9.37050 Station: Sao Pedro do Estoril
Praia de São Pedro is a large beach that is a popular alternative to Carcavelos. The beach has similar sized surfing waves to Carcavelos but is usually less crowded. The beach is very close to the train station and is only a 200m walk.
GPS: 38.70171, -9.39155 Station: Estoril
The Praia da Poça is the last (or first) beach along the Cascais-Estoril promenade. The beach has a small stretch of sand and the sea waters are clean and calm. There are better beaches but distance from Cascais means that it is usually significantly quieter than many others.
GPS: 38.70251, -9.39930 Station: Estoril
The Praia do Tamariz is the large beach that is directly in front of the Estoril Casino. The beach is more family orientated with calm sea waters and good tourist facilities. There is a tidal swimming pool just beyond the concrete groyne. Praia do Tamariz is another good beach but can get crowded in the summer. The train station is on the edge of the beach and makes the beach easily accessible for less mobile visitors.
The Forte da Cruz on the edge of Tamariz beach
GPS: 38.70198, -9.40947 Station: Monte Estoril
The Praia das Moitas is a small beach that lies part way between Estoril and Cascais. The beach has formed on the leeward side of a concrete groyne. It is a bit of a non-descript beach, but there’s nothing negative to say about the it.
The very average Praia das Moitas
GPS: 38.70054, -9.41558 Station: Cascais
The Duquesa and Conceição beaches comprise of the largest stretch of sand within walking distance of Cascais. The two beaches are separated by a small headland with the Praia da Conceição on the western side, closest to Cascais. These are popular beaches during the summer.
GPS: 38.69909, -9.41806 Station: Cascais
The Praia da Rainha is a very pretty but small beach that is surrounded by cliffs and overlooks the fishing harbour. The beach is named the Queen’s Beach (Praia da Rainha) as it was the private beach of queen Dona Amelia (the last queen of Portugal). This beach is right in the centre of Cascais but can get very busy.
GPS: 38.69669, -9.42002 Station: Cascais
The Praia da Ribeira is the beach directly in front of the Cascais fishing harbour and was where the fishing boats were brought ashore. The sheltered location means that the waters are some of the calmest in the region ideal for young children. The beach is small, scenic and fine for a couple of hours relaxing.
GPS: 38.73098, -9.47262 Station: None close
Praia da Guincho is 8km to the north of Cascais so is technically not in the Estoril coastline but is so great that it needs to be listed. Guincho beach faces a westerly direction and is pounded by massive Atlantic Ocean waves, ideal for experienced surfers.
The stunning landscape of Guincho beach
The beach is situated in the Serra de Sintra national park so there is almost not tourist development, just massive sand dunes and steep cliffs. There is a bus service from Cascais but it is difficult to reach the beach from Lisbon.
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