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Praia de São Pedro do Estoril Beach
The Praia de São Pedro do Estoril is one of the better beaches along the Lisbon coastline. The beach offers a wide sandy beach, clean waters and is conveniently located close to a train station. The waves on the beach are sufficient for surfing and body boarding. Sao Pedro is a good choice of beach for a day trip from Lisbon (or Cascais/Estoril). This guide will provide an overview of the beach and details on how to travel there from Lisbon.
The Praia de São Pedro is a popular beach
Is São Pedro a good beach?
Yes it is worthy of a visit. The beach is not the largest in the region but it is a picturesque setting with cliffs surround the beach. Good points for the beach are:
• There are waves suitable for surfing
• The rock pools at low tide are fun for children to explore
• There are good tourist facilities
São Pedro or Carcavelos beach?
Praia de Carcavelos is the larger beach and is more popular but generally busier and more crowded in the summer. São Pedro beach is further from Lisbon (thus closer to Cascais and Estoril) but this is unimportant as trains are inexpensive and regular. Carcavelos is better suited for less mobile visitors as there are no steep cliffs and stairs to climb.
São Pedro as seen in the winter, expect the beach to be much busier when you visit!
Carcavelos beach is much larger than São Pedro
Travel to Sao Pedro Beach
Praia de São Pedro is on the main Lisbon to Cascais railway that departs from Cais de Sorder train station in Lisbon. The station is the final stop on the green metro. As the Lisbon-Cascais railway is an urban train service there are numerous hourly departures, the trains start early in the day and continue to 1:30am. The journey from Lisbon to Sao Pedro takes 30 minutes, and the latest timetable can be seen on the CP (Comboios de Portugal) website at:
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The train to Carcavelos beach
The train fare from Lisbon to Sao Pedro pass through four fare zones, and a single ticket is amazingly cheap at only €2.05 (€1.00 child). There are no return tickets, and a return is the price of two singles (€4.10). The train ticket is charged to the "Viva Viagem" card, which is used for all of the public transport in Lisbon, and the initial price for this reusable card costs €0.50. Annoyingly the Viva Viagem card can only store one type of fare, so if there is an active bus/metro/tram fare, it cannot be charged with the train fare.
In the Cais do Sodre train station there are many ticket machines and these have instructions in multiple European languages and are much quicker than waiting for the ticket office. From Sao Pedro station it is a 200m walk to the beach.
Insider Tip: Always keep the receipt from the ticket machines as they sometimes fail to charge the Viva Viagem cards and railway staff are very sceptical of “a bought a ticket but…”
As of summer 2017, CP has created a “Beach Pass” train ticket which allows 7-day unlimited use of the Lisbon-Cascais railway for €12. This is exceptional value for tourists who will be on holiday in Cascais/Estoril or plan to explore the coastal region, and is on sale from the 20th May through to the 30th September. Another option is the 24-hour unlimited train ticket for €6.00; this includes the Sintra railway and travel from São Pedro to Cascais. For details of all of the urban train fares, on an over complicated PDF, please see the CP website:
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Tourist advice for the beach
The sea temperature is always very cold along the Lisbon coastline and Sao Pedro is no exception. Even at the height of the summer sea temperatures do not raise more than 16C. Parasols and deck chairs can be hired for the day for €10-15 (depending on the season). Surf board hire is €15 for half day or €25 including a wet suit. Sao Pedro has medium sized swells that are good for surfing and body boarding. All of the equipment can be hired from the beach front.
The pretty coastline near Sao Pedro beach
What else is there to do at Sao Pedro Beach?
The cliffs and coastline to the east of Sao Pedro is a nature reserve that protects the tidal wildlife of the region. These rock pools hide an abundance of marine life including craps, fish and seaweeds. The best beach to explore this is the Praia da Bafureira just to the east of Sao Pedro.