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The best independent guide to Lisbon

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril beach

The Praia de São Pedro do Estoril is a beautiful sandy beach in a gorgeous bay setting.
São Pedro do Estoril beach boasts soft golden sands, turquoise sea waters and is conveniently located close to a train station. Under the right weather conditions, there can be excellent surfing waves, while the limestone headland (the Pedra do Sal) provides shelter from any strong sea breezes.

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril beach

The Praia de São Pedro do Estoril on a calm summers day, but there can be great surfing waves here

São Pedro do Estoril beach boasts soft golden sands, turquoise sea waters and is conveniently located close to a train station. Under the right weather conditions, there can be excellent surfing waves, while the limestone headland (the Pedra do Sal) provides shelter from any strong sea breezes.

The Praia de São Pedro do Estoril makes for a great alternative to the much more famous beaches of the Lisbon coastline. The only downside to the beach is that at high tide, the beach becomes very narrow, and there are many rocks submerged below the waterline.
Along with being a beautiful beach, this is a very pleasant area for a meal or evening drink, and there is an enjoyable coastal footpath along the cliffs of the Marinha Protegida das Avencas.
Related articles: Lisbon beach guideEstoril guide

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril beach

The Praia de São Pedro is a popular beach

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril tourist information

The Praia de São Pedro do Estoril is a sandy beach with a shoreline of 330m, but at high tide, the sea comes right up to the sea wall and reduces the size of the beach considerable. The western side of the beach is sheltered by the Pedra do Sal headland and this provides some shelter from winds and waves.

The beach is ideal for children and is popular with Portuguese families. During the summer, the beach is supervised by lifeguards. The water is very clean, as it is fed by the Atlantic Ocean, but it also means that it is always chilly.

The São Pedro do Estoril coastline is mainly comprised of limestone cliffs, and at the beach, there are many rocks submerged below the waterline. These rocks are annoying when swimming or surfing, and it is sensible to have some reef shoes or wetsuit shoes if you're planning to spend long in the water.

Parasols and sun loungers can be hired for €15 per day per person. This is expensive but does provide space on the beach, especially at high tide.

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril beach

The best method to head to the beach is by train (details further in the article), and the train station (Sao Pedro do Estoril) is only 300m from the beach. There is lots of paid car parking at the top of the cliffs, but this fills up quickly during the summer months.

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril may not be well-known by foreign tourists, but it is very popular with locals, and will be packed during the summer, especially at the weekends. We always advise heading to the beach early in the day to secure the best location.

If you are leaving later in the day and wish to see how busy it is, there is a webcam hosted by Meo and can be viewed here: meo.pt/livecams
This webcam is also useful if you are planning a surfing trip and want to check the condition of the waves.

At the beach are two beach restaurant bars, the Mar d' Sal and the Esplanada de São Pedro. Both have beautiful views and mixed reviews; for the best food and service, visit them at the quieter periods of the day. There is a small supermarket (Minipreço) on the opposite side of the main road for better value drinks and water.

Historical insight: The iodine-rich seawaters and sea muds from the São Pedro coastline, were historically used as a cure for the pains from old age. The trend for the iodine muds was most popular in the late 19th century, and the area today is still a favourite for very old Portuguese, with many nursing homes in the town.

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril beach

The pretty coastline near Sao Pedro beach

Surfing at the São Pedro do Estoril beach

São Pedro do Estoril is a fantastic beach for surfing, with the best waves in the autumn and winter.

The Atlantic waves roll in around the headland and form long waves on the shallow inclined beach. These waves are at their best as the tide starts to rise, and are free from swell, ideal for beginners or relaxed surfing. In the summer the sea will be very calm, and packed with tourists, making it not suitable for surfing.

On the beach, there is a surf school and surf rental shop (Art of Surf) with prices at €25 for half-day rent. During the calm summer, SUP (stand up paddleboards) can be hired for €15 for 1 hour.

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril beach

São Pedro beach is not the largest beach of the Lisbon coastline…

The Marinha Protegida das Avencas

The Marinha Protegida das Avencas protects the fragile tidal pool ecosystem, which is found in the cliffs and shoreline to the west of the Praia de São Pedro do Estoril. This stretch of coastline is unique as there are major tidal rock formations at the base of the cliffs, which are submerged at high tide and form rock pools at low tide. The Marine Protected Area extends for 250m from the cliffs and prevents people from damaging this delicate ecosystem.

There are scenic walks at the top of the cliff, which provide views over this protected coastline. Further information can be found at the Centro de Interpretação Ambiental da Pedra do Sal, which is positioned above the São Pedro beach.

Marinha Protegida das Avencas

The semi-submerged rocks are an important eccosytem for shellfish, fish and aquatic plants

The train to São Pedro do Estoril beach

The Praia de São Pedro is served by the Lisbon to Cascais railway, which departs Lisbon from the Cais do Sodré train station.

The Lisbon-Cascais railway is an urban train service, and there are many hourly departures, with the trains starting early in the day and continue to 1:30am. The journey from Lisbon to São Pedro takes 30 minutes, and the latest timetable can be seen on the CP (Comboios de Portugal) website at:
www.cp.pt/StaticFiles/timetables/lisbon-cascais-urban-trains.pdf

The train fare from Lisbon to Sao Pedro pass through four fare zones, and a single ticket is amazingly cheap at only €2.25 (€1.15 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.

train to the Praia de São Pedro beach

The train to the Praia de São Pedro beach

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