With its old-world charm and inviting culture, Lisbon is one of the best cities in Europe to relax and blow off some steam. And where better to do so than at one of the many beautiful Lisbon beaches surrounding the stunning Portuguese capital!
Due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon’s beaches come with a slightly different feel than many of the other popular European beaches which are set on the Mediterranean sea. One of the main differences is the large waves generated by the Atlantic which can create ideal conditions for surfers and bodyboarders.
Before you head out, be sure to understand the flag system that Portugal uses to keep swimmers safe. A green flag indicates that it is safe to swim, a yellow flag means that you should be cautious and use common sense, and a red flag indicates that you shouldn’t enter the water at all. Furthermore, a checkered flag announces that the beach is unsupervised at the moment.
Finally, a blue flag destination is a beach that meets strict management and sustainability criteria. It also means that the water is confirmed to be of a high quality. Many of the beaches in and around Lisbon have this exclusive and coveted citation.
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The Top 12 Lisbon Beaches
Here is our selection of the best Lisbon beaches for travelers, natives, and digital nomads alike. Soak in the sun, meet new friends, or grab a cold cocktail from one of the nearby beach bars while you enjoy some of the most stunning beaches on Europe’s Atlantic coast!
Praia da Figueirinha
Though not in the city of Lisbon itself, the Praia da Figueirinha is the largest beach in the Arrábida Natural Park, and takes just about an hour by train to reach from central Lisbon.
Because of the shallow waters, lifeguard supervision in the summer, and the warm temperature, Praia da Figueirinha is ideal for families bringing their children for a day at the beach. A sandbar connects to the beach at low tide forming a sheltered lagoon and offering further opportunities for exploration.
The beach flies a coveted blue flag, meaning clean sand, clean water, and an enjoyable experience for travelers and locals alike. Praia da Figueirinha is also one of the more accessible beaches in the area as the only beach on the Arrabida Coast with a direct bus line to the nearby town of Setubal, making it an easy day trip for the adventurous traveler!
Praia de São Pedro
One of the lesser-known beaches in the Lisbon area, Praia de São Pedro still packs in many advantages. It is a popular beach for surfing as the cliffs that form Point Sao Pedro and protect the beach from the wind also create a point break causing crashing waves that will excite surfers.
The beach is a narrow strip of golden sand backed by a sea wall, and visitors are warned that it becomes considerably smaller at high tide. If you want to ensure a spot on the sand when it is at its narrowest, try reserving a sun lounge chair so you can relax and soak in the rays.
The cool Atlantic water and rocky bottom make the beach a challenging swim, but ideal for snorkeling. With nearby parking and public transport, Praia de São Pedro is easily accessible and makes for the perfect day trip, or evening outing.
Costa da Caparica
South of the Tagus river on the Setubal peninsula, Costa da caparica boasts 26 km of premium Atlantic coastline! The beach is named after the nearby town of Caparica, a quiet but unexciting modern Portuguese town, the beaches being the main draw of the area.
The 26 km long coastline is broken up by sand dunes into multiple beaches with different levels of seclusion. Due to being situated on the Atlantic Ocean, the powerful waves of Costa da Caparica provide ideal conditions for surfers and kite surfers.
The beaches are lined with acacia and eucalyptus trees, as well as the occasional beach bar. The further south you travel, the more secluded the beaches become, with some of the furthest beaches being reserved for nudist bathers. Furthermore, only the beaches nearest to Caparica are watched by lifeguards
A small train travels down 10 km of the coastline providing easy access to many of the beaches. Though not in Lisbon itself, Costa da Caparica is only about a half an hour by bus, or 16 minutes by car, still making it a convenient day trip.
Praia da Conceição
Located in the Cascais discrtict of Lisbon, Praia da Conceição is considered one of the best Lisbon beaches by tourists and natives alike.
At low tide the beach connects with neighboring Pria de Duquesa to form a larger beach. Praia da Conceição is bordered by two of Cascais’ most iconic buildings. To the East there is the 19th century villa Casa Faial, and to the west the hotel Albatroz.
As a blue flag beach, Praia da Conceição is among the cleanest and most well-kept beaches in the area, and features a seasonal lifeguard service. Due to being situated in a bay, Praia da Conceição is one of the safest beaches in the area, with calm water and no waves. this makes it the perfect retreat for families with children or inexperienced swimmers.
The beach is just a short walk from the shops and cafes of Cascais making it easy to pop into town for lunch or a refreshing drink. Praia da Conceição is just a little more than a half an hour drive from Lisbon’s city center, though depending on where you choose to stay it could be less.
Praia de Carcavelos
If you’re looking for something a little closer to Lisbon’s busy city centre, Praia de Carcavelos might be the right pick for you! With soft, golden sands, clean water, and plenty of cafes, beach bars, and restaurants, Praia de Carcavelos can easily provide you with a relaxing and enjoyable day in the sand.
Though its not the quietest of the Lisbon beaches, Praia de Carcavelos is busy for a reason. Being the first of the ocean beaches past the mouth of the Tagus river, the beach is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts such as surfers and bodyboarders, as well as lovers of beach sports like volleyball and soccer. Furthermore, the shop-lined promenade provides an excellent space for joggers, skaters, and rollerbladers!
Being just a 19 minute drive or a 27 minute train ride from Lisbon’s city centre, Praia de Carcavelos is one of the less remote beaches on this list and is an excellent stop for travelers who aren’t looking to spend an entire day at on the sand!
Praia dos Galapinhos
Awarded the “most beautiful beach in Europe,” the golden-white sands and stunning views of Praia dos Galapinhos are worth the trip to Portugal alone!
The beach is set in the Arrábida Natural Park and its remote nature and difficulty of access means that once you get down to the beach, you may have this slice of paradise almost all to yourself. With the remote location comes the lack of tourist facilities, though there is a small snack stand and some beach chairs to rent. Also the beach is supervised by lifeguards throughout the bathing season.
The clear blue water is calm and perfect for relaxed swimming and visitors with children. At 44 minutes by car or more than an hour by public transport from central Lisbon, coupled with the difficult walk down to the beach makes Praia dos Galapinhos one of the least accessible beaches on this list. But for many, the experience is just too good to pass up!
The largest of the Sintra beaches, Praia Grande features some of the most exciting sights on the Sintra coast. These include the breathtaking dinosaur footprints that appear to walk straight up the vertical cliffs, and the largest seawater swimming pool in Europe.
True to its name, the vast expanse of sandy beach is large enough to accommodate both Sintra locals and tourists without having to strain. At low tide, the beach is connected with the equally aptly named Praia Pequena (small beach) which allows further opportunities for exploration.
As one of the most popular beaches in the area, Praia Grande comes with all the expected accommodations like cafes, restaurants, and even a hotel. The beach is also a historic location for surfing and bodyboarding.
Praia de São João
Located in the Setubal district just outside of Lisbon, Praia de São João is an often overlooked gem. Also on the Atlantic coast, the beach allows year-round surfing, yet the water is calm enough that it is considered child-friendly.
There are plenty of amenities for visitors like cafes and restaurants, and at just a 20 minute drive from Lisbon proper, it’s definitely worth checking out. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer months, further adding to its family-friendly nature.
The crystal clear waters and fine sand make bathing shoes unnecessary, and further add to the natural beauty of the location. If you want to extend your stay, there is a campsite nearby for a little escape from urban life.
Praia da Rainha
Named after the last queen of Portugal, Queen Amelia, who liked to frequent the beach, Praia da Rainha is the smallest beach in Cascais. However, to many it is the most beautiful! The beach is enclosed by small cliffs and sits below the town of Cascais. The cliffs provide protection from the wind and give the beach a secluded feeling despite its proximity to the town.
If you don’t care to go down to the beach itself, perhaps check out the Largo da Praia da Rainha. This square sits above the beach and offers excellent views of the beach itself, as well as the many historic apartment buildings and grand villas that surround it. At 40 minutes by train or 23 minutes by car from central Lisbon, Praia da Rainha is a beach you can’t afford to miss on your Lisbon adventure!
Praia das Maçãs
One of the furthest beaches from Libson on this list, Praia das Maçãs still provides plenty to make the trip worthwhile. According to legend, the beach got its name from the apples which would fall off the trees at nearby Sintra, float down the Ribeira de Colares, and wash up on the beach, hence the name “Beach of Apples.”
The nearby resort town of the same name excites visitors with its classicly Portuguese charm, and traditional shops and restaurants. The beach itself is large, covered in golden sand, and provides opportunities for surfers and bathers alike.
In the summertime, a 100-year-old tram line connects Praia das Maçãs to the historic hilltown of Sintra, defined by its enchanting castles and pristine landscape. Other nearby attractions include the stunning Sintra Natural Park and the hiking trails along the Cabo da Roca coastline.
Praia de Paco de Arcos
Another of the many beaches situated along the bank of the Tagus river, Praia de Paco de Arcos offers a large expanse of soft sand calm waters. The beach is backed by a seafront promenade that stretches to another one of Lisbons sandy beaches, Praia da Torre, within walking distance.
Due to the beach’s location, the water quality isn’t as good as some of the other Lisbon beaches. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still worth a visit. Beachgoers enjoy the pristine landscape and the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city while remaining so close to central Lisbon.
At just 16 minutes by train or car, Praia de Paco de Arcos is the perfect beach in central Lisbon to visit if you just want to spend a few hours soaking up the sun and ocean views!
Praia de Algés
An oceanic beach in the mouth of the Tagus, Praia de Algés provides an excellent getaway for those not looking to travel far from the Portuguese capital. The beach is covered in soft sand and is bordered on both sides by pontoons.
Praia de Algés has one of the best views of the VTS tower, a masterpiece of modern architecture that houses The Centre for Coordination and Control of Maritime Traffic and Safety. The building juts out over the water at an angle giving it its iconic silhouette. The beach is just 11 minutes by train, or 12 by car from the city centre, making it a convenient place to catch a sunset and relax after a day of excitement!
Whether you are looking for a quiet stretch of sand where you can get away from the crowds, or a beach where you can brush up on your surfing or bodyboarding skills, Lisbon will have the perfect location for you! Hitting the beach is essential to any visit to the Lisbon.
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