Lisbon’s 11 most beautiful beaches

Les 11 Meilleures Plages de Lisbonne

Visiting the Portuguese capital? Where can you go to relax on the sand? Here’s our selection of Lisbon’s best beaches!

Portugal’s capital and « world city », Lisbon is a vast urban conurbation open to the mouth of the Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean. With 2,821,876 inhabitants in the entire urban area, Lisbon is the 15th most populous city in the European Union. Rather than staying in a mineral, concrete world, why not escape to the magnificent coastline adjacent to the capital?

Generation Voyage has selected the 11 most beautiful beaches in Lisbon. Head for the sand!

Lisbon’s beaches are threatened by a rise in sea level (a consequence of global warming?) of around 50 centimetres, which could see some sandy beaches disappear. To make the most of them while there’s still time, here’s our selection of Lisbon’s best beaches!

1. Praia da Areia Branca

Plages de Lisbonne : Praia da Areia Branca

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Felix Will

Its name literally means « white sand beach ». Located north of Lourinhã, it’s one of Lisbon’s best beaches for surfing, bodyboarding, mini-golf and sunbathing on the sand.

2. Praia da São Julião

Praia da São Julião

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Filipemigu

Located to the north of the Sintra coast, Praia de São Julião beach offers a 250-metre-long stretch of sand. But above all, it’s one of Lisbon’s most popular beaches. And with good reason: it’s surrounded by high cliffs, offering breathtaking views over the city of Ericeira. It’s also a great place for hiking and surfing.

Praia da São Julião is also the first beach in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.

3. Praia de Magoito

Praia de Magoito

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Americo Lopes

This beach is famous for being overlooked by a natural rock dune, formed by the accumulation of sand brought in by the wind and ocean. Access by road is via the villages of Magoito and Fontanelas. On foot, a long wooden footbridge leads from the top of the cliff.

Also, the southern part is not very busy. So don’t forget this part!

4. Praia das Maçãs

Plages de Lisbonne : Praia das Maçãs

Photo credit: Shutterstock – DaLiu

We get closer to Lisbon by heading south to a beach dedicated to families: Praia das Maçãs. The « apple beach » is accessible from the town of Sintra and offers a very wide sandbank to relax on, complete with natural pools. It’s ideal if the ocean is rough.

5. Praia da Adraga

Plages de Lisbonne : Praia da Adraga

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Marcelina Zygula

Praia da Adraga is right in the middle of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. The location is therefore idyllic. On the other hand, it’s crowded in summer, and difficult to get to by car (there’s very little parking).

But its 400-metre length and topography make it a surfer’s and swimmer’s paradise – in fact, it’s said to be one of the 20 most beautiful beaches in Europe. On your way out, be sure to make a detour to Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point on the European continent.

6. Praia do Guincho

Praia do Guincho

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Gustavo Frazao

Guincho beach is one of the most popular on the Cascais-Sintra coast, between town and mountains, sheltered from the wind and host to numerous international sporting competitions (surfing, windsurfing, windsurfing). Beware: finding a place on the sand is a luxury here in summer, as the beach is very popular with tourists and families.

7. Praia da Cresmina

Plages de Lisbonne : Praia da Cresmina

Photo credit: Shutterstock – kudla

Just south of Guincho beach lies Crismina beach, a bay surrounded by cliffs. The beach opens onto an extensive area of natural dunes where you can admire the sunset, a romantic paradise for a successful romantic evening. In addition to this breathtaking scenery, you can sample seafood in the seaside restaurants lining the beach.

8. Praia do Tamariz

Praia do Tamariz

Photo credit: Shutterstock – nito

This is one of Lisbon’s most touristy beaches, located next to the Estoril train station, east of Cascais. There are plenty of bars and nightclubs to party in. If you’re looking for a strip of sand where you can sleep in peace and quiet, head for the beaches to the north of the coast.

9. Praia de Carcavelos

Praia de Carcavelos

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Deep Pixel

You can feel that you’re getting closer to Lisbon: Carcavelos beach, on the outskirts of Lisbon, is literally overrun in summer. Accessible by train from Lisbon, it offers the largest stretch of sand of any Lisbon beach. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to keep the party going.

10. Praia do Meco

Plages de Lisbonne : Praia do Meco

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Alizada Studios

On to the south coast of Lisbon’s beaches! Meco beach, near Setúbal, is sheltered by a clay cliff. Good to know: it’s a popular spot for Portuguese naturists, but on the north coast, families can easily bask here without being molested (for the more shy).

11. Praia da Figueirinha

Praia da Figueirinha

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Aabasch

Here, you’d almost think you were in a tropical country! A calm sea, a long beach of sparkling white sand. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Lisbon and Portugal. Young and old alike will be delighted!

So, are you tempted by the crystal-clear waters of Lisbon’s beaches?