Best Beaches in Lisbon, Portugal 🇵🇹: Most Beautiful, Family-friendly, For Water Sports

With miles of stunning coastline and a sunny Mediterranean climate, Portugal offers some of Europe’s best beaches. If you’re visiting the vibrant capital city of Lisbon, you’ll be happy to know that many breathtaking beaches lie just a short drive away.

Both north and south of the city, blue flag beaches beckon along the Estoril Coast. These sandy stretches offer calm waters perfect for kids to splash safely.

Travelers craving more solitude can escape to pristine sands tucked among dramatic cliffs further afield. And those seeking an adrenaline rush will find world-class windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions just minutes from shore.

In this article, we spotlight the top beaches near Lisbon for scenery, facilities, water quality and overall experience. Read on to discover stunning shores of Portugal.

Quick Guide to the Best Lisbon Beaches 📋

  • 👪 For Families: Praia de Carcavelos
  • 🌄 For Views: Praia do Tamariz, Praia do Guincho, Praia da Ursa
  • 🏄🏻‍♀️ For Surfers: Costa da Caparica, Praia do Guincho
  • 🌴 For Quiet Stay: Praia de Caxias
  • 💎 First-class amenities: Costa da Caparica, Praia Grande

Top 10 Beaches Near Lisbon 🔝

1. Praia de Carcavelos (Oeiras) – Best for Families 👦🏻

Probably Lisbon’s most popular beach, Carcavelos Beach offers a long and wide stretch of golden sand along with a lively ambiance and excellent facilities.

Easily accessible by train from the city, it gets very busy in summer with a mix of families, groups of friends, and surfers.

Lifeguards patrol the safe swimming area while surf schools offer lessons for all abilities. When you need a break from the sun, beach clubs behind the dunes serve snacks and cold drinks on their terraces.

  • Time to Lisbon: 26 minutes by train
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower: ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ✔, 15€

2. Praia do Tamariz (Estoril) – Best Spot for a Photo Shoot 📸

Another appealing option near the resort town of Estoril, Praia do Tamariz appeals to both families and surfers.

One end features a rocky bay with calm, clear water perfect for swimming. At the other end, waves consistently break over a sandbar, creating one of the area’s best surfing spots.

In addition to surf schools and equipment rental shops, amenities include volleyball courts, seaside cafes, and a promenade lined with palm trees.

If you want to avoid the crowds, get here early in the day as the beach gets packed in the mid-day heat.

  • Time to Lisbon: 36 minutes by train
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower: ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ✔

3. Praia de Caxias (Oeiras) – Closest Beach to Lisbon 📍

Located just 20 minutes from Lisbon city center, Praia de Caxias offers a peaceful beach getaway without venturing too far from the city.

The beach sees mostly locals, allowing you to experience the relaxed rhythms of daily Portuguese life. While the beach itself is on the small side, you’ll have no trouble finding room to lay out your towel on the sand.

The lively Oeiras neighborhood just steps away bustles with cafés, shops, and seafood restaurants where you can fuel up on freshly-grilled sardines or octopus rice.

A nice bonus is that the beach offers views of landmarks such as the April 25th Bridge and the Christ Monument.

  • Time to Lisbon: 20 minutes by train
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower:  ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ❌

4. Praia de Galápos (Portinho da Arrábida) – One of the Most Beautiful Beaches South of Lisbon 🤩

Galapos offers something for everyone – surfers ride the swells farther offshore as calmer waters closer to land allow young children to splash safely. At low tide, scattered tidal pools burst with starfish, crabs and anemones.

When you need a break, beachfront restaurants serve up fresh, local seafood on their breezy patios. And there are trails along the grassy dunes behind the beach if you feel like a quiet nature walk.

The beach is one of the most accessible, so it can be crowded during peak season. But in general, there is enough space for everyone.

  • Time to Lisbon: 50 minutes by car
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower: ❌
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ✔

5. Praia da Figueirinha (Portinho da Arrábida) – One of the Best Beaches for Quiet Stay 🕊

Figueirinha gives you a quieter slice of oceanfront less than 30 minutes from the city.

Overlooked by most tourists and only accessible by car or bus, its tucked away location keeps crowds smaller than more popular beaches.

Gentle waves make it a calm choice for families while tiny offshore islands rising from the sea make an interesting backdrop for photos. Its only beach club sits under the shade of cliffs where you can enjoy a drink.

  • Time to Lisbon: 50 minutes by car
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower:  ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ✔

6. Costa da Caparica – Satisfies All Interests 👍🏻

Across the Tagus River from Lisbon, Costa da Caparica covers over 9 miles of golden coastline with seemingly endless space for towels even on the hottest days. It’s actually one huge beach, but divided by imaginary lines forming a group of different sections, each with its own atmosphere.

Map of Costa da Caparica

Coast map

The expanse contains sections tailored to different interests from the lively beach bars and clubs near the ferry pier to calm lagoons farther south better for families.

The prominent beach town gives you plenty of dining, attraction, and accommodation choices. The resorts offer a vibrant nightlife scene in summer.

The wind also blows strongly enough here for flag flying weather nearly every day of the year.

All beaches on this coast have the main amenities such as working lifeguards, changing rooms, showers, toilets and sunbed and umbrella rentals.

  • Time to Lisbon: 55 minutes by bus
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower:  ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ✔

7. Praia do Guincho (Cascais) – Best Beach around Lisbon for Advanced Surfers 🏄🏻‍♂️

As you arrive, you’ll note the contrast between the calm Sintra mountains rising behind the beach and the wildly windswept shore. While the waves make Guincho Beach too dangerous for swimming and water sports, its natural beauty and isolated feel are what attract so many.

The lack of development is central to the beach’s wild charm. Wherever you walk along Guincho Beach’s 1-kilometer extent, you’ll be treated to splendid vistas out over white-capped waves.

The beach attracts many international stars, and was even used in the filming of a James Bond movie.

Since there are no cafés or facilities directly on Guincho Beach itself, you’ll want to come prepared with plenty of food, water, and sun protection for a full day exploring.

When you want to explore, adventurous trails meander along the beach and up cliffsides, leading to small secluded coves dotted with tide pools. Just inland sit several Brazilian and seafood restaurants where you can fuel up on fresh local cuisine.

  • Time to Lisbon: 55 minutes by 2 buses
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower:  ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ✔

8. Praia da Adraga (Sintra) – Beautiful Wild Beach West of Lisbon 🏔

Nestled between the cliffs near Sintra is the stunning beach of Praia da Adraga, one of the many gems along the Portuguese Riviera.

Because it is tucked away off the main road, Adraga beach tends to be less crowded than others, making it a peaceful spot to relax and revel in nature’s beauty.

The backdrop of the beach is equally stunning, with rugged ochre and terracotta cliffs overlooking the shores. Scale the steps up the cliffs to admire panoramic views of the entire golden coastline from above.

When you need a bite, check out Restaurante da Adraga. And don’t forget to sample some renowned Portuguese wine while admiring the ocean views.

  • Time to Lisbon: 45 minutes by car
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower:  ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ❌

9. Praia Grande (Sintra) – Historic Beach with First-class Amenities 💎

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sintra Mountains lies the charming beach town of Praia Grande. As its name “Big Beach” suggests, the main draw here is the sweeping crescent bay and nearly 2 kilometer of golden sand.

During peak season, the beach is crowded, but there is enough room for everyone. Great for swimming, as well as sports such as surfing and bodyboarding.

Behind the lively beachfront promenade, you’ll find a relaxed seaside community filled with excellent seafood restaurants and small shops selling everything from beach essentials to traditional Portuguese ceramics.

Accommodations range from international chain hotels to cozy inns and budget-friendly vacation rentals. For a special treat, stay at one of the charming boutique hotels built into the colorful cliffs rising above the main beach.

If lounging on the beach all day isn’t your style, there are scenic hiking trails in the Sintra Mountains to explore along with several excellent golf courses in the area.

  • Time to Lisbon: 45 minutes by car
  • Lifeguards: ✔
  • Changing rooms: ✔
  • Shower:  ✔
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ✔

10. Praia da Ursa (Sintra) – Best Place to Watch the Waves 🌊

Similar in style to Praia de Adraga, nearby Ursa beach likewise sits enveloped by 100-foot cliffs dense in Portugal’s characteristic vegetation of pine, eucalyptus, mimosa, and agave trees.

Accessible only by stairs leading down the rocky bluffs, its concealed setting results in crowds significantly smaller than the more visible beaches along the Estoril Coast.

Praia da Ursa
Praia da Ursa
Praia da Ursa
Praia da Ursa
Praia da Ursa

Due to its uncrowded nature, the beach is also known as «unofficially nudist», so you can find people sunbathing nude here.

But Ursa’s true claim to fame is as one of the world’s top beaches for wave watching. Powerful breakers crash against offshore reefs creating mesmerizing displays of water acrobatics.

  • Time to Lisbon: 50 minutes by car
  • Lifeguards: ❌
  • Changing rooms: ❌
  • Shower:  ❌
  • Loungers & umbrellas: ❌

Best Beaches near Lisbon for Water Sports 🏄🏻‍♂️

Caparica, Guincho, and Carcavelos not only rank among Lisbon’s top beaches overall but also leading destinations for water sports. Where you want ride waves, sail wind, or slice water depends on your ability level.

Advanced Surfers:

Praia do Guincho – Series of renowned world-class breaks challenge the best surfers especially in winter.

Intermediate Surfers:

Praia do Tamariz – Friendly sandbar break works well for progressing surfers year-round.

Beginning surfers:

Praia de Carcavelos – Popular beach break draws surf schools aplenty for its mellow waves.

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril – Sheltered spot near Lisbon offers smaller swells good for beginners.

Windsurfers & Kitesurfers:

Costa da Caparica – Wind blows steadily offshore nearly every day of the year fueling wind powered sports.

Praia do Guincho – Strong winds paired with big waves creates prime (if scary) kitesurf conditions from March to October.

Standup Paddleboarding:

Praia de Carcavelos – Gentle waves let you paddle serenely while enjoying the vibrant beach scene.

Praia de Galápos – Enclosed bay with little wind or current allows for relaxing flatwater paddling.

Beaches with the Best Views 👀

While lovely sandy beaches are plentiful near Lisbon, a few standouts also come with spectacular scenery guaranteed to dazzle your eyes in addition to feeling sublime under your feet.

Praia Grande, Praia da Adraga & Praia da Ursa: This trifecta of stunning beaches near the resort town of Sintra showcase the raw natural beauty of Portugal’s Atlantic coast from cliff-lined coves to distant islands to crashing waves against rocky outcrops.

Praia do Tamariz: Backed by the pastel hued buildings of Estoril with its gardens and casino, this popular beach comes framed by an appealing urban meets ocean landscape.

Praia do Balea: The beach lives in the shadow of the peninsula’s quaint fishing village whose bright cottages provide added charm to sunny days on its north facing sands.

When to Visit Lisbon 🤔

Lisbon enjoys warm sunny weather for eight months of the year though the ocean temperature changes significantly across seasons. For beach lovers that means:

🌼 Spring: March – May

Pleasant air temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit though Atlantic waters stay chilly for swimming before early June. Beat the summer crowds during the beautiful flower blooming season.

🌞 Summer: June – August  

Sunshine and warm low 80s Fahrenheit temps lasts from June through September. July/August busiest with tourists but best beach weather with calmest winds.

🍁 Fall: September – October

Lovely extended beach season. Still warm enough for the ocean in September with fewer visitors. Watch wild waves from shore by November.

❄ Winter: November – February

Quietest time due to rainy days and cold Atlantic Ocean.  Brave beach walkers bundle up for storm watching. Surfers relish giant winter swells.

Best Beaches Near the City of Lisbon on a Map 🗺

FAQs about Beaches in Portugal ❔

How far is Lisbon from a beach?

The closest ones are in the neighborhoods of Carcavelos, Parede, and Costa da Caparica, which are about 15-20 minutes from downtown Lisbon by car or public transportation.

Is it safe to swim in the ocean in Portugal?

Portugal’s beaches generally have very good conditions for swimming and water sports. The ocean water temperatures get up to around 70°F from June to September, warm enough for most people to enjoy a swim. The waves can get big on the western Atlantic coast, so caution is advised, especially for young or inexperienced swimmers.

How do you get from Lisbon to the beach?

Getting to the beaches from Lisbon is easy by public transit. Trains run frequently from the city center to coastal towns like Cascais, Costa da Caparica, and Sesimbra. Or you can take city buses, rideshares, or drive yourself and park in the beach town.