Beach Lovers – Lisbon is the perfect family holiday destination
If you have kids, you know the situation. The kids want a beach or a pool, the parents want interesting places to go to, once they get tired of the sun and the sand. Mom wants to go shopping, dad wants to go to a football match and the teenage kids wants nightlife.
Most of the time you end up with the easy choice: the beach – if the kids are ok we are ok
Having traveled with kids myself in the 80’s and 90’s I never understood the focus on the kids-needs-only. Holidays should be something that caters to everyone’s interests – something all family members look forward to.
And I know what I’m talking about, when I say that it isn’t impossible to find destinations that combines it all. You don’t have to go to Asia or other exotic and ‘cheap’ parts of the world. Trust me – we have traveled almost everywhere the last 25 years!
Kids means a lot to us. They are as important to our hotel as all other guests – but not more. And no matter where we go in Lisbon and Portugal I can’t help thinking: How would this place be, if I were traveling with kids?
I also know what I’m talking about when I say that Lisbon easily competes with all kids friendly destinations and concepts around the world. In my opinion it’s the only city in Europe right now, where you have children friendly city shopping & culture and beaches for all tastes. And the beaches gets better and better – The number of Blue Flags just increased to 320!
Record 320 Blue Flags for Portugal’s beaches
Portugal is awarded with more than 300 Blue Flag Beaches. In 2017 , once again, the three hundred beaches were awarded. 50 of them are from 20 minute – 1 hrs reach from down town Lisbon.
And for the first time, 5 Ecotourism Vessels have also been awarded, which follow the sustainability criteria of the Blue Flag.
These 320 beaches with Blue Flag make of Portugal the country of the European Union with greater percentage of beaches awarded (55%).
With respect to 2016, there has been a slight increase, from 314 to 320 award-winning bathing areas. With regard to marinas and recreational ports, there was a slight decrease in the number of awards, from 17 to 14.
Lisbon has beaches for all tastes within maximum 30 minute by car from downtown.
As dedicated beach lovers we don’t mind spending time and efforts to reach a good beach.
To us a good beach has nothing to do with beach bars, beach umbrellas, parking, wooden walking paths and all the other conveniences you find in, on and around most beaches in Portugal.
Actually we want them as on-touched as possible.
That does not mean that we don’t use the city beaches, we do! Caxias on the way to Cascais is our favorite out-of-the-seasonweek day beach only 30-40 minutes from the hotel by train. But our favorite city beach is 1 hr by bus and boat from our hotel.
When we rent a car we can reach our favorite beach in all Portugal (and a top 5 beach on our personal list of beaches on this planet) in 1 hr from Graca.
Here are our favorite Lisbon beaches
Lisbon has beaches for all tastes and preferences. Beaches are a personal ‘thing’. If you are one of the picky kind don’t panic – Lisbon is surrounded with beaches for all tastes and preferences. And you can reach all of them in 1 hr by car.
If you don’t have time to find your own favorite, here is a quick guide to alternatives to the beaches between Lisbon and Cascais, which becomes very crowded during the high season.
- Guincho is for bay watches and swimming
- Ericeira is for surfing
- Sesimbra, Portinho da Arrábida for swimming
- Costa da Caparica, The most popular beach for locals, schools etc. You won’t find much seclusion on this coast. BUT a 15 minutes walk along the beach is worth the effort!!!
- Troia – if you want your own beach and a dolphins welcoming you. Our favorite beach
- Meco for seclusion and ‘to bare it all’ – so if nudity frightens you find another beach.
- Tamariz is for sun tan and drinks
- Adraga, Santa Cruz is for natural beauty
- Praia das Maçãs is for families
- Praia Bella Vista: If nudity frightens you – stay away (the closest you get to our favorite beach – Tisvilde – in Denmark
- Beach 19: The stretch next to Praia Bella Vista is for LGBT
- Our favorite Lisbon Beach: Call/text us for this one – we don’t want it to get too crowded 🙂
The biggest bonus of them all – and what’s make Lisbon so fantastic: The mild climate!
Unlike Porto where the temperature usually is 3 to 5 °C colder and a lot more rainy, the Lisbon weather is mild and warm. So except for a few month around December and January its always easy to find a beach with a small sunny stretch with shelter from the wind to sun bath for an hour or two.
And the water around Lisbon never gets really cold.