We’re so privileged not only to be surrounded by beaches – but some of them are among the best beaches in the world.
And because of the Gulf Stream Lisbon is the city in Europe with the most sunny hours per year, the highest average temperature and lowest rainfall. So as long as it doesn’t rain, we can always find a beach that matches the season – on a sunny but cold and windy December day, we just find a beach with sandy dunes or coves that shelter from the wind.
When time allows us we try to go to the beach for a couple of hours in the afternoon. And when we need a day off we usually go for a day trip that includes a couple of hours with a book on one of the beaches within a maximum one hour by car or public transportation.
With beaches for all occasions we enjoy beach life almost all year around.
We ‘collect’ beaches and don’t mind sharing them. So if you want to combine your Lisbon City trip with a few hours on a beach – or maybe even a day trip – why not try the beaches we go to when we want to avoid the crowds along the coast from Lisbon to Cascais?
With a car you have a lots of other options for including a beach in your day trip.
For inspiration we have added our own favourites in this map.
Most guidebooks highlight the beaches between the Cais do Sodres train station and Cascais in their Lisbon Beach Chapters.
These beaches are OK – but during the season they get very crowded. Carcavellos is the biggest and most popular one – we don’t like it and never go there. And if we, on very rare occasions, go we never go by train. The station is 30 minutes walk from the beach, which most guides never mention.
Instead we go to one the beaches from our ‘own collection’ – the one we have ‘created’ and maintained since our first visit to Lisbon 30 years ago.
Before Covid we had a small beach train running behind the sand dunes taking people from Caparica Town (#1) all the way to Fonte da Telha (#25). Each stop along the way has a small beach bar and according to the weather and season, Surf outlets.
Our ‘everyday’ beach is Praia Bela Vista – or beach #17. It’s the most remote beach on the Caparica coast – and thus least crowded.
The train doesn’t run any more – but all the beach bars do. And they can be reached by car or UBER in 30 – 40 minutes from Tings Lisbon.
When we spoil ourselves with a day off or have friends in town who have visited Lisbon before we have at least a handful of stunning beaches that easily compete with the bounty beaches in Asia or The Caribbean.
Like the sandy stretch along the Troja Peninsula OR the sand coves along the Arrabida coast.
Both beaches can be reached by car from Lisbon in 1 hr – 1:30 hr which makes it possible to combine the trip with visits to Sesimbra and Setubal on the way back.
If you leave early you get a chance to see the Dolphins. You can either take the highway and go via Alcáçer do Sal or take the car ferry from Setubal.
Troia beach is easy to reach by public transportation. From Lisbon there are frequent Busses and Trains to Setubal where you can take a pedestrian boat directly to the beaches on the other side of the laguna – combine it with a Setubal sightseeing you have a perfect day trip – the market is one of the best around us and you get the best fish her