Lisbon Beaches: Where to Swim, Surf and Sunbathe near the City

Lisbon is blessed with a stunning seafront, the Lisbon Coast, which encompasses the resort towns of Estoril and Cascais. Dotted along this fabulous waterfront are some excellent beaches, famed for their calm shallow waters, soft golden sands and brilliant water sports facilities. The bathing season begins in May and continues through to the end of September. During this period, teams of qualified lifeguards supervise the beaches listed below. In addition, every beach has been awarded a Blue Flag, a coveted environmental citation indicating that the area meets stringent management and sustainability criteria, the water quality is of the highest order and safety measures – lifesaving and emergency services – are in place.  Praia do Tamariz in Estoril and Praia de Carcavelos, sited nearer the city, are two of the most popular Lisbon beaches and perfect for family days out. The furthest beach from Lisbon, the wild and beautiful Praia do Guincho, is an established wind surf and kite board destination. In Cascais, sunbathers and beachcombers are spoilt for choice, with pretty Praia da Rainha, Praia de Conceicao, Praia da Duquesa and Praia da Ribeira all within walking distance of each other, set as they are along the oceanfront promenade. Closer to Estoril are Praia da Poco and Praia das Moitas while further east back towards Lisbon is a local favourite, Praia S. Pedro do Estoril. Besides the Blue Flag, note that a green flag hoisted over the sand indicates that swimming is allowed; a yellow flag means do not swim. If a red flag is flying, do not enter the water. A chequered flag signifies that the beach is temporarily without lifeguard supervision.    

It's got a Blue Flag and a low tide affords a large expanse of golden sand. Otherwise S. Pedro's narrow beachfront is usually the domain of surfers and anglers, except during high summer when local residents make it their own, helped by...  Read More

Outside the City

Excellent public access has long made Moitas Beach a preferred destination for beachcombers and sunbathers, but this triangular wedge of sand is a premium location and can get packed out pretty quickly. A breakwater helps appease the heavy...  Read More

Outside the City

A coveted Blue Flag flutters over this sliver of beach, which draws local families as this is a particularly attractive playground for kids, a place where parents can keep a close eye on their offspring. Praia da Poco, set on a pretty bay,...  Read More

Outside the City

Effectively the beach that constitutes Cascais Bay, Ribeira Beach is a compact half-moon delight, a crescent of sand wedged in between the resort's wonderfully breezy promenade and a fisherman's pier. During the summer months it can get...  Read More

Outside the City

So named because of the nearby Palacio dos Duques de Palmela (Dukes of Palmela Palace) which provides a suitably historic context, the Duchess Beach is another stretch of sand located very near Cascais town centre and connected by a wonderful...  Read More

Outside the City

Named after a little chapel overlooking the beach that was built to honour Our Lady of Conceicao, this beach, located in the centre of Cascais between the upmarket Albatroz Seafront Hotel and the rather splendid Chalet Faial, is one of the...  Read More

Outside the City

Arguably the most attractive of beaches along the Lisbon coast, the Queen's Beach is also the smallest – a pocket sized wedge of sand squeezed between a row of beachfront apartments and townhouses smack bang in Cascais old town. Not...  Read More

Outside the City

An enormous amphitheatre of golden sand backed by rolling dunes, Guincho's spectacular setting is reason enough to visit (it's also a Blue Flag location). The ocean, however, is equally appealing, not least for windsurfers and kite boarders....  Read More

Outside the City

Arguably the most popular Lisbon beach, and one of the area's largest (nearly 2km long) Blue-flagged Carcavelos is a fifteen-minute walk from the railway station along Avenida Jorge V. Its close proximity to the city makes it popular with...  Read More

Outside the City

Fringing the coastal town of Estoril, Tamariz has long been a favourite with locals and those tourists staying in this smart and lively resort. It's a wide run of sand, and the beach enjoys a wealth of amenities, including pedalo rental, diving...  Read More


Meet Paul Bernhardt

Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more...  More About Paul
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