More Than Just a City Trip: Nature and Beach Vacation in Lisbon

Enjoy endless fun in the sun with a beach vacation to Lisbon, where you'll find soft sands and inviting waters, all close to the conveniences of the city.


This article was sponsored by Visit Lisboa

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and home to a rich history, stunning restaurants, fun shops, and plenty of pristine beaches. Enjoying a bit of outdoor adventure is easy in this city, as you’ll find numerous beaches and coastal opportunities for fun located right next to all the conveniences of town. In fact, you can get to the beach from the downtown area by taking the train, the bus, or the ferry. You can even get there on a bike if you want to take care of travel yourself.

The allure of the beaches of Lisbon comes from more than just pristine sands and inviting waters. The sun shines here about 290 days out of the year, so beachfront fun is easy to find all year long. Even if sand isn’t quite to your liking, plenty of pools are available throughout the area as well. Parks are also prominent here, so you can soak up the sun and the coast on well-maintained walking paths and green fields. Take in some of the best Lisboa has to offer with Arrabida and Tejo, Costa da Caparica, Cascais, Sintra, and Mafra and Ericeira.

Arrabida and Tejo - Where nature and the sea blend


Arrabida and Tejo are coastal regions to the south of downtown Lisbon where you can take in idyllic beaches known for their calm and welcoming waters. Without any serious waves to worry about, this region is often used for swimming and is particularly suitable for those traveling with kids.

When visiting this area, you’ll see far more natural splendor than just the beaches themselves. The unique landscape features vibrant shades of blue and green in between the waters and the towering mountain. You’ll also find the Tejo Estuary Nature Reserve here, which is not only a fascinating nature park to visit but one of the most important wetlands on the continent.

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Costa da Caparica - Find beaches for every taste

Costa da Caparica is an area packed with over 9 miles of diverse beaches. You’ll find beaches that are focused on swimming and family fun and others that are more suitable for simple relaxation. Additionally, the local beaches here tend to be set close to quality bars and restaurants with items you won’t want to miss out on. Most of the food on offer is seafood, as you might expect, including clams and grilled fish.

One of the best aspects of Costa da Caparica is how easy it is to reach from downtown Lisbon. You can get to this beach by bus, ferry, or bike. You just have to cross the bridge to the south. Biking is especially rewarding since you get to take in scenic surroundings along the way and immerse yourself in the vibrant nature.

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Cascais - Find thrilling watersports

Cascais is located a short distance to the west of downtown Lisbon, and you can explore a variety of beaches along the way. Some of the beaches, like Santo Amaro and Oeiras, have calm waters that are perfect for those traveling with the whole family or inexperienced swimmers in general. Carcavelos is a bit more energetic, making it a solid destination for beginner surfers to try and hone their skills.

If you’re looking for something a bit more thrilling in Cascais, you’ll want to head to Guincho. This hot spot is a hub for both windsurfers and kitesurfers, thanks to the strong winds that are prevalent here virtually all year long. In addition to the winds, this area also offers an impressive view of Cape Roca that you won’t want to miss even if you’re not interested in the local watersports.

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Sintra - Enchanting Atlantic beaches


Sintra is a lovely region with some truly impressive beaches that often go unspoiled, thanks to the presence of the Sintra Cascais Natural Park. This park is well protected, and any beaches that are a part of it get the same treatment, with no developments getting in the way of the natural splendor. When you visit these beaches, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the natural Portuguese landscape, which is why so many from all over the country and beyond flock to Sintra for coastal beauty.

Given that these beaches are directly on the open Atlantic, you’ll find some impressive waves. Praia da Adraga and Praia Grande are especially popular with surfers and those participating in fun watersports. Of course, the sandy shore makes it easy to take a stroll or sunbathe as well.

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Mafra and Ericeira - Natural surf and rich history


Mafra and Ericeira both have something special to offer travelers looking to explore the best areas around Lisboa for beachfront fun. Mafra is an inland town with a clear path to the beach, but you may want to take in a few of the local features first. After all, this town is home to the National Palace, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The town of Ericeira is due west of Mafra and offers the coastal experience you’ve been looking for. While the town itself is a relatively small and quiet fishing town, the waves along the coast are anything but. Surfing is a popular activity here, with the World Surfing Reserve located in the area, just half an hour away from Lisboa itself.

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