The Most Beautiful Beaches in or Near Cascais, Portugal

Praia da Conceiçao is a sandy beach near Cascais thats popular with families thanks to a wide variety of facilities
Praia da Conceiçao is a sandy beach near Cascais that's popular with families thanks to a wide variety of facilities | © Alexandre Rotenberg / Alamy Stock Photo
Mandi Keighran

Known as Lisbon’s most beloved weekend getaway, charming Cascais sits close to some supreme stretches of sand.

The coastal resort town of Cascais lies near Cabo da Roca – the westernmost point in mainland Europe – and has been a popular tourist destination ever since the late 19th century when King Luís I chose Cascais for his summer residence. The stretch of coastline that runs from Lisbon past Estoril to Cascais is home to some of the best beaches in Portugal, from pretty bays and dramatic coves to surf destinations and urban beaches. This is our pick of the most beautiful beaches in and around Cascais.

1. Praia da Adraga

Natural Feature

Adraga beach, sunset colors, in Sintra, Portugal. Explore the caves at Adraga Beach to catch a glimpse of goose barnacles, a local delicacy
© Luis Vieira / Alamy Stock Photo

This North Atlantic beach near the town of Almoçageme on the western side of the Serra de Sintra is quite simply one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. Nestled between dramatic cliff formations in the Sintra-Cascais National Park, it features a strip of golden sand and clear waters worthy of its Blue Flag status. It’s also just a 15-minute drive from Cabo da Roca, a wild and windswept cape that marks the westernmost point of mainland Europe.

2. Praia do Guincho

Natural Feature

Praia do Guincho, Cascais, Portugal. Guincho Beach was used as a setting in a James Bond film
© Ben Welsh Premium / Alamy Stock Photo
Planning a surf trip to Cascais or Lisbon? Unlike most beaches in and around Cascais, Praia do Guincho directly faces the Atlantic Ocean and the epic waves make it a popular surfing destination for experienced surfers. The strong winds also make it popular for windsurfing and kitesurfing, but less suitable for sunbathing. Praia do Guincho is mainly accessible by car – it’s just a 20-minute drive to the beach from Cascais – or it’s possible to cycle along a purpose-built cycle path.

3. Praia da Conceição

Natural Feature

Long exposure of sandy beach in Cascais near Lisbon, Portugal during the summer. This beach is known as Praia da Conceicao
© Alexandre Rotenberg / Alamy Stock Photo

Praia da Conceição boasts some of the calmest waters on the coastline around Cascais and Lisbon, making it ideal for families with young children and for stand-up paddleboarding. It’s one of the largest beaches in the region and at low tide is connected to the neighbouring Praia da Duquesa. Perched on a rocky outcrop at the west end of the beach you’ll find the renowned Albatroz hotel, which was originally built in 1873 as a Palace for the Dukes of Loulé.

4. Praia da Torre

Natural Feature

JT4J6D
© Mikehoward / Alamy Stock Photo

Add a dose of history to your beach day at Praia da Torre, a sheltered sandy beach overlooked by the Forte de São Julião da Barra. The impressive 16th-century fortress is one of Portugal’s largest maritime fortifications and is considered the most important in the country. One of the defining features of the beach is Piscina Oceânica de Oeiras, an enormous ocean swimming pool with diving towers and a dedicated children’s pool that’s open between June and mid-September.

5. Praia da Rainha

Natural Feature

Crowded Praia da Rainha (Queenss Beach) in downtown Cascais, Portugal, on a sunny day.
© Tuomas Lehtinen / Alamy Stock Photo

Looking for a beach in the heart of Cascais? This tiny, sandy cove sheltered by cliffs is located just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Cascais and the train station. The beach was once a favourite of Queen Amélia, the last queen of Portugal – hence the name, which translates as Queen’s Beach – and it’s one of the prettiest in the region. Its convenience and natural beauty mean it’s also one of the most popular beaches. It’s overlooked by the Largo da Praia da Rainha square, which offers a vibrant spot to grab a bite to eat.

6. Praia da Ribeira

Natural Feature

Praia da Rainha, Cascais, Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
© claude thibault / Alamy Stock Photo

Back when Cascais was a fishing village, Praia da Ribeira – otherwise known as Praia do Pescador (Fisherman’s Beach) – was where colourful fishing boats were moored and unloaded. Today, the fishing boats are moored in the marina and Praia da Ribeira is crowded with tourists. Its convenient location close to Cascais’ main square and the old town makes it a good choice if you just want to spend a few hours at the beach rather than making the longer trek by train to one of the larger beaches nearby.

7. Praia de Carcavelos

Natural Feature

Carcavelos beach, Lisbon, Portugal
© Olena Buyskykh / Alamy Stock Photo
Aspiring surfers should make their way to Praia de Carcavelos, a sandy beach that boasts decent waves and a number of surf schools and rentals. There are plenty of beach bars and cafes along the promenade – for fresh seafood, book a table at A Pastorinha, a renowned beachside restaurant that’s listed in the Michelin guide. The beach is also conveniently located for a day trip from Lisbon, as it’s on the Lisbon to Cascais train.

8. Praia do Tamariz

Natural Feature

City beach Praia do Tamariz in Estoril, Portugal.
© travelpix / Alamy Stock Photo

Conveniently located in front of the train station in the upmarket resort town of Estoril, which sits between Lisbon and Cascais, you’ll find Praia do Tamariz. This small beach features rock pools to explore, beachside bars and cafes, whilst there’s also a promenade that’s popular for strolling and jogging. Elevate the beach experience at Reverse, a beachside bar that features an ocean water pool with an in-water cocktail bar. The eastern end of the beach is overlooked by a faux castle, which according to local lore is owned by the royal family of Monaco.

9. Praia da Ursa

Natural Feature

Cabo da Roca peninsula on background, Lisbon, Portugal
© Alexandre Rotenberg / Alamy Stock Photo

This secluded patch of sand near Cabo da Roca is the westernmost beach in mainland Europe – and, thanks to its remote location, it’s often almost completely deserted. With cold waters, strong currents and no lifeguards, however, it’s not a swimming beach. Instead, the isolated location is known as an unofficial naturist beach for nude sunbathing. It’s also popular with photographers for its unspoiled wilderness and enormous rock formations that jut out of the Atlantic Ocean.

Extend your Cascais holiday by staying in nearby Lisbon. See the city for yourself with the best tours around. Book one of the best hotels with pools in Lisbon now via Culture Trip, or browse hip apartments in the city that you’ll want to call home. Explore the local nightlife in the bars and clubs of Bairro Alto, or discover everything Lisbon has to offer from the comfort of your own living room.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

close-ad
Edit article