SintraCascaisSesimbra.com

The best independent guide to Estoril

SintraCascaisSesimbra.com

The best independent guide to Estoril

Estoril beach guide and best beaches of the region – updated for 2022

Estoril is a stylish and sophisticated resort town that is situated on the beautiful Lisbon coastline.
Estoril opens out on the beautiful Praia do Tamariz beach, with its soft sands and clean, calm seawaters, and is wonderful for a day on the beach.

praia do Tamariz beach estoril

The Praia do Tamariz beach

Surrounding Estoril are two very different coastlines: the calm and family-friendly beaches of the Costa da Estoril, while to the north is the Serra de Sintra, and the might of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Costa da Estoril stretches between Lisbon and Estoril, and is characterised by golden sands, calm sea waters, and traditional resort towns, such as Cascais, Estoril and Oeiras. These beaches are very popular in the summer, as they are served by a regular train service between Lisbon to Cascais.

The Serra de Sintra coastline is the complete opposite of the Costa da Estoril. This is a region of huge surfing waves, ceaseless sea breezes and stunning natural scenery. The Serra de Sintra is a protected coastline, and there is almost no tourist development, just wild, dramatic beaches.
This article will provide an introduction to the beaches of Estoril.
Related articles: Introduction to Estoril

Serra de Sintra coastline

The rugged Serra de Sintra coastline

The best beaches of Estoril

The map below shows the location of the best beaches of the Estoril region. The green markers show the 10 best beaches of the Costa da Estoril, and the blue pins are the best beaches of the Atlantic coastline.

The top 10 beaches of the Costa da Estoril: 1) Praia de Carcavelos 2) Praia da Duquesa & Praia da Conceição 3) Praia da Rainha 4) Praia de São Pedro do Estoril 5) Praia do Tamariz 6) Praia da Ribeira 7) Praia da Torre 8) Praia Velha 9) Praia de Santo Amaro 10) Praia das Moitas

The best beaches of the Serra de Sintra and Atlantic coastline: 1) Praia do Guincho 2) Praia da Ursa 3) Praia da Foz do Lizandro 4) Praia da Adraga 5) Praia das Maçãs 6) Praia Grande
Note: The limited public transport of the Atlantic coastline means you will need a car to travel to them.

The following section provides details of the beaches of the Estoril region.

Beaches within walking distance of Estoril

The beaches which are within walking distance of Estoril are characterised by golden sands, gentle seas and extensive tourist facilities. These beaches are some of Portugal’s most popular, and in the summer months, it can feel as if the whole of Lisbon has descended to them.

Praia do Tamariz (20m from Estoril train station)

The Praia do Tamariz is the main beach of Estoril and is a great location to begin your holiday on. The beach has calm sea waters, which lap the soft sands, and as idyllic as it sounds, the setting will be shared with many others, as it is right next to Estoril train station.

The Praia do Tamariz is close to the town so has great facilities (beach cafes, bars and shops) and is next to the decorative Forte da Cruz. To the east of the beach is a rudimental sea swimming pool, which is built into the sea wall, and is a favourite with children hunting for small sea life.

Our opinion: The Praia do Tamariz is ideal for a day relaxing under the hot sun, but there are much better beaches in the surrounding region.

praia do Tamariz beach estoril

The Praia do Tamariz and the Forte da Cruz villa

Praia da Conceição and Praia da Duquesa
1.5km walk from Estoril train station

The two beaches of Praia da Duquesa and Praia da Conceição form the main beach of Cascais, the next resort town along from Estoril.

This beach is larger than the Praia do Tamariz and is more hectic, with many more beach activities. During the summer there are large sea inflatables, sea pedalos and power boats towing ringo and banana rides.

The beach is divided into two by a minor headland on which the Casa Faial mansion stands; to the west is the Praia da Conceição and to the east (closer to Estoril) is the Praia da Duquesa. The beach is ideal for families as the waters are clean, calm and supervised by a lifeguard.

The walk to Conceição and Duquesa beaches follow the beachfront promenade, which connects Estoril to Cascais and is a pleasant route for a short stroll.

Praia da Conceição beach

The Praia da Duquesa and the Praia da Conceição are really one beach

Praia das Moitas - 1km walk from Estoril

The Praia das Moitas is pretty little beach partway between Estoril and Cascais and is the first beach reached when following the beach promenade from Estoril.

Praia das Moitas could be considered as a smaller version of the Praia do Tamariz; nice but hardly amazing……

Praia das Moitas beach

The Praia das Moitas is overlooked by grand villas and expensive hotels

Praia da Rainha - 1.8km walk from Estoril

The Praia da Rainha is one of the most scenic beaches of the Estoril-Cascais coastline; golden sands and still blue waters which overlook the peaceful harbour of Cascais.

In the 1880s Queen Amélia selected this secluded beach as her private bathing area, and since it has been referred as the Queen’s Beach (Praia da Rainha).

This is a very pretty beach but being one of the smallest of the coastline, it will always be significantly busier than when Queen Amélia frequented it.

Praia da Rainha beach

The pretty Praia da Rainha, as chosen by a queen.....

Praia da Ribeira - 2km walk from Estoril

The Praia da Ribeira was traditionally where fishermen hauled up their fishing boats, these boats are no longer pulled onto the sands but it is still affectional known as the fishermen’s beach.

Sunbathers on the Praia da Ribeira may feel on display as there is constant trudge of day trippers wandering around the historic centre of Cascais.

Praia da Ribeira cascais

The Praia da Ribeira is at the heart of Cascais

Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano - 1.3km walk from Estoril

The Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano is a sea filled swimming pool, which is ideal for children and families to bath safely (and the water is slightly warmer than the sea!).

There is no admission fee and is a favourite with children, especially if there are fish trapped in the pool after the tide recedes.

Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano cascais

The Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano looks dated and has a lot of concrete but is great fun!

Beaches near Estoril that can be reached via public transport

All of the previous beaches were very similar; calm, safe, and boasting great tourist facilities.

The beaches close to Estoril are ideal for families or a relaxing day on the beach, but certain visitors may wish more exciting or improved natural scenery, which this next set of beaches can provide.

These beaches require a bit more effort to travel to, but all can be reached via the inexpensive public transport that departs from Estoril.

The Praia do Guincho - 8.5km bus ride from Estoril

Praia do Guincho is a wild and rugged beach that is situated within the beautiful Serra de Sintra nature park. Guincho is one of the best surfing beaches of the region, as it is exposed to the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Guincho beach boasts dramatic and raw natural scenery, but it is no relaxing or tranquil beach, there are constant strong winds, and hidden beneath the waters are powerful currents.

Guincho beach is 8.5km north-west of Estoril and is connected by the 405 and 415 bus services that departs from Cascais bus station (which is a 15-minute walk from Estoril).

Praia do Guincho surfing beach

The wild and rugged beach of Praia do Guincho is only a short bus ride away

Praia de Carcavelos - 6.5km train from Estoril

The Praia de Carcavelos is the Lisbon coastline’s most popular beach. Carcavelos is much larger than all of the beaches close to Estoril, there are medium waves for surfing and excellent public transport links to Estoril and Lisbon. Along the beachfront are numerous beach bars, restaurants and shops, and in the summer, there is always a lively atmosphere.

Praia de Carcavelos estoril

Praia de Carcavelos is a huge beach.....

Praia de Carcavelos is an outstanding beach, and for visitors based in Lisbon this is the recommend beach to visit. The residents of Lisbon also know it’s their best beach, and in the summer it can feel as if most of Lisbon are on the sands of Carcavelos.

Carcavelos is connected to Estoril by the regional railway, and the direct train takes 25 minutes and a ticket costs €2.10. From the station it is a 700m walk to the beach.

Insight: For your holiday to Estoril, Carcavelos is an excellent beach, but Praia de São Pedro is similar, closer and slightly less busy.

Praia de Carcavelos summer

.... but it fills up quickly in the summer!

Praia de São Pedro -3km train or walk from Estoril

The Praia de São Pedro should be considered as a smaller version of the Praia de Carcavelos.

The beach is slightly sheltered from the headland, and this means the waves are not as good for surfing (but for surfing head to the Praia do Guincho).

Praia de São Pedro is connected to the Estoril-Lisbon with a 20-minute train ride, and there is no long walk to the beach from the station.

Praia de São Pedro beach

The Praia de São Pedro

The best beaches of the Serra de Sintra and Atlantic Coastline

The beaches of the Serra de Sintra are famed for their wonderous scenery and powerful surfing waves. There tends to be very poor public transport north from Estoril, with the Praia do Guincho being the only one served by any sensible bus services.

Praia da Ursa (18km drive from Estoril)

The Praia da Ursa is the place to visit if you wish to escape the summertime crowds. This is as remote as it gets; there are dirt roads to the car park, and to access the beach is via a meandering cliffside path

The beach is completely wild, with absolutely no tourist development, but then this is the attraction of the beach. The Praia da Ursa is distinctive for its huge rock pillars, and the hidden rocks make it unsuitable for surfing.

Praia da Ursa

The footpath down to the Praia da Ursa

Praia das Maçãs (25km drive from Estoril)

The Praia das Maçãs is a wide sandy bay beach set below the charming resort town of Praia das Maçãs. This is a pretty low-key beach, which is a favourite with Portuguese families.
Our opinion: If the hecticness of Estoril get too much, then consider visiting Praia das Maçãs
Related articles: Praia das Maçãs

Praia das Maçãs

The town of Praia das Maçãs stands on the headland that shelters the beach

The Praia da Adraga (23km drive from Estoril)

The Praia da Adraga is very similar to the Praia da Ursa, but has slightly more development (a restaurant, shop and a decent car park).

This is a very beautiful beach and a favourite with the Portuguese. One advantage of the Praia da Adraga is that the carpark directly accesses the beach, without steps or cliffside scramble.

Praia da Adraga beach

At the Praia da Adraga it is easy to escape the summertime crowds

The Praia Grande (23km drive from Estoril)

The Praia Grande, as the name implies, a large beach, and is surrounded by a low-key beach resort. At the northern end is the Arribas Sintra Hotel, with a 100m salt-water swimming pool, with wonderful views across the beach. The Praia Grande is a popular surfing beach, as there are few rocky outcrops.

Our opinion: The Praia Grande is an impressive beach, but there is no real point in travelling all the way from Estoril to spend time on it.

Praia Grande Sintra

The Praia Grande is popular for surfing

The Praia da Foz do Lizandro (43km)

This beach is a long way from Estoril, and actually in the town of Ericeira, but is the best surfing beach of the Lisbon region.

The Foz do Lizandro beach is a wide expanse of sands which spans the mouth of the Lizandro River. There is surf rental here (unlike many of the other beaches), great facilities and Ericeira is a hub for surfing.

Praia da Foz do Lizandro surfing

Evening surfing at the Praia da Foz do Lizandro

The Costa da Caparica (25km train and bus from Estoril)

The beaches of the Costa da Caparica coastline are on the southern side of Lisbon (on the Setubal Peninsula) and it is possible to travel to them via public transport. The Costa da Caparica offer the same great surfing of Guincho but are within a modern resort town.

For visitors based in Lisbon, the Costa da Caparica beaches provides an alternative to the Estoril coastline, but if you are in Estoril the Costa da Caparica beaches are not worth the complex and long journey.

Costa da Caparica beach

Fishing boats still launch from the beach of Costa da Caparica, which is agreat beach but too far from Estoril

Tourist information for the beaches of Estoril

The weather of Estoril is suitable for spending time on the beaches from May until the end of September. The main tourist season aligns with the school holidays (July and August), and in this season, expect all of Lisbon’s beaches to be very crowded. Visitors new to Estoril are always surprised by the cool sea temperatures, which only reach 21C in the height summer.

When surfing at the beaches of the Serra de Sintra be wary of the strong currents and tides, and only ever surf or swim in designated areas. The beaches close to Estoril are sheltered and safe, making them suitable for families and children. The following section provides details of the beaches of the Estoril region.

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