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 Portuguese Riviera coastline.

Estoril sits on the beautiful Praia do Tamariz, a beautiful beach of golden sands and clean, calm seawaters, and is wonderful location for a day on the beach.

Surrounding Estoril are two very different coastlines: the calm and family-friendly beaches of the Portuguese Riviera, while to the northwest is the Serra de Sintra, which faces the Atlantic Ocean.

The Portuguese Riviera extends from Cascais to Lisbon, with this coastline comprising of sandy beaches, calm waters, and characterful resort towns such as Estoril, Cascais, Carcavelos and Oeiras. The beaches of the Portuguese Riviera are very popular during the summer, as these are the best beaches close to Lisbon.

The Serra de Sintra coastline lies to the northwest of Estoril and is very different to the Portuguese Riviera. This coastline faces the Atlantic Ocean, with huge waves, strong sea breezes and stunning natural scenery. The Serra de Sintra is a protected coastline, so there is almost no tourist development - just wild, dramatic beaches.

Estoril benefits from being close to these two very different coastlines, as well as having many beautiful sandy beaches within walking distance of the town. This article will provide an introduction to the beaches of the Estoril region, helping you make the best choice for your beach day trip.
Related articles: Introduction to Estoril

praia do Tamariz beach Estoril

The beautiful Praia do Tamariz is the main beach of Estoril

Serra de Sintra coastline

The Serra de Sintra coastline, with its vast beaches, powerful waves and strong winds.

Praia de Carcavelos

The largest beach of the Portuguese Riviera is Praia de Carcavelos, which is just a short train ride from Estoril.

Insight: If you've come to this guide during your holiday planning stage, know that Estoril and the surrounding region has some of the finest beaches of western Portugal. These beaches are just as good as those in the Algarve, and Estoril is a wonderful destination for your holiday.

The best beaches of Estoril and the surrounding region

The five best beaches within walking distance (2km) of Estoril town centre are:
1) Praia do Tamariz 2) Praia da Conceição & Praia da Duquesa 3) Praia da Poça 4) Praia da Rata 5) Praia das Moitas

The five best beaches of the Portuguese Riviera (east of Estoril):
1)
Praia de Carcavelos 2) Praia de Santo Amaro (Oeiras Beach) 3) Praia de São Pedro do Estoril 4) Praia da Torre 5) Praia de Paço de Arcos
Note: These can be easily reached by the Estoril-Lisbon railway.

The five best beaches of the Serra de Sintra (northwest of Estoril):
1)
Praia das Maçãs 2) Praia Grande 3) Praia da Ursa 4) Praia da Adraga 5) Praia do Guincho
Note: The limited public transport of the Serra de Sintra region means you will need a car to travel to them.

The interactive map below shows the location of these beaches. The beaches close to Estoril are displayed in green, the beaches of the Portuguese Riviera are in yellow, and the Serra de Sintra coastline beaches are in blue. Note: Zoom out to see all of the markers.

Estoril beaches (green): 1) Praia do Tamariz 2) Praia da Conceição & Praia da Duquesa 3) Praia da Poça 4) Praia das Moitas 5) Praia da Azarujinha
Portuguese Riviera (yellow): 6) Praia de Carcavelos 7) Praia de Santo Amaro (Oeiras Beach) 8) Praia de São Pedro do Estoril 9) Praia da Torre 10) Praia de Paço de Arcos
Serra de Sintra (blue): 11) Praia das Maçãs 12) Praia Grande 13) Praia da Ursa 14) Praia da Adraga 15) Praia do Guincho

Insight: The weather in Estoril is warm enough for spending time on the beaches from May until the end of September. The beaches are at their busiest during the peak season of July and August.

The best beaches close to Estoril

The beaches detailed in this next section are within walking distance of Estoril. If you are on holiday in Estoril, these will likely be the ones that you will spend the majority of your time on. These beaches tend to get crowded during the summer due to their proximity to Estoril and Cascais, both of which are popular holiday destinations.

Estoril summer holiday beach

Estoril's beaches are a hive of activity during the summer

Praia do Tamariz beach, Estoril

The Praia do Tamariz is the main beach of Estoril and is a great location to begin your holiday.

The beach boasts soft golden sands and has very calm waters, making it ideal for families. Tamariz beach is very popular during the summer, but it is not as hectic as the beaches in Cascais. Sunloungers and sunshades can be rented here for 20€ per day.

To the rear of the Praia do Tamariz is a beachside promenade lined with many cafes, bars and shops, which always has a lively atmosphere during the summer. Tamariz beach is overlooked by the Forte da Cruz, an ornate 19th-century villa.

On the eastern side of the beach is the 'Piscina Oceânica do Tamariz', a saltwater swimming pool that is filled by the high tide. The water here is always warmer than the sea and is safer for young children to swim in.

praia do Tamariz beach Estoril

The Praia do Tamariz is a fantastic sandy beach

Piscina Oceânica do Tamariz swimming pool

The Piscina Oceânica do Tamariz is filled by the high tide

Praia da Conceição and Praia da Duquesa

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 always more hectic, offering many activities such as boat rides, sea inflatables, pedalos and beach sports. The beach is divided into two by a minor headland on which the Casa Faial villa stands; to the west is the Praia da Conceição and to the east (closer to Estoril) is the Praia da Duquesa.

The 1.7km route from Estoril to the Conceição and Duquesa beaches follows the Paredão de Cascais, a beachfront promenade, which is an enjoyable walk on a summer's day.

Praia da Duquesa beach

The Praia da Duquesa beach in July

Praia da Poça

The Praia da Poça is a good alternative to the Praia do Tamariz, which is only 300m away.
This small, sandy beach sits at the base of a cliff and seawall, overlooking the calm waters of the Estoril coastline. Poça beach tends to be less crowded than the beaches to the west (and closer to Cascais) and is perfect for a relaxing day in the sun.

Praia das Moitas - Estoril beaches

The Praia das Moitas is a pretty little beach that lies partway between Estoril and Cascais. It is the first beach you will reach when following the Paredão de Cascais promenade west from Estoril.

Praia das Moitas could be considered a smaller version of the Praia do Tamariz. It offers golden sands and calm seawaters, as well as sunloungers for hire.

Insight: Moitas beach is sometimes referred to by its old name, Praia da Rata (rat beach). Thankfully the rats are long gone, and the beach was renamed Praia das Moitas to make it more appealing to tourists.

Praia das Moitas Estoril beach

The Praia das Moitas may be small, but it is a great sandy beach close to Estoril

Praia da Rata Estoril

The western side of Moitas beach

Praia da Rainha - 1.8km walk from Estoril

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

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

This is a very pretty beach, but as one of the smallest on this 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.....

Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano

The Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano is a seawater swimming pool where children and families can swim safely - and the water is warmer than the sea!

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

Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano Estoril

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

Beaches of the Portuguese Riviera

Estoril lies in the heart of the Portuguese Riviera, the coastline that extends between Lisbon to Cascais.

The beaches of the Portuguese Riviera are very easy to travel to, as they are served by the regular and inexpensive railway service that connects the city to Estoril. This also means that they are extremely busy in the summer as the whole of Lisbon heads to the beach.

Praia de Carcavelos beach - 8km from Estoril

The Praia de Carcavelos is the largest and most popular beach of the Portuguese Riviera. Carcavelos is much larger than all of the beaches close to Estoril, and there are even medium sized waves suitable for surfing.

Along the beachfront are numerous bars, restaurants and shops, and in the summer, it always has a lively atmosphere. The Praia de Carcavelos is an outstanding beach, and this is the beach we recommend to visitors who are on holiday in Lisbon.

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

Praia de Carcavelos Estoril

Praia de Carcavelos is a huge beach…

Praia de Santo Amaro (Oeiras Beach) (9km from Estoril)

Oeiras is a popular coastal town with the Portuguese, with its main beach being the Praia de Santo Amaro.

This is another glorious beach of the Portuguese Riviera, with a wide expanse of sand, calm seawaters and amazing facilities. Santo Amaro beach is the most sheltered of the region and is a popular choice for families with young children. During the summer, Oeiras beach attracts a younger crowd and has a lively, jovial atmosphere.

Insight: Praia de Santo Amaro is the beach closest to Lisbon that has guaranteed clean waters. Beaches further to the east of Oeiras (and closer to Lisbon) are within the tidal mixing zone of the Tejo Estuary, where the water quality may not be as good.

Praia de Santo Amaro beach

Praia de Santo Amaro is one of the more lively beaches of the Portuguese Riviera coastline

Praia de São Pedro do Estoril (3km from Estoril)

The Praia de São Pedro do Estoril is one of the most underrated beaches of the Portuguese Riviera, and is an excellent choice for a relaxing beach day.

São Pedro tends to be one of the quietest beaches of the region; there will be fewer screaming kids or overly excited teenagers, with no boat rides departing from the beach. If you want a peaceful beach day (or the quietest possible for the Portuguese Riviera), head to the Praia de São Pedro do Estoril.

Insight: The sea waters close to the Praia de São Pedro and along the Pedro coastline have high levels of iodine (due to the seaweed). They have historically been an area where older people bathe to heal joint pains and bone diseases.

Praia de São Pedro beach

The Praia de São Pedro

The Praia da Torre (8km from Estoril)

The Praia da Torre is a beautiful sandy beach that lies on the leeward side of the Forte de São Julião da Barra, a colossal 16th-century fort. This beach is a short walk from Praia de Carcavelos and is a good alternative if Carcavelos is too crowded or blustery.

Insight: Beginning at the Praia da Torre is the Passeio Marítimo de Oeiras, a scenic coastal footpath that leads to Paço de Arcos. This is the best short walk of the Portuguese Riviera.

Praia da Torre beach

Praia da Torre is a beautiful beach

Praia de Paço de Arcos

The Praia de Paço de Arcos lies on the eastward-facing stretch of coastline between Oeiras and Carcavelos. This is another outstanding sandy beach, and its location means it's less busy than other beaches of the Portuguese Riviera. Along the beach is a natural harbour where small fishing boats moor.

Praia de Paço de Arcos beach

Praia de Paço de Arcos

The best beaches of the Serra de Sintra and the Atlantic Coastline

The beaches of the Serra de Sintra are famed for their wonderful 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 access to 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 coming here. A trip to Praia da Ursa is often combined with a visit to the Cabo de Roca headland - the most westerly point of mainland Europe - and there is a scenic 1.7km coastal path connecting them.

Praia da Ursa Estoril

The footpath down to the Praia da Ursa

Praia das Maçãs (25km drive from Estoril)

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

Praia das Maçãs Estoril beach

Praia das Maçãs

The Praia da Adraga (23km drive from Estoril)

The Praia da Adraga is very similar to the Praia da Ursa, however it is slightly more developed (with a restaurant, shop and a decent car park).

The beach has a beautiful setting, filling a deep valley and surrounded on either side by towering cliffs. These cliffs provide shelter from the Atlantic winds and Adraga beach makes a fantastic destination for a day trip.

Praia da Adraga beach

The Praia da Adraga sits in a deep valley surrounded by towering cliffs

The Praia Grande (23km drive from Estoril)

The Praia Grande, as the name implies, is a large beach that is surrounded by a popular beach resort. At the northern end is the Arribas Sintra Hotel, with its 100m saltwater swimming pool and 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 Estoril beach

The Praia Grande is popular for surfing

Praia do Guincho

Praia do Guincho is the most famous beach of the Serra de Sintra, as it was one of the original surfing beaches of Portugal and used to host the Windsurfing World Cup during the 1990s.

Today, Guincho beach is a favourite for kitesurfing due to the reliable onshore breezes, while the spectacular natural scenery attracts hikers, cyclists and day trippers. It should be noted that Guincho is not a tranquil or relaxing beach – there is an almost constant breeze blowing in from the Atlantic and little shelter from it.

On a super calm summer’s day, Guincho is the region's finest beach - but most of the time it will be too windy for a beach day.

Praia do Guincho beach Estoril

The Praia do Guincho

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

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