When it comes to beach destinations, Cascais is a top choice for many travelers. Located in Portugal, Cascais offers a perfect mix of traditional Portuguese charm and outstanding tourist facilities.
The region boasts two distinct coastlines: the calm and sheltered Portuguese Riviera and the wild and dramatic Serra de Sintra coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean. With beautiful sandy beaches and a range of beach activities, Cascais is a fantastic holiday destination. In this article, we will introduce you to the best beaches in Cascais that are worth exploring during your visit.
Benefits of visiting Cascais
- Traditional Portuguese character
- Outstanding tourist facilities
- Beautiful beaches
- Close proximity to two distinct coastlines
- Accessible by train
- Ideal for families and beach activities
- Perfect for relaxation and sunbathing
- Opportunities for adventurous water sports
Importance of beach destinations
Beach destinations offer a unique opportunity to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand, while also providing a range of activities and amenities. They allow travelers to relax, unwind, and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Beaches offer natural beauty, with stunning views and landscapes, as well as the chance to engage in water sports and other recreational activities. They are popular choices for family vacations, romantic getaways, and even solo adventures.
Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or simply a change of scenery, beach destinations like Cascais have something to offer everyone.
Stay tuned for the next section, where we will explore the best beaches within walking distance of Cascais town center, part of the Portuguese Riviera, and along the Serra de Sintra coastline.
1. Guincho Beach
Guincho Beach is known as one of the best beaches in Portugal and even in the world. Located just a short drive from Cascais, it offers stunning natural beauty and a unique atmosphere. With its strong winds, perfect sand, and crashing waves, Guincho Beach is a favorite spot for surfers and beach enthusiasts alike. It is situated along the Atlantic side of the Lisbon coast, providing a picturesque setting for visitors.
Features and attractions
Guincho Beach is famous for its large, sandy shoreline and its impressive waves. Here are some of the features and attractions that make this beach special:
- Gorgeous crashing waves: The strong winds in the area create large waves that are perfect for surfers and water sports enthusiasts.
- Kite surfing spot: Guincho Beach is recognized as one of the top kite surfing spots in the region, attracting both professionals and beginners.
- Natural beauty: The beach is backed by large dunes and is surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.
- Film location: Guincho Beach has been featured in movies, including the Bond film “Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
Best Activities to Do at Guincho Beach
There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Guincho Beach. Here are some of the best things to do:
- Surfing: Take advantage of the impressive waves and enjoy a thrilling surfing experience.
- Kite surfing: Try kite surfing and feel the excitement of being propelled across the water by the force of the wind.
- Sunbathing: Relax on the large expanse of sandy beach and soak up the sun.
- Swimming: Although the water can be a bit cold and the waves are strong, swimming is still possible in certain areas and can be a refreshing experience.
- Scenic walks: Take a leisurely stroll along the beach and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Nature appreciation: Explore the nearby dunes and appreciate the unique flora and fauna of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.
Guincho Beach offers a unique coastal experience that should not be missed when visiting Cascais. Its natural beauty, breathtaking waves, and variety of activities make it a must-visit destination for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
More Information: Guincho Beach
2. Praia do Tamariz
Praia do Tamariz is a beautiful beach located in Estoril, a resort town near Cascais. This sandy beach offers soft golden sands and clean, calm waters, making it a perfect spot for families and sunbathers. Tamariz Beach is easily accessible, as it is located directly at the Estoril railway station. The beach is known for its cleanliness and inviting atmosphere, making it a popular choice among both locals and tourists.
Popular amenities and services
Tamariz Beach offers a range of amenities and services to ensure a comfortable visit for beachgoers. Some of the popular amenities and services available at the beach include:
- Parasol and sunbed rentals for those seeking shade and relaxation.
- Changing rooms and showers for visitors to freshen up after a swim.
- Clean public toilet facilities for convenience.
- Food and snack vendors located close to the beach, ensure you won’t go hungry during your visit.
- A seawater swimming pool for those who prefer a pool experience instead of swimming in the ocean.
Activities and attractions
Tamariz Beach is more than just a place to soak up the sun. Here are some activities and attractions you can enjoy during your visit:
- Take a leisurely 3 km walk alongside the ocean to the old village of Cascais, enjoying scenic views along the way.
- Rent a parasol and sunbed and spend the day relaxing on the sandy beach, reading a book, or simply people-watching.
- Take a dip in the clean and refreshing waters of the Atlantic Ocean or enjoy a swim in the seawater swimming pool for a different swimming experience.
- Marvel at the beautiful sunset views over Cascais from the west end of the beach, where you’ll find flat rocks perfect for taking in the breathtaking scenery.
- Engage in beach activities such as building sandcastles, playing ball games, or simply enjoying a picnic with friends and family.
With its convenient location, stunning views, and range of amenities, Tamariz Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers in Cascais.
For more information about Praia do Tamariz, you can visit TripAdvisor.
3. Praia da Rainha
Praia da Rainha, which means “Queen’s Beach” in English, is regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Cascais. This charming beach holds historical significance as it was once the private beach of Queen Amélia during the 1880s. Nestled between rocky outcrops, it offers a picturesque setting that overlooks the calm blue waters of Cascais Harbor. During the quieter months, Praia da Rainha provides a serene and idyllic spot for relaxation.
Unique Features and Characteristics
Despite its beauty, Praia da Rainha is relatively small compared to other beaches in the area. This size often means the beach can become crowded during the summer season. While it may not be the ideal beach for spending a whole day, it is certainly worth a visit for its tranquil ambiance and historical significance. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing on the golden sands, taking in the breathtaking scenery, and listening to the gentle sounds of the waves.
4. Ribeira Beach
Located in the heart of Cascais, V. Ribeira Beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. With its picturesque setting overlooking the fishing harbor and the fort, this beach offers a charming and relaxing atmosphere. Here’s an overview and some significant landmarks and attractions at V. Ribeira Beach:
Overview of Ribeira Beach
- Golden sands and calm sea waters make Ribeira Beach an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming.
- The beach is easily accessible and connected to the Cascais town center by the Paredão de Cascais beachfront promenade.
- Lifeguards are present, ensuring the safety of beachgoers.
- The beach offers beautiful views of the blue waters of Cascais harbor and the surrounding landscape.
- Beach amenities, such as sunbeds and umbrellas, are available for rent.
- V. Ribeira Beach is suitable for families with children due to its gentle waves and supervised swimming areas.
Significant Landmarks and Attractions
- The fishing harbor: Watch as fishing boats unload their daily catch and get a glimpse into Cascais’ maritime heritage.
- The fort: Explore the historic Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora da Luz, which dates back to the 16th century. It now serves as a cultural center and provides a stunning backdrop to the beach.
- Cascais town center: Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque streets of Cascais, filled with shops, restaurants, and cafes.
- Cascais Marina: Admire the luxurious yachts and enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the waterfront restaurants.
- Cascais Citadel: Visit the imposing Citadel, a fortress that houses the Cascais Cultural Center and the Museum of the Sea.
Ribeira Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers and those looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and history of Cascais. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this charming beach.
5. Cresmina Beach
Cresmina Beach is a hidden gem located right next to the more famous Guincho Beach in Cascais. It is sometimes referred to as “Little Guincho” due to its close proximity. The beach is backed by cliffs and offers a slightly more sheltered environment compared to Guincho Beach. Cresmina Beach is known for its picturesque scenery and serene atmosphere, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Natural beauty and landscapes
Cresmina Beach is surrounded by natural beauty and captivating landscapes. The beach is situated in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, which provides a well-protected and wild environment. The area is characterized by its large dunes and stunning coastal views. Cresmina Beach is favored by young surfers but is also suitable for families looking to enjoy a day at the beach. The beach offers a combination of rocky sections and soft sand, providing a unique and diverse landscape.
If you’re interested in exploring the flora and fauna of the area, consider visiting the Centro de Interpretação Duna da Cresmina. This exhibition center, located across the road from the beach, offers an interesting insight into the dunes and the surrounding ecosystem. A boardwalk over the dunes provides visitors with breathtaking views of the beach and the hills of Sintra.
Cresmina Beach is also home to several bars and restaurants that offer delicious seafood and fish specialties. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, surf, or simply take in the natural beauty, Cresmina Beach is a must-visit spot in Cascais.
External URL: Praia da Cresmina – Cascais
6. Praia da Conceição
Located near the center of Cascais, Praia da Conceição is one of the most popular beaches in the area. Here are some highlights of this beautiful beach:
- Golden sand: Praia da Conceição boasts a stretch of golden sand, perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles.
- Calm waters: The beach is protected by Cascais Bay, providing calm and gentle waves, making it suitable for swimming and water activities.
- Scenic views: The beach offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and the charming town of Cascais.
Facilities and services available at Praia da Conceição include:
- Lifeguard service: The beach is regularly patrolled by lifeguards, ensuring the safety of beachgoers.
- Beach bars and restaurants: There are several beach bars and restaurants available along the shore, offering refreshments and delicious seafood dishes.
- Water sports: Visitors can also enjoy various water sports activities, such as paddleboarding and kayaking.
Praia da Conceição is easily accessible and is within walking distance from Cascais town center. It is a perfect spot for families, couples, and solo travelers looking to relax and soak up the sun in a picturesque setting.
For more information about Praia da Conceição and other beaches in Cascais, you can visit the Cascais Wikipedia page.
Please note that the information provided is subject to change, and it is recommended to check local guidelines and regulations before visiting the beach.
7. Praia da Poça
Located in Estoril, Praia da Poça is a picturesque beach that is known for its unique charm and serene atmosphere. This beach is characterized by its rocky shoreline, golden sands, and crystal clear waters, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Features and amenities
Praia da Poça offers a range of amenities and features to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable beach experience. Here are some highlights:
- Easy access: Praia da Poça is conveniently located just a short walk from the Estoril train station, making it easily accessible for visitors.
- Stunning views: This beach offers breathtaking views of the Fort of São Teodósio da Cadaveira, a historic 17th-century fort, and a century-old mansion that now serves as an events venue.
- Family-friendly: Praia da Poça is a great beach for families, with calm waters that are perfect for children to swim in. The beach is supervised by lifeguards, providing added safety.
- Restaurant and refreshments: There is a beachside restaurant that serves meals and refreshments throughout the day, with outdoor seating available. It’s the perfect spot to grab a bite and enjoy the scenic views.
- Nearby attractions: While visiting Praia da Poça, you can explore other attractions in the area such as the Paredão de Cascais, a coastal promenade that connects Cascais to Estoril. This promenade offers beautiful views of the coastline and the opportunity to visit other nearby beaches.
Praia da Poça is a hidden gem in Cascais, offering a quieter and more relaxed beach experience compared to some of the busier beaches. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and soak up the sun or enjoy a leisurely swim, Praia da Poça has something for everyone.
Summary of The 8 Best Beaches in Cascais
After exploring the beautiful beaches of Cascais, here is a summary of the top 8 beaches worth visiting:
- Praia da Rainha – Close proximity to the Old Center, surrounded by steep cliffs. Known as The Queen’s Beach.
- Praia da Duquesa – Connected with Praia da Conceição at low tide, one of the largest beaches in Portugal.
- Praia da Conceição – Gold-colored sand, turquoise blue waters, and a handicap-accessible ramp.
- Tamariz – Plenty of activities, including restaurants, bars, and a scenic promenade. Located in Estoril.
- Praia da Moita – Small beach accessible at low tide, below the Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum.
- Praia da Ribeira – Located near the marina, allows visitors to watch boat launches. Known as Fisherman’s Beach.
- Praia da Rata – Small beach with good waves and a fun jetty. Public saltwater swimming pool available.
- Guincho Beach – Situated inside the Serra de Sintra park, offers unbeatable waves and stunning natural scenery.
Tips for beach lovers visiting Cascais
- Check the peak season if you enjoy warm weather and beachside activities. Late May to early July offers fewer tourists.
- Be mindful of the surfing beaches, as they may have stronger riptides and currents.
- Bring sunscreen, towels, and beach gear if you plan to spend a day at the beach.
- Explore the local cafes and shops near the beaches for a quick bite or refreshing drink.
- Consider taking a day trip from Lisbon to Cascais to experience the beautiful beaches and coastal charm.
With its picturesque beaches and natural beauty, Cascais is undoubtedly a must-visit destination for beach lovers in Portugal. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day by the sea or an adventure-filled surfing experience, Cascais has it all. So pack your sunscreen, grab your towel, and get ready to explore the stunning beaches of Cascais!
For more information on Cascais and its beaches, you can visit the Cascais Wikipedia page.