7 Best Beaches in Sintra, Portugal

Praia das Maçãs in Sintra, with its rugged cliffs and foamy waves. This scenic Sintra beach is nestled against a backdrop of a quaint seaside village.

Looking for the best beaches in Sintra Portugal?  This round-up post features 7 of the top beaches in the region!

Sintra is oftentimes overlooked for beaches.  Its main call to fame is incredible castles like Pena Palace and Quinta de la Relageira. 

However, the top beaches in Sintra remain somewhat off the beaten path.

The region of Sintra extends beyond its historic town center, encompassing a lush and diverse landscape.

It also includes the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, a protected area that offers a stunning mix of rugged cliffs, serene forests, and dynamic coastlines, establishing a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

This park is a testament to the region’s dedication to preserving its natural resources while welcoming visitors from around the globe.

The following list showcases some of the most beautiful beaches in Sintra, each known for something unique! 

7 Best Beaches in Sintra Portugal

1. Praia Grande

Best for: Convenience

Praia Grande is one of the most accessible beaches to reach in Sintra. As the name suggests, Praia Grande is big, and you can reach it by car or bus from Lisbon.

The car park does get full, especially at the weekends. If you come by public transport, you can take the train to Sintra and hop on bus 1254. 

The beach has excellent facilities such as toilets and showers. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, and several restaurants and bars are nearby.

You can learn some new tricks at Praia Grande Surf School, and the beach is great for a stroll in any season. 

If you prefer swimming in a pool over floating in the sea, you can visit the Arribas Sintra Hotel.

Plus, it’s a fantastic location to stay the night! Don’t forget to discover the beautiful coastal town of Azenhas do Mar! It’s only 10 minutes by car, and the viewpoint is incredible!

Contributed by Marga of Discover Portugal

2. Praia De Maçãs

Praia de Macas by Sytnik

Best for: Convenience with less crowds

Praia De Maçãs is the next most convenient beach in Sintra!  A tram runs directly from Sintra’s downtown historic center all the way down to the beach. 

It’s another good option if it’s your first time in Lisbon and looking for a beach getaway. 

Visiting Praia de Maçãs is a splendid choice for those seeking a picturesque beach retreat with the convenience of modern facilities.

With public toilets and showers readily available, guests can comfortably spend the whole day soaking up the sun and enjoying the Atlantic waves.

Consider extending your getaway at Arriba Hotel.  It turns a simple beach visit into a luxurious experience, as it is home to one of the largest saltwater pools in Europe directly overlooking the beach. (There is another amazing saltwater pool in Matosinhos near Porto).  

Whether you’re a beachcomber or a leisure seeker, Praia de Maçãs caters to all tastes, promising a delightful and memorable escape from the bustling city life.

Tip: It’s known to be less crowded than Praia Grande. 

3. Praia da Adraga

Best for: Hiking and water sports

Located between Praia Grande and Praia das Maçãs, Praia da Adraga is a stunning beach that boasts crystal-clear waters and a horseshoe shape surrounded by cliffs.

One of the most beautiful beaches along the Sintra coast is Praia da Adraga. The rock formations are incredible, and the white sandy beach is more than inviting!

There is no public transport to this beach, so a car will come in handy. The nearest bus stop is 2,4 kilometres away, and the route is hilly. Parking is limited at the beach, so be sure to visit on weekdays or earlier and later in the day.

As it’s harder to reach Praia da Adraga, it also means it’s often quieter. Perfect for a walk along the shoreline, sunbathing and swimming. But also surfing is one of the possibilities!

If you get hungry, you can grab a bite to eat at Restaurante da Adraga. The beach is not very wide, but the inlet is a wonderful area to spend a day in the sand!

Besides water activities, there are also plenty of hiking options around Praia da Adraga.

Follow coastal paths to Praia da Ursa or Praia Grande, for example. Along the way, you’ll discover places like Praia do Cavalo, Miradouro da Praia do Caneiro and many incredible plants such as the Hottentot-fig.

You can walk as far as Cabo the Roca and the famous lighthouse!  Visiting Cabo Da Roca and Downtown Sintra are both great day trips from Lisbon

Contributed by Marga of Discover Portugal

4. Praia do Guincho

Best for: Camping

Praia do Guincho is a beautiful beach located within the Cascais-Sintra Natural Park.  It is located 22 minutes by car or 1.5 hours by public transportation from Sintra’s city center.  

The beach is open all year round and has a car park located at each end of the beach, each costing 2 Euro for all-day parking.  There’s also some free roadside parking if you get there early and can find a space! 

Each end of the beach has a cafe, Mar do Guincho and Bar Do Guincho.  Each restaurant has a shower and toilet block too.   

Brisk winds from the Atlantic Ocean create ideal weather conditions for water sports like kite surfing and water surfing! 

If you plan to go surfing then it’s worth speaking to locals before you head out, as the waves can be big and the current strong, so it’s best to be prepared.  

However, these winds create strong currents so it is not the safest beach for small children.  

There’s a cool surf school based at Praia Guincho called Moana Surf School. where group lessons start from €40.

Consider staying overnight and camping at Orbitur Guincho Campsite during your visit!  We had the most incredible view from our tent overlooking the sand dunes and wooden broadwalks that back onto Praia do Guincho.  

Remember to catch an amazing sunset over the Atlantic Ocean to top off the perfect beach day.  

Tip: You pass Cascais on the way here.  Consider combining your trip!

Contributed by Sara of Big Adventures with Little Feet

5. Praia da Ursa

Best for: Off the beaten path

Located just north of Cabo da Roca, Praia da Ursa is the westernmost beach in continental Europe. 

It is rugged, picturesque, and is known for its massive rock formations and pristine beach. 

Praia da Ursa is not easy to get to, but it’s worth the trip for those who value its wild beauty and can manage the steep hike in. 

While it’s a wonderful spot for sunbathing and photography, it is too rough for swimming. 

Driving is the fastest way to get to Cabo da Roca. The drive from Lisbon takes 40 minutes, with easy parking in the Cabo da Roca parking lot.  Driving from Cascais or Sintra takes 20-25 minutes. 

Once at the parking lot, follow the trail from the north end of the parking lot 1 mile downhill to get to the beach. 

Even though this is the easiest trail to the beach, it is very steep with a rope to hold onto.  Wearing sturdy shoes is a must!

Public transport options are alternatively available.  Take bus 403 from Cascais or Sintra to Cabo da Roca (40 minutes). From Lisbon, take the train to Cascais (40 minutes), followed by bus 403.

There is nowhere to buy water or food at the beach, so make sure to pack your own picnic! 

As a safety note, rocks occasionally fall so sitting directly under the cliffs is not advised.  Get off the beaten path at Praia Da Ursa!

Contributed by Sonia of Carey On Travels

6. Foz do Lizandro

Best for: Surfing

A lovely beach to visit on a day trip from Sintra is Foz do Lizandro. Foz Do Lizandro is a beach close to the lovely town of Ericeira.

Ericeira is well known for being the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe and has several beaches that are popular among surfers and tourists.

What makes Foz Do Lizandro special though is that the Lizandro River flows right into the Atlantic Ocean at Lizandro Beach.

It originates in the region near Sintra and travels through the municipality of Mafra, eventually reaching the ocean at the beach of Foz do Lizandro.

As a result, you can choose where you swim at Foz do Lizandro: in the sea (which is pretty cold!) or in the River. Aside from that, the beach is semi-curated.

You can find a few umbrellas that are free to use but most of the beach is wild and you will need to bring your own things.

Surf lessons are on offer at Foz do Lizandro and you can also find a few restaurants, with Barbatana being a top favorite among both tourists and locals!

There is no public transport to Foz do Lizandro. You need your own vehicle to reach it. 

Contributed by Annelies of Travelers and Dreamers

7. Santa Marta Beach

Best for: Sightseeing and Relaxing

Santa Marta Beach is located within Sintra-Cascais National Park.

Its location as a small inlet in the Atlantic Ocean makes for calmer waters than most other beaches in the area.  

There’s a small bridge going over the water inlet. On the ocean side of the inlet, there’s a rocky entrance to the beach.

On the other side of the inlet, there’s a sandy beach tucked away. When the water levels are low, the sand stretches all the way to the other side.

The beach is most commonly visited during a visit to Cascais but can easily be visited on a day trip from Sintra as well.

From the Cascais city center, Santa Marta Beach is a quick walk so there’s no need for a car to visit this beach.

You can find some of the best attractions in Cascais, like the Citadel of Cascais, the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum, and the Palácio dos Condes de Castro Guimarães, near the beach.

Santa Marta is the perfect beach to combine sightseeing with some relaxing beach time!  

Contributed by Tina of Veganderlust

The Final Shorefront

That wraps up our sandy trek through Sintra’s top beaches, each a slice of paradise with its own unique vibe. 

Sintra’s close proximity to Lisbon makes all of these beaches less than one hour away from Portugal’s capital. 

It’s easy to combine Sintra beaches with a 4 Day Lisbon Itinerary

Whether you’re looking to surf the waves, soak up some history, or just plant your feet in the sand, Sintra’s coast has you covered.

Throw a towel, some sunscreen, and a good book into your bag—adventures await along these stunning stretches of shoreline.

So next time you plan a trip to Portugal, be sure to add some beach time in Sintra to your itinerary. You won’t regret it!

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