17 Best Beaches in Cascais Portugal: Beach Guide

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Warm, golden sand. Crystal clear waters. Rocky cliffs dotted with charming Portuguese architecture. Welcome to the view from the best beaches in Cascais, Portugal.

I fell in love with Cascais’ beautiful beaches on a recent solo trip to Portugal. Just thirty minutes from Lisbon, it was easy to get to Cascais where I enjoyed the seaside boardwalk, stunning coastal views, and yummy seafood restaurants.

Once a traditional fishing village, Cascais became increasingly popular in the late 19th century when the Portuguese royal family began vacationing there. By WWII, it served as a temporary home for European royalty, and high society fleeing the perils of war. Today, Cascais is both a popular vacation destination and a home to British and American expats.

In this guide, I’ll share everything I learned about the charming beaches in Cascais, how to get to Cascais on a day trip from Lisbon, and everything you need to know to have an incredible time!

Cascais Beach at sunset

17 Best Beaches in Cascais, Portugal

From calm, sheltered beaches like Praia da Rainha to the Atlantic-facing surf hotspots like Praia do Guincho, it’s easy to see why Cascais beaches draw tourists from all over the world. Here are the best beaches in Cascais:

1. Praia do Guincho

praia da guincho

Calling all adventure seekers! Inside the Serra de Sintra nature park sits Praia do Guincho. Renowned for its powerful waves, it attracts surfers, windsurfers, and nature enthusiasts. Here, you’ll find dunes that gradually rise toward towering cliffs in the north. This rugged coastline remains largely untouched and connects to Cabo da Roca, mainland Europe’s westernmost point.

2. Praia do Abano

Abano Beach

Praia do Abano is a secluded beach nestled along the Cascais coastline. This beach is best known for its unique rock formations which create small natural pools during low tide.

This beach was my absolute favorite. The rugged natural beauty reminded me of the Laguna beach beaches I grew up visiting. (If you ever have the chance to visit, make sure you check out the best snorkeling in Laguna Beach!) Praia do Abano is dotted with wildflowers in the summer and a bed of smooth stones line the beach. If you’re after breathtaking photos, Praia do Abano is your spot!

3. Praia da Cresmina

Cresmina Beach in Cascais

Praia da Cresmina, sometimes called “Little Guincho,” is situated adjacent to the more famous Guincho Beach. These Cascais beaches, located on the untamed Atlantic coast, experience strong waves and persistent northerly winds. However, Cresmina benefits from cliffs that provide a bit more shelter compared to Guincho. Access to the beach is through stairs and a ramp, and it offers convenient facilities including seasonal lifeguard service.

4. Praia da Rainha

Praia da Rainha

Praia da Rainha, meaning “Queen’s Beach,” is a picturesque and enchanting beach located in Cascais. It’s named after Queen Amélia, who used to visit frequently. This Cascais beach is super popular since it’s the closest beach to the center of Cascais. Praia da Rainha is totally enclosed by small cliffs and the town center up above.

5. Praia de Santa Marta

Santa Marta Lighthouse

Situated beneath the Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum, this charming beach is a hidden gem accessible only during low tide. Despite its small size, I found it to be a totally worthwhile visit, offering a tranquil escape from the crowded beaches.

With its cool and clear waters, adorned with a combination of sandy patches and algae-covered rocks, it had such a picturesque setting. This beach could give any of Lisbon’s most Instagrammable locations a run for their money.

6. Praia da Ribeira de Cascais

Praia da Ribeira

Praia da Ribeira de Cascais, also known as Fisherman’s Beach, is a charming and vibrant beach located in the heart of Cascais. Its location near the seaside town’s historic center made it so easy to access, but that also means it gets easily crowded.

With its lively atmosphere, colorful fishing boats, and fresh seafood restaurants lining the shore, it offers a delightful coastal experience. Praia da Ribeira de Cascais was an ideal spot to soak up the sun, enjoy the local culture, and indulge in the region’s best seafood.


To explore even more stunning and unique beach towns in Portugal, plan to travel solo in Madeira where you can check out incredible black sand beaches and hike to jaw-dropping viewpoints where waterfalls flow down towering rocky cliffs!

7. Praia da Duquesa

Praia da Duquesa is derives its name from the nearby Palace of the Dukes of Palmela. Alongside Praia de Conceição, it’s the most conveniently reached beach from the train station, making it a great spot for anyone looking to make a quick visit. Just keep in mind it gets pretty busy in the summertime! It was so packed when I visited Cascais, I decided to keep on walking.

8. Praia do Tamariz

Beachfront restaurant at Tamariz Beach

Praia do Tamariz is one of the most popular beaches located in the center of Cascais. With its soft golden sand, clear waters, and palm-fringed promenade, I loved the lively and inviting atmosphere. The beach had so many excellent facilities, including beach bars, restaurants, and water sports activities.

9. Praia da Arriba

Named for its distinctive cliff formation that divides the sandy strip in two, Praia da Arriba offers a unique coastal experience. Take caution when entering the water due to the numerous rocks surrounding each half of the beach. On the north side, a supervised pool awaits, overseen by the Arriba hotel perched atop the cliff. While the beach lacks amenities and supervision, its close proximity to the main road ensures easy accessibility.

10. Praia da Azarujinha

Cascais' Praia da Azarujinha

Surrounded by high cliffs dotted with villas, resorts and palm trees, Praia da Azarujinha lies at the start of the promenade that stretches across Cascais. It’s a small, charming beach nestled between rocky cliffs, great for a seaside stroll.

11. Praia da Parede

The cliffs of Praia da Parede

Praia da Parede, meaning “wall” in Portuguese, is indeed backed by a tall wall which provides excellent shelter from the wind. Additionally, a raised esplanade runs alongside the beach, leading to a charming café at one end. Parede is a favored spot for fishing, with anglers frequently seen casting off from its shores. During high tides, the beach may shrink, but there are still a few spots available to settle and enjoy the surroundings.

12. Praia de S. Pedro do Estoril

Praia de S. Pedro do Estoril is a charming beach situated in the Estoril area of Cascais. With its golden sands and tranquil atmosphere, it offers a peaceful getaway from the business of Lisbon.

The beach is known for its stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the picturesque coastal cliffs. Walking by Praia de S. Pedro do Estoril, I saw tons of people sunbathing, strolling along the shore, and just enjoying the calming sound of the waves crashing against the shore.

13. Praia das Moitas (Praia da Rata)

Praia das Moitas

Situated conveniently between Cascais and Estoril, this small beach

is easily accessible from Estoril train station. It’s known for its good waves and enjoyable jetty, attracting all kinds of surf enthusiasts. The sandy strip is flanked by stone steps that lead up to the remarkable Estoril Sol Residence. I saw lots of families with young children at the nearby Piscina Oceânica Alberto Romano, a public saltwater swimming pool. It offers a fee-free alternative with the chance for kids to swim alongside the fish during low tide.

14. Praia da Bafureira

Praia da Bafureira is a picturesque beach known for its dramatic cliffs and stunning views. The rugged beauty of this coastal spot attracts nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. While not suitable for swimming due to strong currents, Praia da Bafureira is a great place to take a leisurely stroll, admire the breathtaking scenery, and enjoy the sound of crashing waves against the rocks.

15. Praia da Poça

Praia da Poca

Praia da Poças, is a charming and secluded beach nestled in Cascais. Its rocky surroundings, crystal-clear waters, and tranquil atmosphere make it an idyllic spot for relaxation and serenity. The beach is accessible through a picturesque staircase carved into the cliffs, adding to its unique appeal. Praia da Poça is perfect for sunbathing, and exploring tide pools.


Don’t let the exploring end with these incredible Cascais Portugal beaches! Head north to Porto where you can check out Capela do Senhor da Pedra, the iconic 17th-century chapel at Miramar Beach. While you’re there, don’t forget to sample port wine at some of the best wineries in Porto!

16. Praia de Carcavelos

Praia de Carcavelos at sunset

Praia de Carcavelos is a popular beach located at one end of the Cascais coastline. With its long stretch of golden sand and excellent surf conditions, it is a favorite destination for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts. Praia de Carcavelos is known for its energetic ambiance, making it an ideal spot for both relaxation and outdoor activities, attracting visitors of all ages. There are plenty of beach bars, restaurants, and water sports rentals nearby.

17. Praia da Conceição

Praia da Conceição is a busy beach located in the heart of Cascais. Its wide stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The beach offers a range of amenities, including beach bars, restaurants, and places to rent water sports gear.

Map of Cascais Beaches

Does Cascais have a beach?

Yes, Cascais Portugal has 17 beaches, all described in this guide! In fact, Cascais is famous for its beaches, which stretch from Carcavelos to Abano, with golden sands, clear water, and dramatic cliffs.

Is Cascais worth visiting?

After visiting Cascais myself, I can assure you that Cascais is worth visiting. It’s a popular spot thanks to its gorgeous beaches, surfing conditions, fresh seafood, proximity to Lisbon, its walkability, luxurious resorts, and charming Old Town.

If you’re wondering: Is Cascais too touristy or Is Cascais a tourist trap, here’s what you should know: Cascais beaches aren’t a tourist trap, but they do attract a lot of tourists. While there won’t be as many tourists as in Lisbon, the beaches in Cascais are popular with both locals and visitors so they can be crowded.

Can you swim in Cascais?

Yes, you can swim in the sea at the Cascais beaches. If you’re wondering where can I swim in Cascais, check out the details for each beach above. I found that the central beaches in Cascais are safest for swimming since they have calm waters and lifeguards on duty. Additionally, these beaches are regularly monitored for water quality.

What are beaches in Cascais like?

The beaches in Cascais offer a few different atmospheres. Some beaches, like Praia da Rainha and Praia da Conceição, are nestled within coves, providing a more intimate setting with calm waters.

Others, such as Guincho Beach, are known for their wild beauty, featuring expansive sandy stretches and impressive waves that attract surfers and windsurfers.

Cascais is considered to be a very nice town thanks to its many seaside resorts and highly-regarded restaurants. When I visited, it looked like all the beaches were quite well-maintained, with clean sands.

cascais surfers

Can you surf in Cascais?

Cascais is a great place to surf, offering beginner-friendly Atlantic waves conveniently close to Lisbon. It’s location is ideal with a variety of intermediate breaks, including south-facing spots along the Estoril Coast and west-facing beaches that capture swell throughout the year.

I saw tons of people taking surf lessons at the Cascais beaches, and it looked like they were having tons of fun! For the best surfing spots, head to Praia do Guincho and Praia da Ribeira.

For even more great surfing, head to the nearby town of Ericeira. With amazing seafood and exciting nightlife, surfing is just one of the many epic things to do in Ericeira!

What is the main strip in Cascais?

Rua Frederico Arouca, the main pedestrian street in Cascais, showcases its Portuguese charm with a distinctive wave-patterned pavement, stretching from the picturesque Praia da Rainha beach to the vibrant Alameda dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra, a palm tree-lined avenue adorned with a variety of restaurants.

Cascais Day Trip from Lisbon

Cascais is a great day trip from Lisbon for anyone who wants to get a taste of Portugal’s beautiful beaches. My Cascais day trip was a lovely thing to do alone in Lisbon as part of my 4 day Lisbon itinerary, just before I headed off to see more beaches on a solo trip to the Algarve.

Cascais is approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of Lisbon. There are a few ways to get from Lisbon to Cascais:

  • How much is a taxi from Lisbon to Cascais? You can take a 30-minute minute taxi ride from Lisbon to Cascais which will cost around €35-€50.
  • How long is the train from Lisbon to Cascais? You can take a 20-minute train from Lisbon to Cascais which will cost around €2-€4. There’s a direct train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station to Cascais, operating every day.

PS: If you’re wondering where to stay in the Algarve, all the epic day trips from Faro make this city the perfect place to base your trip.

Cascais Beach Viewpoints

Cascais Beach is filled with incredible viewpoints along the coast. I’ll never forget soaking in views of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, stunning beaches, and picturesque surroundings. Here are my favorite viewpoints in Cascais:

  • Boca do Inferno: A unique sea-arch and cliff formation, also called Hell’s Mouth thanks to the violent explosions of water during storms.
  • Mirador Casa de Santa Maria: A gorgeous viewpoint of the Santa Marta lighthouse, ocean, and Cascais cliffs, found at a stunning 19th-century mansion.
  • Pedra da Nau: A large rock, viewpoint and dive spot located in a small bay in Cascais.

Cascais Beach Tours & Watersports

Experience the beauty of Cascais’ beaches and indulge in thrilling water sports adventures with these tours, lessons and rentals.

  • Surf Lessons: Learn the basics or how to improve on one of the world’s best surfing coasts. Book now!
  • Stand-up Paddleboarding: Take lessons or rent SUP equipment in Cascais. Learn more!
  • Dolphin Watching Boat Tour: Enjoy stunning views of Lisbon’s main monuments, the Estoril Coast, and Cascais from the Tagus River, all while keeping an eye out for playful dolphins. Book now!
  • Fishing Tour: All aboard for a fishing experience on the beautiful waters off the coast of Cascais with your expert crew. Book now!
  • Sunset Boat Tour: Experience the Portuguese Coast from a new perspective as you watch the sun set from your boat in Cascais. Book now!

Things to do in Cascais

Cascais offers a diverse array of activities and attractions, from exploring historic landmarks and enjoying beautiful beaches to indulging in delicious cuisine and experiencing vibrant cultural events.

  • Walk along the boardwalk: One of the best things I did in Cascais was taking a simple walk along the beachfront promenade. I started out in São João do Estoril and continued until the Cascais train station, soaking in all the stunning scenery along the way.
  • Cabo da Roca: Visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the rugged coastline and the vast Atlantic Ocean.
  • Santa Marta Lighthouse & Museum: I highly recommend checking out the Santa Marta Lighthouse, a historic landmark that offers insight into the region’s maritime history through its museum with some incredibly picturesque surroundings.
  • Casa das Histórias Paula Rego: Immerse yourself in the artistic world of Paula Rego at Casa das Histórias, a museum dedicated to the renowned Portuguese artist, showcasing her thought-provoking works.
  • Citadel of Cascais: Explore the Citadel, a historical fortress with beautiful gardens, a marina, and various cultural events, offering a glimpse into Cascais’ past and a tranquil escape from the bustling town.
  • Explore the Old Town: Wander through the narrow streets of Cascais’ Old Town, lined with charming shops, restaurants, and vibrant squares, exuding a relaxed and picturesque atmosphere.
  • Golf at Oitavos Dunes Golf Course: Enjoy a round of golf at the prestigious Oitavos Dunes Golf Course, known for its stunning coastal setting, challenging holes, and world-class facilities for golf enthusiasts.
  • Spa Day: Enjoy a serene spa day at The Oitavos Spa.
Polvo a Lagareiro, Portuguese dish with octopus, potatoes, garlic, and olive oil

Cascais Restaurants

You can really work up an appetite during a day at the beach. Head to any of these restaurants for traditional Portuguese dishes and super fresh seafood.

  • Hìfen: Enjoy stunning ocean views at this hip restaurant with a diverse menu of petiscos (Portuguese tapas) infused with international influences.
  • Moules & Gin: This popular restaurant in Cascais specializes in mouthwatering mussels prepared in a variety of flavorful sauces from beer to mustard to pesto, accompanied by creative gin and tonic cocktails.
  • Mar do Inferno: Known for having the best seafood in town, Mar do Inferno is located next to the famed Boca do Inferno and offers incredible views and delicious fresh fish dishes.

When is the best time to visit the Cascais beaches?

The best time to visit the beaches in Cascais is in the summer. While the water is cooler than in other Mediterranean areas, you can comfortably swim from April-September. In summer, the temperature is around 70 degrees Farenheit/21 degrees Celsius. August is the hottest month and June-July are the windiest months.

If you want to surf, the prime time actually happens in winter in Portugal. Between September and April is when the Atlantic swells bring world-class waves.

For a closer look at the seasons and weather in Portugal, check out my guide to the best time to visit Portugal.

How much time do you need in Cascais?

For a general visit to explore the town, its beaches, and some of the nearby attractions, one day is enough time to spend in Cascais. In about 10 hours, I was able to stroll along the coastline, visit the historic center, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

If you want to delve deeper into the area’s offerings, such as exploring museums like the Museum of the Sea (Museu do Mar), taking surfing lessons, or exploring nearby attractions like Cabo da Roca, allocate 2-3 days.

Is Cascais walkable?

Yes, Cascais is a very walkable town. It’s located in a relatively compact area, with most attractions within walking distance of each other. The historic center, with its charming streets, shops, and restaurants, were easily explored on foot. There’s easy access to the coastline, including the beaches and scenic promenades, on foot. Additionally, the main areas of Cascais are flat and free from the steep hills you’ll find in Lisbon.

For example, Boca da Inferno is a 2 kilometer (1.2 mile) walk from the town center, while the farthest attraction, Cabo da Roca, is 18 kilometers (11 miles), easily reached by a short taxi ride.

Is Cascais cheap or expensive?

Cascais can be considered relatively expensive compared to other parts of Portugal. As a popular tourist destination with upscale amenities and a high standard of living, prices for accommodation, dining, and activities in Cascais tend to be higher than in some other areas.

Generally, Cascais is considered to be slightly more expensive than Lisbon. While both destinations offer a range of options to suit different budgets, Cascais, as a resort town, tends to have higher prices for accommodation, dining, and entertainment compared to the capital city.

Which is better Cascais or Estoril?

Choosing between Cascais and Estoril depends on personal preferences. Cascais offers a charming historic center, picturesque beaches, and a vibrant atmosphere. Estoril, known for its glamorous reputation, offers a casino, luxury hotels, and a refined ambiance.

Keep in mind, it’s also entirely possibly to visit both in one day since the entire coastline is walkable, and Cascais and Estoril connect.

Which is better Sintra or Cascais?

While both destinations have their own unique charm, Cascais is better for anyone who wants to visit the beach. On the other hand, Sintra is better for unique, historical attractions like the fairytale castles of Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira.

Should you stay in Lisbon or Cascais?

You should stay in Cascais if you’re seeking a more laid-back or romantic vacation with plenty of beach time. There are lots of resorts and Cascais is a smaller town so it will be easy to walk from place to place.

If you’re traveling solo in Lisbon and looking to meet others or it’s your first time to Portugal, staying in Lisbon is a better idea thanks to its many friendly hostels, vibrant nightlife, and numerous attractions like the Tower of Belem.

What do you wear to Cascais?

When visiting Cascais, it is recommended to dress comfortably and casually. As it is a coastal town, lightweight and breathable clothing, such as shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and sandals, are suitable for the warm weather. Remember to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. If you plan to be there after sunset, bring a jacket since it can get windy.

Do they speak English in Cascais?

Yes, English is widely spoken in Cascais, especially in tourist areas, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Many locals in the hospitality and service industry have a good command of English, making it relatively easy for English-speaking visitors to communicate and get assistance.

Are there nude beaches in Cascais, Portugal?

Cascais does not have any dedicated nude beaches. If you’re looking for a nudist or gay beach in Portugal, check out Praia 19, south of Lisbon. This gay nude beach provides an inclusive and relaxed environment for sunbathers.



Sydney is a solo travel expert who’s extensively explored Spain, Portugal, Morocco, California, and more! She creates travel guides and itineraries to share everything she's learned about the Iberian peninsula through personal experience and exploration.

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