10 Best Beaches of Sintra

The dramatically beautiful coastline West of Sintra.

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| 01

PRAIA DA ADRAGA

Praia da Adraga makes an ideal cove for both sunbathing and swimming. It's renown for it's clean water and it's vast expanse of sand which is easily accessed down a long winding road which descends from the nearby village of Almoçageme. Rocky headlands either side of the beach, along with jagged islets just offshore, exhibit impressive rock formations which serves to increase the rugged beauty of the place. So much so in 2003 Praia da Adraga was voted third in the Sunday Times 20 best European Beaches awards. Compared to other larger beaches in the area Praia da Adraga gets less crowded, especially during the week. There's parking space which is ample for the majority of the time and plenty of amenities such as public toilets, showers and a decent restaurant which serves a good selection of fish dishes. Praia da Adraga beach is patrolled by lifeguards during high season.

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PRAIA DA ADRAGA

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PRAIA DA AGUDA

A thin strip of sand 500 metres long which almost disappears during high tide. North west of Sintra close to the village of Fontanelas, Praia da Aguda is accessed from the car park along a path which descends down the cliff edge in a series of steep steps. The view on the downward climb is breathtaking as you look over the shoreline below. Praia da Aguda is also popular with anglers hoping to net a sea bass or two. There are no amenities here so come prepared.

PRAIA DA AGUDA

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PRAIA DA URSA

If you're looking for seclusion and escape then Praia da Ursa would be the beach for you. Located a just little north of Cabo da Rocha, mainland Europe's most westerly point, this sandy cove has a dramatic and wild beauty. The rock stacks and islets which do battle with the waves just off shore are a popular subject for photographers. One such rock formation lends the beach it's name, the huge Rocha da Ursa (Bear Rock), is said to resemble a bear with a cub on its lap. It's pristine and untouched nature is due to it's remoteness. The path which winds down the hill from the car park can take up to an hour, which would pose problems for those with mobility issues. However for the adventurous who dare to make the trek are well rewarded by the spectacle of one of Portugal's most beautiful beaches.

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Praia da Ursa

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PRAIA DA VIGIA

Praia da Vigia, meaning "Look-out Beach" lies at the southern of São Julião beach which is joined at low tide. Accessed to Praia da Vigia via a steep path down the cliff side. The golden sands of Praia da Vigia stretches one and a half miles (2km) is also known as Assafora beach, named after the village near-by. It's remoteness makes it popular with naturists. There are no facilities at Praia da Vigia but there is a car park at the top of the hill.

PRAIA DA VIGIA

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Praia das Maçãs

A pleasant wide stretch of sand with plenty of amenities and facilities for water sports. Praia das Maçãs is named after the river Rio das Maçãs (also the Rio de Colares) which empties into the sea at the southern end of the beach. Maçã means apple. On it's course to the sea the river flows through a number of orchards and during autumn it's known for dropped apples to come floating downstream ending up on the beach. The small town of Praia das Maçãs has developed into an affable resort with plenty of restaurants, cafés, bars, craft shops and a choice of accommodation.

Sintra residents congregate here year round for the fine sea food one finds here. The Sintra old tram terminates here during summer months which delights it's passengers as it chugs along the 45 minute route through the picturesque countryside of the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais. Praia das Maçãs makes a fine family destination with the addition of a large outdoor swimming pool equipped with slides, diving boards and a children's pool right on the beach along with a playground and a picnic area.

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Praia das Maçãs
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| 06

Praia de São Julião

Found within the Northern stretch of beaches in the Sintra area. This picturesque sweep of fine white sand extends for almost two kilometres. The river River Falcão which flows onto it is reduced to a trickle during high summer. It's blue waters are a draw for surfers and bathers alike. It's well equipped with restaurants and bars. Amenities such as showers and public toilets are available. There's plenty of parking spaces spread across two car parks.

Praia de São Julião

| 07

Praia do Abano

Located within a tiny cove at the lower end of the Sintra Coast close to Guincho beach and Cascais this beauty spot is often over looked. Access to the beach is through pine forests along a dirt track. Somewhat exposed to Atlantic winds and tumultuous waves makes Praia do Abano a magnet for surfers and windsurfers. Another draw for visitors is the excellent Abano restaurant which has commanding views over the cove below. Close by atop of the cliffs is the battered Guincho Fort.

Praia do Abano

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Praia do Mogoito

Praia do Magoito has a dramatic back drop, a tall steep cliff wall which roll on off over the horizon. The large beach consists of golden sands with a sporadic scattering of rocks. It's waters are a beautiful turquoise and very rich in iodine, supposedly richer in iodine than any other beach in Europe. Access to the beach is gained on the northern side down a long sloping pavement which follows a line of protected ancient fossilised dunes ending where the Mata stream empties onto the sands. The path leading to the beach starts just off from the village of Magoito. It's worth pausing at the top to admire the view which on clear days stretches all the way to Cabo da Rocha in the distance. There are good amenities at Praia do Magoito, including a couple of restaurants, public showers and toilets. The power of the waves here attract many surfers year round, little ones might be safer to keep to the numerous rock pools found here. Even with it's proximity to Sintra Praia do Magoito stays relatively quiet most of the time however those who do decide to come here are well rewarded by the rugged beauty of the place.

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Praia do Mogoito

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Praia Grande

As you probably can guess from the name Praia Grande is the largest beach around these parts where a vast swathe of pristine golden sands await you. The beach is popular with locals in the area as it's easily reached by both private and public transport alike. The swell and consistent beach-break attracts surfers and bodyboarders all year round. On occasions Praia Grande hosts important national and international surfing championships. The magnificent slate cliffs on the southern end of the beach make for an impressive backdrop to the view and a great wind break. If you climb the steps to the top not only will you be treated to a magnificent view but be surprised at seemly gravity defying dinosaurs. A total of 66 footprints dating back 170 million years are imprinted almost vertically assending up the cliff. The time since Megalosaurus and Iguanodons walked here tectonic forces have uplifted and tilted the land sideways.

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Praia Grande

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Praia Pequena

Praia Pequena is not as small as it's name suggests. It's found just north of Grande Beach and is sheltered from costal winds. Popular with both sun-worshipers and lovers of water sports. It's also a good spot for fishing for Octopus and Bass. Coastal paths follow the line of the beach and are great for hiking with a view.

Praia Pequena