Under the Lisbon Sun...

Under the Lisbon Sun

Lisbon is the Atlantic capital, blessed with natural beauty and steeped in fascinating history. Lisbon is the only European capital with Atlantic beaches.

Take the train along the north bank of the Tagus estuary and you’ll discover mile after mile of golden sandy beaches. At the end of the line the beaches of Estoril and Cascais are home to a number of royal castles - a stunning legacy of the times when the kings of Portugal spent their summers here. Continue further and the coast turns westwards - be sure not to miss the truly breath-taking Atlantic sunsets.

Meanwhile Europe’s largest beach is on Lisbon’s doorstep.South of the River Tagus and only half an hour from the city is the 30-kilometre long Costa de Caparica beach.

Finally, for those interested in history, Lisbon has a rich and colourful seafaring heritage. In the 16th century, ships set sail from the beaches of the River Tagus to chart a route to far-off India. And the city’s passion for the sea continues to this day. Visit the Parque das Nações and you’ll discover the Oceanarium.

* Caparica Coast Beach

With 30 kilometres of sand, sea and sky, Costa da Caparica is Europe’s largest beach and is only half an hour from Lisbon, on the southern bank of the River Tagus.

Join the inhabitants of Lisbon, who come to the Costa da Caparica every summer to sunbathe and swim in the sea. Share the lively atmosphere of the bars and café terraces that stretch all along the seafront.

But don’t think that the beach is just somewhere you go in the summer. On sunny winter days - and Portugal has lots of these - you can remind yourself of the pleasures of the summer season, strolling along the promenade, paddling in the sea and breathing in the fresh sea breeze.

The backdrop to the beach is the protected landscape of an impressive fossil cliff.This was the water line millions of years ago. Lying hidden at the top of the cliff is the charming Convento dos Capuchos, built in the 16th century. Ringed by carefully kept gardens, a lively Music Festival is held here every summer, while the convent offers you an excellent view over the beach.

To the south of this protected landscape, separated from the beach by a line of dunes, is the Lagoa de Albufeira, a lagoon that provides excellent conditions for sailing.

* Estoril Coast Beach

Close to Lisbon, with a mild year-round climate, a lively and sophisticated atmosphere and famed as the seat of kings, the Estoril Coast is the "Portuguese Riviera".

The beaches of fine white sand begin at the mouth of the Tagus estuary and accompany you all along the coast to Cascais. Carcavelos beach, marking the point where the Tagus meets the Atlantic, is the largest of these, with waves that are perfect for surfing. The beach of Tamariz, lying at the far end of the gardens of Estoril Casino, is the most elegant.

In the 1920s, the Sud Express train from Paris used to stop at Estoril station, bringing kings, nobles and millionaires from Europe, who came here to find a safe haven of relaxation and leisure. They left their mark in the form of palace-like villas and the glamorous atmosphere that you will feel in the region.Cascais was a fishing harbour that the presence of Portugal’s last kings turned into an elegant seaside resort. Its pedestrianised streets and the charm of its hotels and restaurants combine with the scenic effect of yachts moored in the bay to produce an atmosphere of great charm.

A corniche with many seaside restaurants leads you to the superbly panoramic beach of Guincho, framed by the hills of Sintra. The waves are stronger here, making this beach one of the best places in Portugal for surfing and windsurfing.

Source: Turismo de Portugal