The best guide to Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica Portugal

Costa da Caparica is a lively and modern resort town that is adored by the Portuguese but virtually unknown by foreign tourists. The Costa da Caparica coastline is simply stunning, and is famed for its vast sandy beaches, powerful seas and wonderful natural scenery, all of which is less than a 20-minute drive from central Lisbon.

Costa da Caparica sky

The Costa da Caparica as viewed from the sky

During the summer the Portuguese flock here, drawn by the beaches, the buzzing atmosphere or the uber-trendy beach parties, and this all combines to make for a fantastic holiday destination. This guide will provide an introduction to Costa da Caparica as either a holiday destination or as a day trip from Lisbon, and details regarding traveling to Costa da Caparica can be found at the end of the article.

Why the Costa da Caparica?

Costa da Caparica is a region that characterises modern Portugal, by blending traditions and heritage with forward thinking and liberal attitudes. By day colourful fishing boats are hulled onto the beaches to sell their fresh catches while by night these same beaches play host to uber-trendy beach parties. At the southern edge of the Costa da Caparica is Meco beach, Portugal’s first nudist beach while slight further up is the Largo de Albufeira a favourite camping ground for Portuguese families that contains pristine sheltered beaches. This variety means that the region is ideal for young couples, families or more mature visitors seeking a relaxing holiday.

Costa da Caparica

The Costa da Caparica is famous for its huge surfing waves

Why visit Costa da Caparica (town) as a day trip?

The Costa da Caparica offers a glorious beach, and is the best beach of the Lisbon region that is easily accessible by public transport from Lisbon. The express bus only takes 30 minutes from central Lisbon and the huge size of the beach means that there is always space, even at the height of the summer. For those visitors with a rental car should explore the southern coastline to discover empty and pristine beaches.

view over Costa da Caparica

The view over Costa da Caparica

The town of Costa da Caparica is without the historic charm of other beach towns close to Lisbon but it has a decent selection of shops, cafes and restaurants. These restaurants and cafes are designed for Portuguese tourists so offer exceptional value for money especially when the meal is based around the freshly caught fish. There is a pleasant coastal promenade which makes for an enjoyable walk and during the height of the summer season a mini train connects the town to the southern beaches.

What about a holiday to the resort town of Costa da Caparica?

The town of Costa da Caparica can make for an enjoyable, if alternative, holiday destination. The town has excellent tourist facilities, with a good selection of hotels or self-catering accommodation while the town centre is crammed with restaurants, bars and shops. For the intrepid visitor there is a range of varied day trips that could include Lisbon, Sesimbra, Setubal or simply hiking around the Arriba Fóssil da Costa coastline. The Costa da Caparica is traditional a Portuguese family holiday destination and children will be welcomed everywhere but the sea currents and waves maybe too strong for young children.

Costa da Caparica  weather

The average weather of Costa da Caparica

To best describe a holiday to the Costa da Caparica, is a like a holiday to the Algarve/Coast de Sol/ Mallorca but without all of the dumb or badly behaved foreign tourists. There’s great weather, excellent tourist facilities and a lot of things to do.

beach of Costa da Caparica

The beach of Costa da Caparica

The Costa da Caparica makes for a fantastic holiday destination, combining the best of a beach holiday and city break, with day trips to vibrant Lisbon. For those visitors based in Lisbon, the Costa da Caparica coastline has some of the best beaches of the region and is less than a 30 minute bus ride away.

Costa da Caparica beach

This exceptional beach is Europe’s longest continuous sandy shoreline and, as facing the powerful Atlantic Ocean, is a paradise for sun worshipers and water sport junkies alike. The northern edge of the Costa da Caparica is busy during the summer months as Lisbon’s population descends to the golden sands by day or the numerous bars and clubs during the night. The coastline becomes less developed (and thus less crowded) the further south that you travel.


beach Costa da Caparica

The Costa da Caparica

For those tourists with their own transport will find the final third of Costa da Caparica lies with the Arriba Fóssil da Costa nature reserve and whole vast sections of the beach remain deserted even during the summer months. The stunning and varied area of Costa da Caparica can be easily visited as part of any short break or holiday to Lisbon. For a guide on traveling to Costa da Caparica from Lisbon please click here.

The resort town of Costa da Caparica

The town of Costa da Caparica appears as a typical Mediterranean beach resort with large white washed hotels and apartment blocks but the area is focused towards Lisbon’s residence more than international travelers. This means prices are reasonable while the atmosphere is family orientated and more relaxed.

hotel Costa da Caparica

A modern hotel of Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica is referred to as a city but it only has a permanent population of just over 13,000 and was only designated as a city in December 2004. There are much better resort towns in Portugal but the city of Costa da Caparica is less than 20km from Lisbon airport and is situated on the northern end of Europe’s largest beaches.

Costa da Caparica's best Guide