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Praia de Carcavelos Beach, Lisbon
The Praia de Carcavelos beach is the Lisbon's coastlines most popular beach, in part due to the close proximity of the capital. Carcavelos beach is renowned for its reliable surf, soft golden sands and great facilities but expect it to be busy at the weekends especially during the summer holiday months.
The stunning beach of Praia Carcavelos
Generally Carcavelos is recommended as the first beach to visit while on holiday to Lisbon due to the excellent public transport connections. This guide will provide an overview of the beach, details of the facilities and how to travel to the beach from Lisbon, Cascais and Estoril.
Why Visit Carcavelos Beach?
Carcavelos is a large beach with a 1.5km long shoreline and clean sea waters that are surprisingly cold. Carcavelos is similar in style to the northern edge of the Costa Caparica coastline but there is much better public transport from Lisbon to Carcavelos. Carcavelos has better waves and is larger than the nondescript beaches that front Estoril and Cascais, while the waters of Carcavelos are always cleaner than Santo Amaro beach.
Carcavelos Beach before the summer crowds arrive
Guincho beach has better waves and is set in a stunning location but it is difficult to travel to when using public transport from Lisbon. Sesimbra and the south Setubal Peninsular are all beautiful but too far as a day trip from Lisbon. Therefore Carcavelos beach is a good choice to visit and this view is shared with most of Lisbon, so expect it to be busy.
Travel to Carcavelos Beach Lisbon
The train to Praia de Carcavelos from Lisbon departs from the Cais do Sodré station and takes around 20 minutes. Cais do Sodré station is the final station on the green metro line. A single train ticket costs €1.85/€0.95 (adult/child) and there is a departure approximately every 20 minutes during day light hours, with the last train at 23:43.
Praia de Carcavelos is served by Carcavelos train station and it is a 700m walk along quiet residential roads from the station to the beach. Carcavelos beach is 9km from Cascais (and Estoril) and is reached using the same train line as if traveling from Lisbon. The train journey is 15 minutes and a single ticket costs €1.75.
The stunning beach of Praia Carcavelos
The 19km drive from Lisbon to Carcavelos follows the scenic N6 coastal road and takes around 25 minutes. At the beach there is plenty of free car parking and this is one of the reasons why it is so popular with Lisbon's residents.
Praia De Carcavelos Tourist Guide
At the eastern edge of the beach is the mighty Sao Julião fort, which is owned by the Portuguese army and is not open to the public. The Praia De Carcavelos has good swell and waves making it popular with surfers and body boarders. The waves are much more powerful during the winter while the summer is suitable for beginners.
There are three surf schools located within the vicinity of the beach and equipment can be easily hired. During the summer season the beach is supervised by lifeguards but the waters can get dangerously busy, especially in the designated surfing sections. For relaxing on the beach parasols and two sun loungers can be hired for €10 per day.
The Sao Julião fort a great back drop to the beach
There are many small cafes and shops selling light refreshments, the three most popular beach front restaurants are; Capricciosa (a pizzeria to the east of the beach), Caseiro Praia (serving traditional Portuguese food) and Gota d'Acqua a good value restaurant. The town of Carcavelos has many other good restaurants and a small shopping mall
Praia Carcavelos Random Facts
The beach was the film location for the very bland Euro dance song Amazing by Inna, the song was very average but the video makes Carcavelos beach look fantastic.
During the early 20th century, Carcavelos beach was the sole connection point for the America to Europe telegraph network. The cables that ran out from the beach once handled all of the messages communicated between Europe and the Americas.
Surfing is popular at Carcavelos beach
The Sao Julião fort, at the eastern edge of the beach, marks the mouth of the Rio Tejo therefore Carcavelos beach technically opens out onto the Atlantic Ocean while everything to the east faces the River Tejo. The water of the beach is relatively clean as any waste from the Tejo estuary is dispersed by the ocean currents and tides.