Introduction to Lisbon's beaches >The Lisbon/Estoril/Cascais coastline > Guincho Beach
Praia do Guincho Beach, Lisbon
Praia do Guincho is a beautiful beach that is situated on the westward facing side of the Lisbon coastline. The beach lies within the Serra de Sintra national park and this provides a remote and wild setting and ambience. The main attraction of the Praia do Guincho is the massive waves and near constant breeze that are ideal for professional surfers.
The amazing surfing beach of Guincho
The strong swells form dangerous rip tides and the powerful waves are not for beginners or weak swimmers. The main limitation of Guincho Beach is the poor public transport especially if traveling from Lisbon. This guide will provide details of how to travel to Guincho and details of the facilities offered there.
Cascais to Guincho Beach
Guincho Beach is 6km north-west of the resort town of Cascais. For visitors who will be travelling to the beach by public transport there is a regular and inexpensive bus service that connects Cascais bus station to the Praia do Guincho. The two bus services (405 and 415) follow the same route but travel in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction.
The amazing surfing beach of Guincho
During daylight hours there is one departure of each service every hour, so there is a bus every 30 minutes to the beach. The journey time is 25 minutes and a single ticket cost 2.25 with the ticket purchased from the bus driver. For those visitors travelling from Lisbon catch the train to Cascais and then take the bus to Guincho. Cascais bus station is in the large shopping mall Cascais Villa less than a 200m walk from the train station.
Lisbon to Guincho beach
To travel to Guincho by public transport from Lisbon requires a train and bus ride. The train journey connects Lisbon to the resort town of Cascais and departs from the Cais do Sodré train station in Lisbon (green metro line). The train journey is 30 minutes and a single ticket costs €2.15.
It is a 200 m walk from the Cascais train station to the bus station, which is below the Cascais Villa shopping centre. The bus details are explained above. The difficult public transport journey makes it impractical to go to Guincho as a day trip from Lisbon. For more accessible beaches from Lisbon head to Carcavelos beach or the Costa da Caprica coastline.
Lisbon to Guincho by Car
The beach is 35km west of Lisbon and the most direct route is via the A5. Outside of rush hour the journey takes 30 minutes. The main car park of Guincho is to the north of the beach near the Bar do Guincho. The other access point is to the south of the beach near the Estalagem Muchaxo hotel. Both accesses are from the scenic N247 that follows the coast to Cascais.
Facilities at Guincho
There are surf hire shops located at Guincho Beach, so there is no need to bring along your own equipment. Board rental prices for 2015 are €10, €15 and €25 (1 hour, half day, full day). A short wet suit is recommended even in the summer months as the sea temperature is controlled by the cold swells of the Atlantic Ocean and the temperature does not exceed 16°C. Wetsuit rental price is €5 - €15 and is highly recommended.
Lessons for surf/kite surf can be booked at the Moana Surf School with group sessions starting from €25. The strong swells tides and constant breeze do not make this a beach suitable for families with young children. At Guincho there are good amenities including public showers, beach bars and restaurants.
Further Details about Guincho
Praia Guincho was a filming location for the 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The beach was the setting for the pre-title scene where James (George Lazenby) prevents the suicide of Contessa Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) and fights two men in the sea.
Praia do Guincho is exposed to the ferocity of the Atlantic Ocean and combined with the constant wind makes the beach ideal for surfing, kite surfing and wind surfing. As the beach experiences an almost constant breeze this is not the beach for sun bathing or relaxing but if you are hunting for adventure and excitement head here. The scenery surrounding Guincho Beach compliments the vibe of the area with a wild and rugged coastline with little serious development. It is hard to imagine that this remote beach is less than 30 minutes’ drive away from the metropolis of Lisbon.
Guincho Beach has a shoreline of approximately 800 meters and this means that there is plenty of space even in during the summer months. While other beaches to the east of Cascais become dangerously crowded in the sea there is always ample room to surf at Guincho.
The sea is always very cold and comes as a shock to many tourists new to the region. The difference between the winter low temperature and the summer high is only 2°C (17-19 °C). If planning a visit during early spring or late autumn consider bringing a thin wet suit as the sea temperature can be surprisingly sapping and tiring. The majority of the day will be spent with onshore breeze but the ferocious Atlantic Ocean still produces some large waves. For extended off shore winds plan to visit during December. The beach is the location for the Portuguese National Surfing and Body Boarding Championships and has appeared on the wind surfing world championship circuit.
The northern side of the Praia do Guincho has favourable conditions for wind and kite surfers while the southern side is more suited for surfers. The beach has a constant breeze, which blows from the sea side in the summer months. The waves and currents can be very strong and are suitable for only competent swimmer. This means that Praia do Guincho is not really suited for families or young children. There is lifeguard supervision in the summer season.