Just over the red April 25 Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril) from Lisbon lies the Costa da Caparica, a strip of coastline stretching for about 19 miles (30 kilometers) from the bridge down to Arrabida Natural Park (Parque Natural da Arrábida). In summer, the beaches are packed with locals soaking up the sun and surfers looking to catch a wave.
Costa da Caparica comprises a number of beaches, each with its own vibe and each beloved by Lisboans and visitors alike. From the party atmosphere of Caparica town beach to the more laid-back Morena Beach (Praia da Morena) to Lisbon’s original nudist Meco Beach (Praia do Meco), there’s something for everyone along the coast.
Tours to Costa da Caparica generally involve surf lessons or bodyboarding, as the waves here are perfect for beginners. There are coastal horseback-riding tours from Lisbon, as well. For those who want to explore the entire coast, beach-hopping tours are available in summer.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Costa da Caparica is a must for beach lovers and beginner surfers.
- Some beaches have limited facilities while others have beach bars serving Portuguese fare, snacks, and drinks.
- There is little shade along the coast, so wear plenty of sunscreen and rent or bring a beach umbrella.
How to Get There
The easiest way to reach Costa da Caparica from Lisbon is by car or taxi. Alternatively, take the private TST bus 153 from Praça de Espanha or 161 from Praça do Areeiro, or hop the 5-minute ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas and get bus 135 from there. Once on the coast, a mini-train runs 6 miles (9.5 kilometers) from Caparica to the less-crowded beaches farther south.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Costa da Caparica is during summer, when the weather is hot and the cold Atlantic water is refreshing. If you want to surf, arrive early in the day for the best waves and the fewest people vying for them.
Historical Points of Interest
While Costa da Caparica is known for its beaches, there are also a few historical locations to explore. A 16th-century monastery overlooks the town of Caparica, and farther south you can find the Arriba Fóssil da Costa da Caparica, a nature reserve where 15-million-year-old fossils have been discovered. Other notable points include the estates of Medos (Quinta dos Medos) and São Miguel (Quinta de São Miguel), the residence of Robert Gulbenkian, and the rock-and-limestone House of the Crown (Casa da Coroa).