[CASCAIS, POTUGAL] — Only an hour or so outside of Lisbon and just 5km and 10 minutes from the sunny Lisbon beach suburb of Cascais, Praia do Guincho. Guincho Beach. Rated as one of the best beaches in Portugal and on top ten beaches in the world, it’s a dream.  Strong winds, perfect sand — a contrast to the rocky beaches of France and Italy — large waves and incredible sunsets, it just all adds up.  

It’s easy to get to, with parking along the road and multiple coves (I’m actually not 100% if there is one single Guincho, or a bunch) you can just drive, park and burn. If you’re staying in Cascais, you can rent a bike and it’s an easy flat ride, take a taxi or drive your own car. (I’d suggest the bike route and not worry about the parking).

Guincho beach rocks
Praia do Guincho is really a series of beaches and alcoves all along the Atlantic side of the Lisbon coast.
Praia do Guincho waves
Praia do Guincho cove
Gorgeous crashing waves. A top kite surfing spot.
Praia do Guincho umbrellas
Some areas have more services and are busier.
Praia do Guincho coastline
Praia do Guincho Portugal
Praia do Guincho best beach

It’s the Atlantic, so the water is a little cold and the waves are strong, so not the best swimming. I hear the winds are intense in July and June and are perfect in September. I was lucky that one day it was Kite Surf City and too intensely windy and the next day ideal. It’s about 20 minutes along the coast up from Cascais, which is a great base for exploring the Lisbon coast.  Highly recommend that you go here. It was even featured in the Bond film Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Praia do Guincho waves
I love this woman. The true definition of “leaning into your fears.”

The waves can be intense, so it’s not a lolly-gagging beach, but that makes it more fun to watch everyone challenge the cold Atlantic waves. But for being so easily reachable, it’s the perfect day trip from Lisbon or Cascais.

Praia do Guincho watching waves
Praia do Guincho bikini
Moment of silence.
Praia do Guincho pool
There’s even a big public pool, so you get the best of both worlds. Pool + Beach views.

More Information on Praia do Guincho and Cascais

Here’s a great roundup of all the best beaches in Portugal from The Guardian. And a great article on Cascais from The Independent. Guincho is included in this article from Business Insider on the top under the radar beaches in the world, which includes Guincho. And an article on Guincho from The Mirror. Another article from The Guardian on the best beach bars in Portugal, describing the Bar do Guincho.   

And here’s info from Visit Portugal. And more info on Guincho from Culture Trip.  Here are some other posts I’ve made of Cascais.

And here’s info from Visit Portugal.  If you subscribe to The Times of London, here’s a great guide on what to do in Cascais.

— Last Visited July 2013, Post Updated January 2020 — 


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