While Portugal’s Algarve region may be famous for its stunning seaside, you can also find beautiful beaches near Lisbon.
Praia das Maçãs boasts rocky cliffs, blue water and surf-friendly waves popular with locals and visitors alike. And if you’re looking for more than soft, white sand and crashing waves, there’s plenty more to do in the area, from tasting the local Colares wines to riding the antique tram to Sintra.
The ultimate Praia das Maçãs day trip from Lisbon
For the perfect day trip from Lisbon, head right to Praia das Maçãs. Here are six things to do while you’re there.
Bask on the beach
This one might be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning again…the beach is definitely worth a visit. Even if you catch it on a foggy day, it’s still beautiful. Grab some snacks and drinks from the shops nearby and get straight to relaxing. Or if you’re a bit daring, climb up the cliff to get a bird’s eye view of the beach and the village.
Ride the tram to Sintra
If you plan to visit Sintra, or just need a ride to and from the Sintra train station, don’t miss your chance to ride on the historic tram. Opened in 1904, the tram takes you on a charming, albeit slow and clanking, journey from Praia das Maçãs to the Sintra old town where you can continue on to see the palaces or hop the train back to Lisbon. The local 441 bus will get you there faster, but if you’re not in a rush and prefer a unique experience, the tram is a must.
Visit local wineries
The local wines from the Colares region are truly special for two main reasons. First, the Colares vines survived the phylloxera epidemic in the late 19th century that wiped out the majority of Europe’s vines. This puts them in a very, very tiny category of European vines that are un-grafted, which in layman’s’ terms, essentially means the vines have not been combined with vines from other regions.
The second reason these wines are so unique is because the vines grow in sand just meters from the beach. Yes, sand! While the sand cultivation prevented phylloxera from infiltrating the vines centuries ago, it’s also why Colares wine production is limited—the grapes are difficult to grow and harvest.
In addition to hard-to-grow grapes, the luxury real estate market is also booming in Colares, with developers gobbling up much of the region’s vineyards. Because of this scarcity, as well as their remarkable history and unique growing methods, Colares wines are now hot among wine geeks and industry insiders. Go now and get your bottles and experience a one-of-a-kind wine region.
Take a surfing class
If a surf trip is what you’re after, you’re in luck as the area is known for having a few famous surf breaks. There are surfers hitting the waves year-round, just be prepared for freezing cold water, even in the summertime. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, you’re sure to find a surfing class that suits you at Surf At, Solfun or Surfiberia.
Walk the cliffs to Azenhas do Mar
While you’re at Praia das Maçãs, don’t miss the chance to walk along the coastline to Azenhas do Mar, a whitewashed village perched atop a massive cliff. Explore the village, old stone mill houses and pretty azulejos tiles decorating the majestic villas. Then stop for a drink at the beach bar in the cove and take a dip in the natural seawater tidal pool.
Eat fresh seafood
We can’t talk about a seaside Portuguese village without mentioning the seafood! There’s no shortage of delicious places to eat in Praia das Maçãs whether you’re looking for fish, burgers or beyond. A couple places that we enjoyed and were recommended to us by locals are Buzio for upscale local seafood and delicious house vinho verde and Barmacia for casual food, great sea views and a local vibe.
Check out the craft beer scene
It’s not all wine and seafood around Praia das Maçãs, if your perfect day trip from Lisbon includes craft beer and pizza, you’re in luck. Head to Hops & Drops for local artisan brews and while you’re there, grab a slice from the Souldough pizza truck or sweets from the Artisanal Candy Truck, all located at the Aldeia Da Praia glamping site.
How to get to Praia das Maçãs
From Lisbon, take the train to Sintra from Rossio Station, then catch the 440 bus toward Azenhas do Mar or the antique tram to Praia das Maçãs. Uber is also an option at any point along your journey. The cost from Lisbon all the way to Praia das Maçãs will cost around 40 euros.
Praia das Maçãs makes the perfect day trip from Lisbon or Sintra with beautiful cliff-side beaches, amazing surf, unique wines, fresh seafood and so much more. The weather in this region tends to be misty in the morning, but don’t let that deter you. The sun often comes out in the afternoon, and if not, it’s still absolutely worth visiting despite the fogginess.
Whether you’re looking for stunning beaches near Lisbon or to experience a local village away from the tourist crowds of Lisbon and Sintra, you can’t go wrong with Praia das Maçãs.