Real adventurers will love this!
One day may not be enough for the sea of programmes (excuse the pun) that the ocean has in store.
Sintra is a good place to start your adventure. The Serra de Sintra, whose coastline is of great ecological and cultural interest, is remarkably diverse. Praia Grande, Praia das Maçãs and Azenhas do Mar promise to fill the expectations of those who visit these beaches – and not necessarily for the grandeur of the sea that normally characterises them.
A little further along the coast is Cascais with its dune system and one of the most iconic beaches for those who enjoy sailing (or just love wild – and windy – beaches): Guincho.
Much further south, pursuit of the ocean continues, along with high levels of expectation. But then again, the Arrábida area is breathtaking.
Like a green wall rising vertically beside the Atlantic, the Serra da Arrábida conceals small bays of white sand and, although at the edge of the ocean, the sea here has almost no waves.
Far from the hills and closer to the sea stands Portinho da Arrábida. This is a good diving spot, with its unique fauna and flora. For those who have a thing for acquiring new knowledge, the Oceanographic Museum, housed in the Fort of Santa Maria da Arrábida, promises to provide the answers to lots of questions linked to the issues of the sea and the hills.
Enjoyment of some of the most beautiful beaches in the country (and Europe, as already acclaimed) continues with the Galápos, Galapinhos and the hidden Praia dos Coelhos and Praia da Figueirinha.
In front of the eastern end of Lisbon stands the stunning Reserva Natural do Estuário do Tejo (Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve), whose vastness has granted it the name the “Mar da Palha” (Straw Sea). These are the largest wetlands in the country and among the tenth most important in Europe. Their status was awarded to protect the migratory seabirds that nest here. During migrating season, the estuary is home to more than 120,000 birds, most notably the pied avocet, accounting for over 20% of Western Europe’s entire population.
The beauty continues south of the bridge across the Tagus. The main highlight is the Protected Landscape of the Fossil Cliffs of Costa da Caparica (PPAFCC), which extends along the coastline from the town of Costa da Caparica – where the choice is hard given the diverse range – to Lagoa de Albufeira.
Even further south, one comes to the stunning Estuário do Sado (Sado Estuary). This nature reserve has other attractions, such as dolphins, which accompany the boat tours, and the over 250 species that can be seen in this area. The Moinho de Maré da Mourisca (Mourisca Tide Mill) is one of the best places to do it.
From the wild waves of Sintra to the paradise that is Arrábida, Lisbon suggests beaches and marine areas that suit the most demanding lovers of water. Diving is believing.