Costa da Caparica and the beaches on the linha de Cascais in Portugal are usually the easiest choice for those who live in Lisbon to go to the beach over the weekend, without having to drive too many kilometres. The chaotic traffic jams you face to arrive there, however, often make one desperate.
Therefore, here are some alternatives: river beaches easily accessible from Lisbon that will spare you from huge traffic lines and thus guarantee you a “stress-free” holiday.
1. Praia do Rosário, Moita
A 44 km or 45 minutes’ drive from Lisbon will take you to this river beach on the Tejo, in the municipality of Moita. Here you can expect beach support facilities such as showers, a picnic park, a playground and even a summer library.
Praia do Rosário has about 1 km of sand on the riverside. You can also see a restaurant there called Baía Tejo, which offers a fantastic view and a menu of mouth-watering appetisers.
2. Olhos de Água, Alcanena
A very pleasant beach, mainly appreciated by the youngest ones; and since you can see the riverbed while staying on dry sand, it becomes a paradise for parents with small children.
The name of this beach takes us to the source of the Alviela river, which can be seen some metres ahead of it. The river’s crystal clear water and coolness are ideal for a summer day.
The beach offers a picnic area, a playground and even a camping site, all included in a leisure area that also has very different attractions in the surroundings. One of them is Gruta do Canadá (Canada cave), inhabited by thousands of bats, and Centro de Ciência Viva (Science Center) of Alviela. To arrive there, however, you will have to drive 118 km and it will take you roughly an hour and a half.
3. Alamal, Gavião
The view is absolutely scenic, which makes it worth driving the winding road that leads to this beach in Gavião.
The vegetation surrounding it is beautiful, connecting the countryside and the beach, and the Belver Castle that can be seen on the other bank of the Tejo, perched on top of the hill, invites you to go along the walkway to better appreciate the wonderful view.
The wide sandy beach combined with the grass areas make it quite large, and the infrastructures such as the café with padded sofas resembling bin bags invite us to stay there comfortably observing the nature while we refresh ourselves with a drink.
If you depart from Lisbon, it will take you 177 km to arrive, which is about 2 hours.
4. Praia dos Moinhos, Alcochete
This is a very beautiful beach. It owes its name to the windmills (moinhos de vento) that are seen there, which, even if not active anymore, make the scenery blissful.
The Tejo and a relatively generous sand shore make this beach one of the most sought after locations in Alcochete during the summer. It has become famous among kitesurfers, and a magnificent resort with a huge pool can be found in the vicinity.
Count on driving 40 km (some 42 minutes) to arrive here.
5. Aldeia do Mato, Abrantes
On the magnificent reservoir of Castelo do Bode, where the landscape is unmatched, there is a leisure Nautic Park with floating pools, located in the municipality of Abrantes.
Here you can find water sports equipment and a bar where you can share your leisure time with your friends together with some snacks.
It is also possible to sleep by the dam in one of the wooden bungalows that can be found there. Should you prefer a camping site, you can find one about 6 kilometres away in the village of Martinchel.
To arrive at Aldeia do Mato, however, you will need to drive 150 km, which are done in circa 1 hour and 42 minutes.
6. Praia Doce, Salvaterra de Magos
70 kilometers away from Lisboa, situated between the village of Salvaterra de Magos and the fishing village of Escaroupim, Praia Doce is a place where peace reigns.
Surrounded by the characteristic nature on the banks of the Tejo, it has a picnic area with great tables, toilets and an interesting sand shore.
It was renovated in 2015, and is also known among the locals as “Praia dos Tesos”.
You will have to drive 68 km to find it, which should take you about one hour.
7. Açude do Gameiro, Mora
In the waters of the Raia River, there is a river beach called Açude do Gameiro, where apart from all the beach activities, you can walk along the magnificent wooden walkway, visit the Centro de Interpretação Ambiental (Environmental Interpretation Center), do picnics and still discover the circuit of the adventure park. Close by, you also have Fluviário de Mora (Mora River Aquarium) which is really worth visiting, especially for those travelling with children.
There is still a camping site for anyone wishing to stay overnight in this area.
It will take you 199 km and about 1h and 40 minutes to arrive here from Lisbon.
8. Lago Azul, Ferreira do Zêzere
The beach of Lago Azul (Blue Lake) is officially known as Praia Fluvial de Castanheira.
It is located on the dam of Castelo do Bode and has a fluctuating platform with two pools for adults and children, making this beach an excellent place for entertainment.
It is very popular among wakeboarders and also offers the possibility of tranquil pedal boat rides or walks in the trails surrounding the reservoir.
It takes 161 km to arrive there, a drive of around 2 hours, but I assure you it will be absolutely worth it.
9. Praia da Valada, Cartaxo
Right in the region of Ribatejo, in the municipality of Cartaxo, one can find the small river beach of Valada. Here you can find a picnic area complete with grill stations, a pier, an exercise circuit and even a playground to entertain the little ones.
You might also like to visit the fishing village of Escaroupim, founded on the opposite bank of the river in the mid-1930s by fishermen from Praia da Vieira in Marinha Grande.
68 km away from Lisboa, you will arrive at this interesting spot in about one hour.
10. Praia da Alburrica, Barreiro
With its three traditional windmills, Praia da Alburrica has fine, soft, comfy sands that invite you to lay down and rest. The Gigante (Giant), Nascente (Sunrise) and Poente (Sunset) windmills are interesting attractions in this area.
The beach is equipped with an exercise circuit, a volleyball court, showers and a spider-shaped playground equipment for children to play. There is also a parking lot at hand, so you do not have to drive around in circles trying to find a place for your car.
45 minutes should be enough to drive the 43 km that bring you here from Lisbon.
Portugal has such a vast offer of river beaches and all so easily accessible from its capital city of Lisbon that you do not need to fry inside your car while stuck in long traffic jams. Do take these options into consideration and set sail to discover such wonderful paradises that are so close to you.