With beach season in full swing, here are a few tips for days where you want to cool off by the sea side close to Lisbon…
Praia 19 / Beach 19 (Costa de Caparica)
Possibly the largest and definitely most famous gay beach of Lisbon. The fame of it helped by a Antonio Da Silva arty porn movie shot there. The easiest way to reach it is to head for Fonte da Telha, using the ferry from Cais do Sodre and then buses 127 or 145 (see here for timetables). Then, on the beach, head a little north and you will arrive there. Alternatively, follow the directions here – though using the small train from Costa de Caparica is more expensive and times consuming.
Praia da NATO (Costa de Caparica)
If you don’t fancy going to the “big one”, head south from Fonte da Telha and head for Praia da NATO or sometimes called Praia da Adiça. It’s pretty much a continuation of Praia 19, but much less busy. There also isn’t any bar or café on the beach – so bring your own supplies.
Praia do Meco (Sesimbra)
A little further south, is the granddaddy of all nudist beaches in Portugal: Praia do Meco. It’s a little hippie, a little gentrified and touristy by now, but can be quite fun. To get there, catch the bus from Praça Espanha in Lisbon to Santana (207) and then get a local bus to Meco. Not easy, but remember you are visiting history.
Another beach to check out in the “far south” is Praia de Galapinhos between Sétubal and Sesimbra. Again another beach that has been votes best in Europe and lost much of its original clientele … but it is pretty!
If you don’t fancy a trip south of Lisbon, you have two options almost next to each other – but both hard to reach by public transport:
Praia da Ursa (Cabo da Roca)
Voted somewhere to be the prettiest beach in Europe has done more harm than good to this fairly isolated beach. But it is pretty and a few gay guys can still be found among the visitors checking out this beauty spot between Cascais and Sintra. Best reached by bike or car though…. (see google maps)
Praia da Vigia (Carvoeira)
A little further north than Ursa, this is another pretty beach – so far fairly untouched by tourists. But again, unfortunately the transport options are really limited. So the only realistic way to get there is by car (see map here).
Finally, if you don’t really care so much about a beach or fancy cliff climbing, there are the Cliffs of Sao Pedro near to Estoril (map here). The advantage is that it is really easy to reach from central Lisbon by train (Linha de Cascais from Cais do Sodré), but an area of outstanding beauty it is not. A few guys sunbathe nude on the cliffs, but most don’t really care about their tanlines.