Your Ultimate Travel Guide to Costa da Caparica, Portugal

0 Your Ultimate Travel Guide to Costa da Caparica

If you ended up on this page, you probably already know that Costa da Caparica is all about great surfing, beautiful beaches, and stunning sunsets… but which ones are the best spots to enjoy them?

Having lived there for 9 months, I have some good spots to share with you, plus other things to do around this small and charming town… that’s why I made this guide to Costa da Caparica, including some useful information, best accommodations, and tips!

Here you will get to know where to catch waves or to spend a relaxing beach day, how to get around, where to stay in Costa da Caparica and much more… so you literally don’t have to do anything except read and book some things in advance!

Let’s jump right in!

Quick Picks for Your Stay 

If you don’t have time to read the whole post, check out the best experiences you can have while visiting Costa da Caparica right here: 

Here are the main things to book in advance:

And here are the best hotels: Paradise (Luxury), 5th Element Beach House (Mid-range), Villa Maria Hostel (Budget)

1. Where is Costa da Caparica and how to get there

1 where is costa da caparica

Before getting to know which are the coolest activities to do when you visit Costa da Caparica, let’s check out where it is located and how to get there!

Costa da Caparica is a small coastal town located in the municipality of Alamada (Setúbal district) with 30 km (19 miles) of sandy beaches overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Being around 25 minutes by car from Lisbon, there are many ways to get to Costa da Caparica. Let’s see them one by one:

  • Car – Getting from downtown Lisbon to Costa da Caparica by rental car takes around 20 – 25 minutes (depending on traffic). You’ll just need to cross the Tagus River on the 25th of April bridge (“Ponte 25 de Abril”) and head west.
  • Bus – Take the 3709 bus from Marques Pombal station in Lisbon to Costa da Caparica (the last stop is located around a 10-minute walk from the beach!). The journey will cost you €3.20 and take you around 40 min – 1 hour. 
  • By Ferries + Bus – Take the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas (€1.25). During the 15-minute journey across the Tagus River, you will enjoy amazing views of the waters and the enchanting Lisbon. In Cacilhas take the TST 135 bus for 20 mins to Costa da Caparica (€2.40).
  • Taxis/Ride Sharing – Another easy and quick option to get to Costa da Caparica is by taxi or ride-sharing, which are both quite cheap. My favorite option is definitely ride-sharing with the ride-hailing app Uber (or Bolt), since it’s faster and cheaper (around €10)! If you prefer to take a taxi, 1 ride will cost around €15/ €20 to get to Costa da Caparica (they get more expensive at night). 
1 visiting Costa da Caparica

PRO TIP: If you’re planning on visiting Costa da Caparica for a long time, and you also want to explore Lisbon and its surroundings, I suggest you buy the green Viva Viagem card. It will give you access to all the ways of public transportation (metro, bus, tram, funiculars) at way cheaper ticket prices! The card costs only 50 cents, and you can load it with individual tickets (1.50€),  a day pass (€6.40), or with a balance of up to €40.

2. Things to do in Costa da Caparica

Even if small, the town of Caparica offers many attractions in its close surroundings. You are just a short drive away from Lisbon (check out also the best things to do in Lisbon!), some traditional villages, beautiful beaches, and literally steps away from some incredible surfing!

Let’s check them out more in detail:

2.1. Surf, surf, surf!

2 costa da caparica best surf lessons

One of the main reasons people visit Costa da Caparica is for its amazing surfing! The town offers at least 7 different beaches (from Praia da Mata to Praia Nova) where you can catch waves, all located one after the other and divided by piers.

So you can literally walk on the waterfront walkway with your surfboard and choose which break you prefer… How great is that?

Among all these beaches, the best one in terms of waves is definitely Tarquinio beach (the central beach of Costa Da Caparica). This is the most popular beach for surf classes and among locals… so get ready also for some crowds! 

P.S.: If you can’t stand crowds in the water like me, you can check out the stunning Praia Nova, just a 10-minute walk from the town center, or Fonte da Telha beach, where you can catch good waves without being worried about hitting someone the whole time!

Surf Classes

Talking about surf classes, if you are a beginner and you want to learn surfing or even bodyboarding, Costa da Caparica offers countless surf schools open in the summer. This is the peak season but also the best period to practice your skills. 

In fact, from May to mid-October waves are smaller and cleaner, so the town gets full of young people willing to surf and enjoy a slow pace of life, while in winter, you can ride some big waves!

PRO TIP: The best combo you can have with surfing is yoga: the surfing position will give your back a hard time, plus it’s super important to stretch your muscles before and after it! Join this surfing and yoga program by the sea, designed for both the body and mind, for €71.

Prices

  • Hiring surf equipment (board+wetsuit): €15 for 2 hours or €25 for a full day
  • Surf class: Around €30 with a group and €50 for a private lesson

2.2 Have a relaxing day at the best Costa da Caparica Beaches

2.2 How do you get from Lisbon to Caparica beach

If you’re not into surfing, no worries, you can either relax on the surfing beaches I just mentioned or go south of Costa da Caparica, where there are countless sandy beaches to spend a warm and sunny day!

NOTE: Unfortunately, there is no way to go to the beaches south of Costa da Caparica town by public transport (there was a mini train until 2020 but it was abandoned), so I strongly recommend you rent a car and take a few days to explore them all.

I gathered here below a list of the absolute must-visit Costa da Caparica beaches (I can already tell you that Fonte da Telha is my favorite one). Check them out:

1. Fonte da Telha: If you’re looking for the ultimate beach escape, Fonte da Telha is the beach for you, located 20-minute drive from Costa da Caparica, offering golden cliffs framed with stone pine and eucalyptus trees and cool water sports like surfing and kitesurfing.

The beach is nestled in the protected landscape of the Arriba Fóssil (a national park covering an entire foreshore), and hosts a small fishing community, so you’ll find many fishing boats on the shores as well as some delicious fish restaurants where to have a delicious lunch or dinner!

P.S.: 10 minutes driving from Fonte da Telha, right on the opposite side, you’ll find the Aroeira Lisbon Hotel Sea and Gold, offering luxury accommodations and a big golf course if you want to stay in the area!

2. Beach 19: Beach 19 (located a 20 minute’s walk from Fonte da Telha) is a secluded and nudist beach with beautiful sandstone cliffs. This has been considered Europe’s largest gay beach since the ‘90s!

The thing that I love the most about this beach is that it is a protected area, so it preserves the untouched nature and has no facilities (bring a picnic if you want to eat something and spend the day there)!

2.2 best Costa da Caparica Beaches tarquinio beach caparica

3. Lagoa de Albufeira: If you want to enjoy some nature, Lagoa de Albufeira offers beautiful blue lagoon waters with white sandy beaches surrounded by pine forests! This place is perfect to have beachside picnics, do bird watching, or engage in watersports like paddle boarding, kayaking, or even fishing! 

Being around 1 hour’s drive from Costa da Caparica is perfect for a cool day trip with family or friends! PS: If you like the idea of a day trip nestled in nature, check out the incredible Serra da Arrábida Natural Park and Cabo Espichel, that you can both visit on this cool boat tour!

If after visiting the beaches just mentioned you still feel like enjoying some beach time and relaxation, here are some other ones you can check: 

2.3 Check out all the cool attractions of Almada

2.3 best attractions of Almada for couples

While Costa da Caparica is all about beaches, relaxing, and surfing, just 10 mins drive away you will find Almada, which offers many other things to do and see (and is also a great place to take a break from the hot sun!)… 

Almada is a charming waterfront town facing the Tagus River and the beautiful Lisbon, characterized by old wharves and warehouses that now are cool restaurants and bars. 

Check out all the things to do in Almada below:

Get the best views from Elevador Panorâmico da Boca do Vento

Apart from just wandering around the town and taking in its nostalgic charm, in Almada, you can gaze at the most beautiful views from the Casa da Cerca cultural center or the Elevador Panorâmico da Boca do Vento, a panoramic elevator.

This is actually a secret spot located right at the foot of the cliffs: the elevator ride will cost you only €1 and give you supreme views of the 25 de Abril Bridge and Lisbon’s skyline! 

P.S.: If you want to gaze at stunning sunsets but you don’t want to go all the way to Almada to do that, you can do a hike of about 1 hour from Costa da Caparica to the Capuchos Convent viewpoint (even if actually the convent belongs to the city of Almada), which also offers temporary exhibitions and cultural shows!

Casa de cerca 

Right next to the panoramic elevator, you’ll find Casa da Cerca, a typical manor house from the 17th and 18th centuries that is now a contemporary arts center, where you can check out some inspiring art and beautiful botanical gardens for free!

Cristo Rei

2.3 best Almada Family friendly activities

One of the absolute must things to do if you’re staying in Lisbon or Caparica, is to climb up the National Sanctuary of Cristo Rei, a 110 meters (360 feet) high religious monument inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer. 

You can actually climb up to 75 meters (246 feet), which is still quite high! Once at the top, you’ll admire the city and Tagus River from above, or take some amazing pictures of the 25 April bridge, the best holiday memories!

Alternatively, you can even visit the Cristo Rei monument as a full-day trip from Lisbon, during which you’ll also explore the city’s architectural highlights and culinary delights, the pristine beaches of Arrábida Natural Park, and more for €69.

Ticket Prices: €6 for adults / €3 for kids

Solar dos Zagallos

Only 10 minutes drive from Almada, there is another historical mansion that has been turned into a cultural center and is free for visitors: the Solar dos Zagallos.

Here you can go to take a break from the sun, and wander around its gardens and its ancient grounds, featuring a greenhouse, pavilions, blue and white tile panels, frescos, and azulejos.

4. Where to stay in Costa da Caparica

4 4. Where to stay in Costa da Caparica

Now that you’ve got an idea of all the activities you will have to enjoy in this region, it’s time to find somewhere to stay.

Here are the best hotels in terms of value and position in Caparica, for different budgets:

Luxury (US$130 and up)

  • Sónia’s Costa da Caparica apartment – If you want to feel at home during your holiday in Costa da Caparica, check out this 3-bedroom apartment at only 4 minute’s walk from the beach, perfect for families or groups of friends!
  • Paradise – If you want to enjoy all the comforts during your holiday in Costa da Caparica, check out this beachfront hotel, offering apartments with private balconies, fully equipped kitchens, and free parking.

Mid Range (US$50 – US$110)

  • 5th Element Beach House – This amazing accommodation in Costa da Caparica is just 3 minutes walk from the beach and offers great value for the price, and even better facilities like a shared lounge, a garden, and a terrace. 
  • Costa de Caparica – This beachfront property offers spacious apartments with a fully equipped kitchen, air conditioning, and access to a children’s playground, barbecue facilities, and bicycle rental service to explore the area

Budget (up to US$40)

  • Villa Maria Hostel By Host-Point – If you want to stay on a budget in Caparica, this hostel offers clean dorms and cool facilities like a swimming pool, a shared kitchen, and a beautiful garden!
  • Aiyra Beach House – This beach house is only 5 minute’s walk from Tarquinio beach, perfect for surfing, and offers both mountains and city views, free WiFi, and free private parking. 

5.  Where to eat in Costa da Caparica, Portugal

7.1 surf day in Costa da Caparica

Caparica town has some good restaurants where you can try delicious Portuguese food, stylish bars with great happy hours, or bakeries for a yummy snack or breakfast. 

Here are my favorites:

  • O mercado: This is my favorite restaurant in Costa da Caparica (great for dinner!) serving Asian-Portuguese fusion dishes. A little expensive, but definitely worth the price!
  • Dr Bernard: This cool bar/restaurant is right on the ocean, and is perfect to enjoy some after (or pre) dinner drinks, delicious food, or a coffee while you’re working remotely.
  • Surfin Coffee & Bowls: This lovely bar serves healthy, vegan, and delicious food all day. The best place to have a fulfilling lunch or snack after surfing!
  • Capote: If you want to try the best Pastel de Nata and Pao de Deus (two sweet pastries) in town, go to this bakery, located on the main street; Rua dos Pescadores.

7. Useful tips for visiting Costa da Caparica

7 tips for visiting Costa da Caparica
  1. Come to Costa da Caparica during the week to avoid crowds
  2. Bring your own surfboard if you have it (rental prices at surf schools are quite high!)
  3. If you don’t plan on renting surf equipment, bring a thick wetsuit (a 3/4 is a perfect size) as the water is cold!
  4. Book your surfing lesson at least 2 or 3 days in advance, in high season they get booked quite fast
  5. Bring a hoodie or a spring jacket. Sometimes temperatures cool down due to the strong wind, especially at night
  6. Don’t go to the water without having put on surfer sunblock, you’ll get burned!
🤩 Range of activities:Average
👪 Family-friendly score:Medium
🏖️ Best beach:Fonte da Telha beach
🏄‍♀️ Best surf beach:Tarquinio
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free activity:Solar dos Zagallos
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best family activitySesimbra Boat Tour
📅 How many days:2/3
🚕 Average taxi PRICE:€10
💵 Avg hotel PRICE:€50
✈️ Cost of traveling:Medium

FAQs about Costa da Caparica, Portugal

FAQs about Costa da Caparica Portugal

🏄‍♀️ Where do you get surf in Caparica, Portugal?

The best beaches in Costa da Caparica for surfing are Tarquinio and Praia Nova, or Fonte da Telha beach, located 20 minutes from Costa da Caparica.

🏖️ Which are the best beaches in Costa da Caparica, Portugal? 

The best beaches in Costa da Caparica are: 
● Praia da bela vista
● Praia da Rainha
● Praia da Mata
● Fonte da Telha beach
Each offers golden sands framed with cliffs and stone pines and access to a golf course just nearby the Aroeira Lisbon Hotel Sea and Gold.

🚣 Which are the best things to do in Costa da Caparica, Portugal? 

If you visit Costa da Caparica, have a surf lesson, go kayaking in Lagoa de Albufeira, spend a relaxing day at Fonte da Telha beach, or climb the National Sanctuary Of Cristo do Rei to admire the Lisbon skyline.

👀 Which are the best day trips from Costa da Caparica, Portugal?

The best day trips from Costa da Caparica are the ones to Lagoa de Albufeira, the Serra da Arrábida Natural Park and Cabo Espichel.

Conclusion

costa da caparica things to do

Here we are at the end of this useful travel guide to Costa da Caparica, the ultimate beach escape, practically striking distance from Lisbon. I was lucky enough to live here for 9 unforgettable months and I hope you can now have the best time too!

We saw all the best travel tips, useful information, and things to do… so you know what to expect. Whether you want to have a surf lesson, a relaxing beach day, or gaze at incredible sunsets and panoramic views, you will have fun here!

I hope you enjoyed my post as much as I did writing it for you, and don’t hesitate to share your questions or experience in the comments below if you have some!

Have an amazing trip!

Elena 


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