Praia das Maçãs: discover the hidden treasures of the ‘Beach of the Apples’


Praia das Maçãs, literally meaning “Beach of the Apples,” earned its name because this is where the Colares River, Ribeira de Colares, used to flow into the sea. When fruits fell off the ships, they ended up on the sand and were picked up by the locals to eat.

Praia das Maçãs: Popular Since Ancient Times
Praia das Maçãs has historically been a popular spot for affluent residents of Lisbon and a select group of local inhabitants. Despite its small size, it still boasts numerous restaurants, with some exceptionally good ones, particularly the seafood restaurants. They are not cheap, but the quality is superb. In fact, more than half of the central area of Praia das Maçãs consists of restaurants.

Praia das macas - restaurants

Praia das Maçãs: Culinary Delights and Seaside Relaxation
Almost all dining options in Praia das Maçãs tend to be a bit pricier, but they offer excellent quality. The seafood is always fresh, and the staff usually speaks English quite well nowadays, due to the influx of tourists during the summer.

In recent years, the village has fallen into a bit of disrepair. However, for the locals, the beach remains a central point during the summer months. The beach is pleasant, well-organized, and very suitable for children. The waves here are typically not too rough or high, and you can wade quite far out into the sea. During the summer, there are often various activities on the beach, sometimes even a stage set up at the back of the beach.

Family-Friendly Resort with Playground and Pool
If you’re traveling to this destination with children, and they are not particularly keen on the beach or sea, you can head just a stone’s throw away to the playground. You might even see some large dogs lying around in the playground—they don’t do anything, they don’t really move either, ever. So, no worries.

Within a 5-minute walking distance from the beach and playground, there’s an outdoor swimming pool, Piscinas Oceânicas da Praia das Maçãs, affiliated with the Sintra Sol hotel. For a small fee, you can enjoy a swim there, but be there early as there can be a queue, especially in the summer. However, do note that it doesn’t differ much from swimming in the sea; it’s a saltwater pool and usually quite chilly!

A significant advantage of Praia das Maçãs is its proximity to the village. There are various parking options available. Even during peak season, finding a parking spot is not impossible, but you might need to walk about 10 minutes to reach the beach.

Toddler’s Pool on the Beach

If you walk all the way to the other end of the beach, towards the rocks, you’ll find the ideal spot for kids. During low tide, a river stream forms where children can play: building dams, jumping into the river, and crossing the river. It’s delightful to spend an afternoon here with young children. Kids can move rocks, catch little fish, swim in the toddler’s pool, all while parents can bask in the sun and watch their little ones play.
With young children, this is truly our favorite beach; it’s a bit of a walk to get to the far end of the beach, but it’s worth it.

Sintra to Praia das Maçãs: Hop Aboard the Red Tram
And then there’s the other tourist attraction: the tram that winds its way down from Sintra to Praia das Maçãs. This electric tram currently operates year-round, but it can get quite crowded during the summer.


Scenic Coastal Walks
If you’re a fan of hiking and want to enjoy the rugged Atlantic Ocean views, you can take a beautiful coastal route. From Praia das Maçãs to Praia Grande and then on to Praia da Adraga.

If you start early, make sure to arrive at Praia Adraga or Praia Grande around lunchtime to dine at the lovely beachside restaurants.

You can first take a bus to Praia das Maçãs (easy connection from Sintra). After the walk from Praia de Adraga, take the bus back via Cascais to Lisbon. The walk isn’t too long, about 2 hours if you take your time. Just keep in mind that there is some climbing involved, and not all paths are equally easy to traverse.

How to Get to Praia das Maçãs
From Lisbon, take the A5 towards Cascais. At the end of the A5, take the N9-1 towards Malveira. Once you reach Malveira da Serra, the N9-1 becomes the N247 between Cascais and Sintra. Follow the direction to Colares/Sintra and take the exit at Almoçageme.

From there, it’s straightforward—just follow the signs to Praia das Maçãs.

Facilities at Praia das Maçãs

Lifeguard: Yes
Toilets: Yes
Showers: Yes
Rental: Yes
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Parking: Yes
Public Transport: Yes (bus to Sintra)

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