Praia Grande is one of the largest beaches on the Costa de Lisboa, as the name suggests. The beach is located on the west side of the Serra de Sintra Serra de Sintra national park and has one access road for motorized vehicles.
Among young people it is a popular surfers beach, because the beach is adjacent to a huge rock formation. That makes the sea pretty strong and the waves excellent for surfing.
Beach for young people
Especially in summer many young people can be found here. Getting to Praia Grande by car will prove to be a challenge. Cars with loud (and bad) music, windows open and lots of young people who talk too loudly. Praia Grande is seeing and being seen.
The funny thing about this is that you often see the same cars pass by. Because there is only one access road, a roundabout was created at the endof it. If you come in high season, it is difficult to find a parking space. In recent years the municipality has been expanding the parking space, there’s a decent sized parking lot just up the hill before you drive down to the beach, it’s about 5 minutes walking from the shoreline.
Traces of dinosaurs
Remarkably enough, you can also get in touch with your archaeological side at Praia Grande: on the south side of the beach, against the rock formation in a gorge, you’ll find traces of real dinosaurs! Really! The place can be reached via stairs if you start at the beach. The dinosaur steps are also accessible via the top of the rocks (the stairs go all the way up). On Google Maps, these are the coordinates to follow for that entrance: 38.807350, -9.474766.
Eating at Praia Grande
There are a few small restaurants, a surf shop and a hotel. If you forgot to pack lunch, you can buy snacks here for a reasonable price.
Drive (or walk) straight ahead at the last roundabout on the boulevard and you will arrive at Bar do Fundo. From lunch (12:30 p.m.) until 10:00 p.m. you can eat or drink something here.
Walking along the coast
If you’re an avid hiker and you want to enjoy the rugged and wild Atlantic Ocean, then you can walk a beautiful coastal route. From Praia das Maçãs to Praia Grande through to
Praia da Adraga. If you start early, make sure you arrive at Praia Adraga at lunchtime to eat in the restaurant there.
By bus you first go to Praia das Maças (easy connection from Sintra). After the walk from Praia da Adraga take the bus back to Lisbon via Cascais. The walk is not long, around 2 hours if you take your time. Keep in mind that it is uphill a lot and the walkways are not always in great condition.
How to get to Praia Grande
From Lisbon take the A5 motorway towards Cascais. At the end of the A5 you take the N9-1 towards Malveira. Once in Malveira da Serra, the N9-1 merges into the N247 between Cascais and Sintra. Follow the direction Colares / Sintra and take the exit at Almoçageme. From here it’s easy, just follow the signs that say Praia Grande.
Nowadays there is a large parking lot at Praia Grande – just before you make a small descent to the boulevard.