Praia Grande: surf paradise and archaeological wonders on the Costa de Lisboa

Praia Grande Zuid
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 National Park and has only one access road for motorized vehicles.

It is notable that you often see the same cars passing by. Due to the single access road, a roundabout has been built at the end of the beach. Especially during the high season, it can be difficult to find a parking space, and people continue to drive back and forth hoping to find a spot.

Surfer’s paradise for youngsters
This beach is especially popular among surfers, mainly young people, due to the adjacent imposing rock formation that creates powerful and high waves. Young people are drawn to this beach especially in the summer, which makes reaching it by car a challenge. It’s almost comparable to Scheveningen on a beautiful day: cars with loud music, open windows, and lively youngsters. Praia Grande is truly a place to be seen.

Authentic dinosaur prints at Praia Grande
Archaeology enthusiasts can feed their passion here: on the south side of the beach, deep in a gorge by the cliff, authentic dinosaur footprints are hidden! This special place is accessible via a staircase on the far right side of the beach. An alternative route leads through an access path on top of the rocks, where the staircase goes all the way up. The coordinates for this entrance on Google Maps are: 38.807350, -9.474766.

Currently, entering the stairs is not allowed, but for the adventurous types, it is still possible to climb them. Officially, this is prohibited due to the risk of falling rocks, and moreover, the staircase is no longer well-maintained by the municipality. Once at the top of the mountain, the dinosaur prints are still visible, but they remain hidden from the beach itself.

Eating options at Praia Grande
When it comes to food, there are dining options, surf shops, and a hotel available. If you’ve forgotten your lunch, you can get some food here at a reasonable price. If you continue straight at the last roundabout on the boulevard, you’ll reach Bar do Fundo, a truly fish restaurant.

Hiking adventure along the Atlantic Ocean: From Praia das Maças to Praia Adraga!
VFor those of us who love hiking and want to enjoy the rugged Atlantic Ocean, there is a beautiful coastal route. You can walk from Praia das Maças to Praia Grande and then on to Praia da Adraga. If you start early, make sure to arrive at Praia Adraga around lunchtime to eat at the restaurant there.

Traveling to the beach: transportation options
If you’re traveling by bus, you can first go to Praia das Maças (easy to reach from Sintra). After the walk from Praia da Adraga, take the bus via Cascais back to Lisbon. The walk doesn’t take long, about 2 hours if you take your time. However, keep in mind that it’s a climb and the paths are not always easily passable.

How to get to Praia Grande? 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 signs towards Colares/Sintra and take the exit at Almoçageme. From there, it’s straightforward, just follow the signs to Praia Grande.

These days, there is ample parking at Praia Grande, just before you make a small descent to the boulevard.

Facilities at Praia Grande

Lifeguards: Yes
Toilets: Yes
Showers: Yes
Rental: Yes
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Parking: Yes
Transportation: Yes

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