Praia das Maçãs literally means “beach of apples”. The beach got that name because the Ribeira de Colares (Colares river) used to flow into it.
Sometimes small ships would lose some of the fruits they were carrying, which then ended up on the beach.
Former hotspot for the rich and famous
In the past, Praia das Maçãs was a hotspot for the somewhat wealthier Lisboetas and a select number of local residents. It had (and still has) many restaurants for such a relatively small town. The center of the town Praia das Maçãs actually exists for more than half of the restaurant.
Almost all restaurants in Praia das Maçãs are pricey but of excellent quality. The fish is always fresh and the service is now well adjusted to tourists.
Nowadays the village has gotten into decline a bit. But for the locals the beach is still a central meeting point during the summer.
The beach is nice, clear and very child friendly. In normal weather conditions the waves are not rough or very high here, you can always go quite far into the sea if you like. In the summer there are plenty of activities on the beach: because the beach makes a decent inlet on the land, there is often a stage on the beach.
Child-friendly resort with playground and swimming pool
If you come with your child and are bored of the sand and sea, you can go to the playground, which is just a stone’s throw away. There are often large dogs, but they do nothing at all – they don’t move either, ever. So don’t panic.
There is also an outdoor pool where you can take a dip for a small fee. There is no big difference with taking a dip in the sea though, this is a salt water bath that is usually quite cold!
The big advantage of Praia das Maçãs is that the beach is directly adjacent to the village. There are several parking options. During the season, finding a parking space is not impossible, worst case scenario is that you have to walk 10 minutes to get to the beach.
Children’s paddling pool
Walk all the way to the other side of the beach, towards the rocks. That is the ideal place to be with children on this beach. At low tide there is a river flow where children can get their luck: building dams, jumping in the river and refuting the river.
Tram from Sintra to Praia das Maçãs
And then of course there is that other tourist attraction: the tram that winds down the mountain from Sintra to Praia das Maçãs. This electric tram only runs regularly in the summer months, between November and March you only come across it once a day in the weekends.
Walking along the coast
If you start early, make sure you are at Praia Adraga at lunchtime to eat in the restaurant on the beach.
By bus you first go to Praia das Maçãs (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 paths are not always in great shape.
How to get to Praia das Maçãs
From Lisbon take the A5 towards Cascais. At the end of the A5 you take the N9-1 towards Malveira. Once in Malveira da Serra, the N9-1 turns into the N247 between Cascais and Sintra. Follow the direction Colares/ Sintra and take the exit at Almoçageme. From here it is a breeze, you just follow the signs Praia das Maçãs.