The most beautiful beaches in Sintra Natural Park
Sintra Natural Park is mostly known for its palaces, but it has much more to offer! There are beautiful hikes with permanent sea view, but on the coast, there are a lot of hidden beaches that are waiting to be explored. One option to explore these beaches is by car, then you’ll have to park in the car park that is the nearest to each beach and walk to the beaches from there. Another option is to rent a bike (I have selected a place in Cascais where you can rent an E-bike for €15/day) and bike the whole route. I think that an electric bike is a good option here because there can be a lot of wind in this region, as it is right at the Atlantic Ocean.
Boca do Inferno
Boca do Inferno, which translates to “mouth of hell”, has gotten its name partially from its shape, which is a small grot that is formed by the natural collapse of a part of the rocks, and partially from the sound that the waves of the sea make when they hit the rock formation. The waves are relatively quiet in summer and so is the sound, but in winter you can really see where the name comes from.
It is fairly easy to get to Boca do Inferno, as it is the cliff formation on this post that is the most popular by tourists, and the closest one to Cascais. You just follow Avenue Rei Humberto Ii de Itália from Cascais until you get there. There are a good bicycle path and sidewalk on this street. It is a 40-minute walk and the average tourist spends about 30 minutes here watching the rock formation and the sea. There are some cafés and there is a restaurant on the site. The entrance is free and it is always open.
Praia da Grota
This is a very small and quiet beach. It is about 50 meters wide, with sand and a lot of rocks. Years ago, this beach was used by fishermen. You can still see the old and abandoned houses that they used. You can see a small waterfall when it’s rainy, but you can not get to the waterfall from the beach. Finding the way to Praia da Grota is pretty easy, walking it can be a bit difficult sometimes because the path down can be pretty steep. To get there, you follow the street R. da Rocha in Alcabideche in the direction to the sea, and when the road stops, you just follow the path that begins there. The path should go a little bit to the right, then to the left and then again to the right (you can see a map with the path here).
Praia de Assentiz
There is almost nothing to find online about this beach, only gorgeous pictures. My guess is that it’s very hard down to the beach itself, but you can admire it from above. Getting to the (cliff above the) beach, you follow R. dos Moinhos in Colares, and when the road stops, you can go the last few meters by foot (you can see a map with the path here).
This beach is very close to Praia de Assentiz and Cabo da Roca. It is beautiful from above, but even more from down on the beach. unfortunately, getting there is not that easy. The last meters down, you have to climb down climbing a rope. You can get there by following the path, from Praia de Assentiz going North, or from Cabo da Roca going South (you can see a map with the path here).
Cabo da Roca
This one is not hidden, it is more known by tourists and easy to access. Nevertheless, it is an impressive view. You can not really go down to the sea, but you can look over a long range of rock formations along the coast. There is also a lighthouse here. Getting there is pretty easy, there is even a bus stop. This means that you could also take the bus to this beach and then walk the way back to Boca do Inferno along the previous beaches (this is a 4-hour walk without stops, so it would take the whole day).
Praia da Aroeira
Praia da Aroeira is perfect for people who just visited Cabo da Roca but found it a bit too crowded. This beach is harder to get to because of its steep cliffs but is therefore really quiet. The path leading to the beach starts from Estrada do Cabo da Roca (you can see a map with the path here).
Praia da Ursa
This is probably the hidden beach that is the most known to tourists, so you will most of the time not be entirely alone here. The beach has its name from the shape of the cliffs, that resembles a bear (=“Roca”). The path to this beach starts also at Estrada do Cabo da Roca and ends in a steep and curvy path down to the beach (you can see a map with the path here).
Miradouro Praia do Carnero
You can not really go down here, but this beach is all about the view from above. The pyramid rock formation right before the coast makes this a unique view spot. It also has gorgeous sunsets. To get there, you follow the path that begins at R. da Praia da Adraga in Colares. When you follow the path past the viewpoint, you come at a place in the cliff that has a hole in the ground, where you can see the sea (you can see a map with the path here).
Praia da Adraga
This is a beach where locals come to sunbathe. It is really beautiful, but not as quiet and hidden as some other beaches on this post. The good news is that this one is easily accessible. There are a car park and a restaurant. At ebb, you can visit a “hidden” beach on the South side of Praia da Adraga. Be careful, it can only be accessed at ebb so you need to leave on time. To get to Praia da Adraga, follow the road R. da Praia da Adraga until you are at the car park.