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Walk from Carcavelos Beach to Santo Amaro on an Ideal Day Out in Lisbon

Take the train from Lisbon to Carcavelos Beach for an Autumn day out. Explore Praia de Carcavelos and take a walk along Passeio de Marítimo de Oeiras.

One of the nicest things about Lisbon in general is the city's proximity to stunning beaches. The great thing about Lisbon in November is that it's way less crowded with tourists and yet the weather can still be spectacular. 

We took the opportunity of a sunny November Saturday to take the train from Cais Sodre to Carcavelos Beach (praia de carcavelos in Portuguese). A beach day in November would have been unthinkable in Ireland

Come along as I explore all the cool things to see and do near Carcavelos Beach on a sunny Autumn day.

Path through Carcavelos Beach with umbrella covered tables on the left and sand and sea on the right

Getting to Carcavelos Beach

Carcavelos Beach is easily accessible from Lisbon by public transportation. Take the Lisbon Metro to Cais Sodre and then board the Lisbon Cascais train line. A one way ticket to Carcavelos Train Station cost about 2 EUR with our Zapping Card so it's actually very affordable to visit. 

How long does it take to get to Carcavelos Beach? Expect to be on the train for about 30 minutes.

A picture of Carcavelos Beach with turquoise surfboards in the foreground and tiki inspired umbrellas lined up along the beach in the background

Walk under an underpass to get from the train station and along the long avenue tree-lined avenue leading to the from the train station to the beach. 

Tree-lined sidewalk near Praia de Carcavelos in Lisbon with a stone wall on the left, thin trees on the right and a road beyond that. The trees cast a shadow on the footpath

We were delighted by a guy playing violin in the passage underneath the road. The music simply lit up the passageway. 

Where is Carcavelos Beach and What is it Known For?

Carcavelos is close to the point where the Tagus River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Praia de Carcavelos is the first beach in the Municipality of Cascais and is sought out by surfers. 

Several surfing competitions are hosted here. You'll find surf schools, a surf hostel, and even a surf camp at Praia de Carcavelos.

Surfer submerged in the Atlantic Ocean up to the waist. He is holding a surfboard. There is a whitecap wave approaching

Carcavelos Beach is a blue flag beach making it extra-coveted by beach-goers in the summertime. 

Seaside Lunch at Carcavelos Beach

Carcavelos Beach is probably too cold for a swim in November, but it's an ideal spot for a beachside lunch. We perused the different options and then sat down at a cafe called Marisca Petisca where I could hear the ocean and see the surfers paddling out trying to catch a wave.

Collage of dishes for lunch at Carcavelos Beach against a black and white spotted background. Dishes include choco frito, croquettes, a glass of wine, and padron peppers

Order a glass of wine and indulge in a covert of bread and local cheese. In addition, we ordered some padron peppers, choco frito (deep-fried cuttlefish) and a couple of meat croquettes. These mariscos and petiscos were just lovely and kickstarted our Lisbon day trip perfectly. 

Stroll Carcavelos Beach to Forte de São Julião da Barra 

After lunch, take some time to walk along Carcavelos Beach. We chose to walk in the direction of Lisbon and planned to pick up the train again at Santo Amaro, one of the adjacent stops. 

There is a fortress nearby Carcavelos Beach called Forte de São Julião da Barra. It is a 16th century seaside fort which is now home to the Ministry of Defense. You can't visit for this reason, but the fortress does still offer some impressive photo ops. 

Forte de São Julião da Barra in the background with sand and surf in front at Carcavelos Beach near Lisbon

As you walk toward the fortress, there are actually quite a few interesting cafes and places to get a drink. We spotted happy people having brunch and drinking a jug of sangria. There are also places to play beach volleyball as you walk towards the fortress so don't miss out. 

There's even a really cool playground for children that has a pirate ship and a small zip line. Carcavelos Beach is a good spot to bring the family. 

Take a moment to read and reflect on the information about the flora and fauna along the sea path. I discovered some interesting info about marine forests and the marvels of seaweed. Did you know that there is seaweed forest at a depth of 60 meters off the coast of Cabo da Roca? 

Forte de São Julião da Barra in the background with sand and surf in front at Carcavelos Beach near Lisbon. The top half of the picture is a bright blue Portuguese sky

Walk from Praia de Torre to Oeiras

Praia de Torre is also a very interesting beach adjacent to Praia de Carcavelos. There is a big heart sculpture where you can hang locks to declare your love rather than putting them on a bridge as we've seen in other places. 

Giant yellow heart covered in padlocks at Praia de Torre between Lisbon and Cascais

There is also a sculpture of a whale tail here. I suspect this means that you can go whale-watching or maybe even spot whales from shore at certain times of year.

Bright blue sculpture of a whale tail centered in a scene of green grass and palm trees. The marina and Praia de Torre are in the background

Take the low road at Oeiras past a sort of a yachting harbor. We noticed some movement in the water and wondered what it was. It turns out that there's a ton of fish in this area. 

If the sun is shining just right, you can see fish swimming about in the water just about everywhere. We saw so many different kinds of fish. Keep an eye out for little crabs both on the rocks sunning themselves and in the water. 

two picture collage of crabs near Carcavelos Beach near Lisbon. The top photo shows several crabs from a distance sunning on rocks and submerged in the water. The bottom photo is a close up of a single crab.

Make a Pitstop at Oeiras Marina

Gelato Davvero Oeiras is a worthy stop to rest your legs on the walk between Carcavelos Beach and Santo Amaro. They had a lot of interesting flavors. We chose the pomegranate and pine nut combination. 

A medium dish of gelato cost 3.80 EUR at the time of writing. Pair that with an espresso for 0.85 EUR and you're sorted for an afternoon snack. 

Pro-tip: Gelato Davvero will let you taste different flavors before making your purchase. We tried an unusual avocado-flavored gelato. It was actually quite good; very thick and creamy.  I'll definitely order that next time.

Cup of pomegranate and pine nut gelato at Gelato Davvero on Oeiras Marina Near Carcavelos Beach in Lisbon

Note that during November (and winter in general), this gelateria is only open on the weekends from 12 to 8. 

We could also see that Oeiras was gearing up for the holidays (Lisbon loves Christmas!) A lot of the Christmas lights were up and were just waiting for the the sun to go down or the date to light up for the holidays. 

Sailboat on the Tagus River with the 25th of April Bridge in the background.

Oeiras Marina is a very cool spot. You'll find clean public toilets and lovely vistas with views over the 25 de Abril Bridge. 

Do you enjoy birdwatching like I do? Keep an eye out for cool birds in Oeiras Marina darting among the rocks. We spotted a few ruddy turnstones.

Close up of a ruddy turnstone bird near Carcavelos Beach in Lisbon

Passeio de Marítimo de Oeiras

It turns out that we were walking along a path called Passeio de Marítimo de Oeiras which runs all the way from Forte de São Julião da Barra to Forte de São João das Maias covering about 2.3 km (~ one mile) in total. 

We walked as far as Santo Amaro Fort. Situated on the west side of Santo Amaro Beach at an excellent defensive spot along the river, the fort dates back to the 17th century.

Close up of a sanderling foraging in a tidal pool near Carcavelos Beach in Lisbon Portugal

I also saw some sanderlings foraging in the little tidal pools that show up at low tide. There are so many interesting nooks and crannies in the rocks. 

Return to Lisbon from Santo Amaro Train Station

We concluded our walk that began at Carcavelos Beach at the Santo Amaro train station. Heading back to Lisbon can be a little confusing. The lines are not well-marked so it can be challenging to know what platform to stand on. 

Santo Amaro Train Station between Lisbon and Cascais viewed at the top of a staircase.

We asked for help and learned that Platform 2 is where you wait for the train to Lisbon. Platform 1 goes towards Carcavelos and Cascais. This means that the trains drive on the left which was a little surprising to me.

Summing Up Our Lisbon Day Trip to Carcavelos Beach

Carcavelos Beach is a popular summer destination and easy Lisbon day trip. Head to Praia de Carcavelos on a cool and sunny day in November for a real treat. Have lunch, commune with nature, soak up the sun, and drink in the views all within a 30 minute train ride along the Lisbon coast.

Atlantic Ocean on a sunny day viewed from a restaurant at Carcavelos Beach. There is someone leaning on the railing looking out over the sand in the left of the picture. There is a sun umbrella in the upper right corner of the picture

Carcavalos Beach to Santo Amaro Map

Click on the image of the map below to open up an interactive version in Google Maps to help you plan your Carcavelos Beach walk in Lisbon.
Map of a Carcavelos Beach Walk in Lisbon Portugal

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Walk from Carcavelos Beach to Santo Amaro on an Ideal Day Out in Lisbon
Walk from Carcavelos Beach to Santo Amaro on an Ideal Day Out in Lisbon
Take the train from Lisbon to Carcavelos Beach for an Autumn day out. Explore Praia de Carcavelos and take a walk along Passeio de Marítimo de Oeiras.
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