With its golden beaches and spectacular cliffs, the Costa da Caparica is a popular weekend getaway south of Lisbon. It takes its name, “Caparica” (“rich cape”), from a local legend about an elderly woman who requested the king build a church here for her village.
Things to do in Costa da Caparica
There’s an endless string of beaches on the Costa da Caparica where you can while away your days, with most backed by restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlours. Top picks include the Blue Flag beaches of Praia do Dragão Vermelho, São João da Caparica and Praia do Tarquínio-Paraíso. Naturists can explore the cliff-fringed sands of Praia Naturista da Adiça.
Stretching along the coastline is the Paisagem Protegida da Arriba Fossil da Costa de Caparica, an impressive fossil cliff created during the Pliocene. In the 18th century, a woodland was planted by order of King John V and it is now protected as a botanical reserve. Follow one of the marked trails that wind between its stone pines and mastic trees, with the cliffs particularly spectacular when illuminated at sunset.
Backing the Costa de Caparica is an escarpment that offers spectacular views across the Atlantic Ocean and Lisbon city skyline, all the way to the rugged peaks of the Serra de Sintra. Nestled within this setting is the whitewashed Convento dos Capuchos, which dates back to the 16th century. Marvel at its Renaissance facade or coincide your visit with a music recital to see its tiled interior.
Getting around Costa da Caparica
The Costa da Caparica is around 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Lisbon and Humberto Delgado Airport. Buses connect from Lisbon to the Costa da Caparica while the town centre can easily be explored on foot. The Transpraia Tramway travels up and down the coast.