15 Spectacular beaches (map below)
Praia da Cresmina - For easy access, parking and on the cycle path/bus route from Cascais; closest to Cascais; family-orientated with facilities, restaurants and lifeguards.
Tips: There's a cycle path from Cascais where bikes can be rented. Also, there is an impressive 2km boardwalk over the dunes that starts at Cresmina.
Praia do Guincho - for surfing, cycling; hanging out with the cool kids and Erasmus students; beach bar overlooking the beach plus hotels and restuarants with one of the country's iconic swimming pools; many good coastal walks heading toward Malveira.
Tips: Parking at Abano beach has more spaces and is often easier.
Praia do Abano - For surf schools; looking cool at the beach bar on the Guincho side; restaurants; crystal clear water.
Tip: Probably the best beach for collecting driftwood.
Praia da Grota - For peace and quiet: few people know about it; great walking with many trails.
Tip: There is a raised fossilized beach on the trails heading towards the hills.
Praia da Ursa - For naturism; within walking distance from Cabo da Roca; good parking and on bus routes; a challenging steep walk; stunning sea stacks and cliffs.
Tip: Access to the beach usually depends on the tides. Go when tide is on the drop.
Praia da Adraga - For seafood; cliffs and plenty of beach; caves; lifeguards in high season and easy access to beach.
Tips: Both cliffs hold secrets. A steep walk up the southern cliff takes you to an impressive blowhole. Following the steep sand trail to north takes you to a peaceful shaded pine forest.
Praia Grande - For big surf; stunning cliffs; bars and restaurants, hotels and good access.
Tip: The steps at the south end of the beach have been rebuilt and there's now a platform to view dinosaur footsteps.
Praia Pequena - For a chilled-out vibe; no lifeguards or facilities; dog walking and body boarding.
Tips: At the northern tip there is an excellent example of a fossilized coral reef. Also, a short cliff walk to the north takes you to Praia das Macas - avoiding the crowds.
Praia das Macas - For a proper seaside town; swimming pool and sporting facilities; lots of cafes and restaurants to choose.
Tip: At the south side of the beach is the Colares river, which offers a nice alternative for children to paddle in as the sea is often rough.
Praia das Azenhas do Mar - For stunning views; a high-quality seafood restaurant and a natural swimming pool.
Tips: There is a pleasant garden for picnics near the watermill below the carpark. The swimming pool exists at low tide.
Praia da Aguda - For miles and miles of beach; dog walking; extreme fishing. Only for the brave: access is via a precarious wooden platform!
Tip: There's a fantastic viewing platform above the beach popular for seeing the sunset.
Praia do Mogoito - For beautiful and unusual cliffs; fossilized dunes and golden sands; long walks; bird watching.
Tip: To the north of the miltary observation point there's a narrow passage down to a rock platform.
Praia da Samarra - To avoid most winds; for seclusion, fishing, archaeolgy, cliff walks, bird watching, dog walking.
Tips: A Roman road and bridge is nearby in a village called Catribana. On top of the northern cliffs there are remains of a prehistoric village. The southern side of cliff is a geologists dream - with a stunning basalt formation at casal de pianos.
Praia da Giribeto - For adventure; for seclusion, fishing and fantastic view.
Tips: A rope is needed to get down the steep path. The cliff walk from Samarra is easy and provides stunning views.