I was born in a region of Portugal called Algarve, in the south of Portugal. Algarve is known for it’s beaches and other summer vacation spots and many people, national and foreign, travel there during the summer. I strongly advise doing so BUT this article is destined to show you that, although smaller, the beaches near Lisbon can be a good spot to relax in the sun and frolic in the water, specifically the Carcavelos beach.
Carcavelos is located between Parede and Oeiras, in what is known as the Linha de Cascais. This name given to the entire area along the coastline between Lisbon and Cascais. Linha translates directly to line, but it more accurately references the train tracks, as the train that goes all the way from Lisbon, in Cais do Sodré, to Cascais follows the river mouth, and eventually the sea, and in most of it’s stops all along the way you can find a beach! And the one in Carcavelos is the largest in all the line.
Carcavelos is a sandy beach located in about the middle of the Linha de Cascais. The train station isn’t far from the beach, you just need to follow the directions given by the signs. Along it’s coastline you’ll see many rock formations embedded deep in the sand which in the low tide are very visible and curious to explore, as they are mostly covered in algae and barnacles and form small pools between them where usually children play. In the high tide you can sometimes see small shoals of fish pass by, although always easy to fright. Besides the natural splendor, due to it’s location near the mouth of the river Tejo and the docks of Cascais, you can see huge cargo ships passing by in the distance as well as fancy sailboats more up close. And to the left you see the São Julião da Barra fort, constructed centuries ago to serve as a defense against enemy ships who wished to enter the Tejo, today is the residence of Minister of Defense. And if you want to spend the day, which I suggest, but forgot to bring snacks, there are a lot of restaurants and cafés all along the beach so options won’t be a problem!
The beach itself is large, as I said the largest in the line, but it is not huge, so it can and will overcrowd in the hotter days. So because of that I strongly advise to arrive early to lay the towels and the parasol before it gets really crowded. Another very important advice is to pay attention to the water, this beach is known by surfers and other water sports because of it’s waves, and even though the bigger waves mostly only happen in the winter, you should always be cautions and stay attentive of the shifting tides. And if you intend on exploring the rock during the low tide just be sure not to trip and fall! (and always apply sun screen).
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