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secret beaches

Shh, don't tell anyone else...

Up and down the coast there are many well-known beaches. But there are also plenty of lesser-known sandy expanses that attract little attention from the crowds.  These beaches can be a haven even in the height of the season.  In many of the more remote locations there are rough parking spaces where it is possible to camp.  Watch the sunset or catch an empty morning wave. Many of these beaches are right next to much more popular spots. Seek and you shall find.

North of the crowded breaks of Ribeira D'Illas lie São Lourenço and the almost deserted Calada beach.  It is down a steep path but this ensures you will have very little competition for waves or beach space.

Situated on the West coast of the Sintra national park, Adraga is a locally popular spot with some facilities and an excellent restaurant once a haunt of the Queens of Portugal. There is a rough car park where camping is usually allowed.

With no road access and a very steep path this beach is not for everyone.  It enjoys the same views as the wildly popular Cabo Do Roca with none of the crowds.  Bring hiking boots to get down to the beach and leave plenty of energy for the climb back up.

The whole of the Alentejo coast is a great place to escape the crowds. There are some facilities at Arrifana with a couple of great nearby surf schools. You’ll also find impressive waves on the beach and a rocky righthand point. Going north reduces the crowds even further.

Across the Obidos Lagoon lies a spot better known for its kite surfing.  Escape the crowds in Peniche and enjoy the surprisingly good waves and peaceful setting. There is a very reasonable camp site next to the lagoon or wild sites are also available.

North of Ericeira near Ribamar lies Coxos. This break is certainly not a secret, but on its day is a world-class spectacle. The less experienced should come to watch but don't try to paddle out unless you are prepared to pay your respects to the locals or the rocks that this fierce wave breaks on.

Foz de Lizandro is a less crowded alternatives to some of the Ericeira beaches. There's a large car park up the hill that becomes a free temporary surf village in the summer.  There are also facilities and cafes aplenty, and it’s great for a low tide lefthander.

Just over the hill from the hustle and bustle of Ribeira D'Illas lies its much less celebrated (but equally pleasant) brother, boasting excellent waves, especially towards low tide, and almost no crowds.

It has a van friendly car park and some facilities in the summer.

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