Costa da Caparica at a Glance
A serene civil parish in Almada along the western coast of Setubal, Costa da Caparica is Europe’s largest beach, just half an hour from Lisbon. The ideal destination for both Portuguese citizens and those from further afield, holidaymakers can sunbathe on the sand, swim in the sea and enjoy the vivacious atmosphere of beachfront bars, restaurants and cafes.
Legend has it that in 1800 the Costa da Caparica was the site of the Casa da Coroa (the first house made of rock and limestone). Today, the beach is protected by an impressive fossil cliff that represents the waterline of a million years ago. The Covento dos Capuchos, a historic convent that is hidden atop the cliff and every summer a music festival is held there in the gardens that surround it.
To the south of the protected beach, separated by a line of sand dunes, is the Lagoa de Albufeira, which is a lagoon that provides idealistic conditions for sailing enthusiasts.
Costa da Caparica is a haven for sun worshippers and water sport enthusiasts alike and, with Europe’s largest beach at your disposal, families can enjoy a host of different activities, from windsurfing and jet skiing to sunbathing and building sandcastles. There is also a little open carriage train that spans the length of the beach and makes for a pleasant ride, particularly in the height of summer. Many restaurants and eateries line the Costa da Caparica coastline, serving a variety of different cuisines from traditional Portuguese dishes to international menus such as Italian and Spanish, ensuring that you will find something for every member of the family.
The Belem Tower, located to the west of the Avenida de Brasilia, is one of the most iconic attractions in Lisbon and well-worth a visit during your stay. A UNESCO World Heritage monument, the picturesque tower was constructed in the early 1500s to defend the Lisbon harbour and the Jeronimos Monastery. For some retail therapy during your trip lose yourself amongst the many stalls selling fresh, local delicacies and produce at the bustling Costa da Caparica market before hiking up the cliffs that act as a backdrop for the long beachfront and checking out the historic Covento dos Capuchos or the beautiful gardens that surround it. After a long day relaxing on the beach or checking out Lisbon’s many attractions, take a casual stroll along the beach promenade and watch the sun go down before unwinding at one of the many, friendly bars and restaurants along the seafront where you can enjoy fresh Portuguese fish dishes.
Explore Costa da Caparica
Fans of historical sites should head to the top of the fossil cliff that lines the beach of Costa da Caparica where they will find a convent from the 1560, the Covento dos Capuchos. Built in 1560 by eight monks, legend tells that it was built after João de Castro was hunting in the mountain of Sintra and he fell asleep against a rock when he got lost whilst in pursuit of a dear. During his sleep it is said that he received a divine revelation to erect a Christian temple on that very site.
Costa da Caparica aside from being the largest beach in Europe boasts a prehistoric beach landscape consisting of impressive fossil cliffs with intricate carvings and unusual erosion patterns making for a unique beach experience.
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