Costa Caparica Lisbon: white, unspoilt beaches, Fonte da Telha & Beach 19, Portugal’s most popular gay beach & how to get there

If you want to escape the hassle and the heat of Lisbon on a hot summer day, why not try the beaches of Costa da Caparica, just across the Tejo river. The locals swarm to the village of Caparica, that looks a lot like Brighton in England or Benidorm in Spain, but just away from the village, past the vast camping sites tens of kilometres of white, unspoilt beaches are at your disposal!

Lisbon Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica beach in summertime.

The boulevard of the village itself is undergoing major reconstruction. A huge boardwalk is being built, where half of Lisbon is parading on a warm summer day.

Nice 3 bedroom apartment with sunny patio in historical Lisbon

Take the little train (in season) at the end of the boardwalk (€ 5 return) and it will take you 8 kilometres south to the quiet stretches of sand. The train has 21 stops (the first three are under the new boardwalk now, so it starts at stop (paragem) number 4 (September 2008).

Portugal Costa da Caparica train

The best ones are Morena and Sereia, surrounded by dunes and with good bars. At almost every stop there’s a beachclub and the further south you go, the more you have the place to yourself.

Costa da Caparcia trans praia train

The ‘Trans-Praia’ train.

Stop (paragem) 19, also known as Beach 19 or Praia de Bela Vista,  is where the nudist beach starts, also world famous for being Portugal’s most popular gay beach. Gay clubs and parties in Lisbon; bar Le Marais Lisbon, open from 5.30 pm

Lisbon Costa da Caparica Beach 19 1

As everywhere in the world: where the nudist beach ends, the gay cruising begins and this is the largest in Portugal.

A lot of information for a holiday visit, or how to book a beach 19 trip: Lisbon beach & gay guide

In the vast bushes behind the railway track, guys from all over Europe and beyond, meet for some fun and relaxation.

Lisbon Costa da Caparica Beach 19 2 men near the sea

Beach 19 Costa da Caparica Lisbon

From Lisbon to Costa da Caparica: by car, go South to Caparica and south again all the way to the last access to the beaches. When the road goes uphill, you have just passed the access you want to go! Go past Praia do Rei until the parking at the end of the dust road. Upon Bela Vista, walk south, to the left of the restaurant. It’s some 2 miles of white sand beach and dunes! A taxi will take you there from downtown Lisbon for a little over € 20.

By bus: from Praça de Espanha take bus 153 to Costa de Caparica busstation. Walk five minutes south along the boulevard and you’ll see the little train, that leaves every half hour (until end of September). The 161 bus from Praca de Areeiro will also take you to Caparica.

Ferry Lisbon Tagus River Martijn Kramers

Ferry to Lisbon Cacilhas

An alternative route includes a mini-cruise (15 min.) on the ferry from Cais do Sodré across the river to Cacilhas. Get on bus 138 (directo) to Costa da Caparica (bus 124 via Almada will provide you with a long detour past 1960 highrise architecture, that’s better avoided).

By train: cross the Tagus river to Pragal railway station and take bus 196 to Caparica. The train may be a good alternative on weekends, it’ll help you avoid the traffic jams on the 25th of April Bridge.

Fonte da Telha

Praia da Fonte da Telha

Fonte da Telha

At stop (paragem) 21 at the end of the line where the train turns, there’s the village of Fonte da Telha (‘Fountain of the roof’). This little fishermen’s village is perfect for that holiday feeling. This is the real Portugal, with some trendy beach cafés added to it. Fonta da Telha can also be reached by bus from Cacilhas harbour. Beach 19 is just a short walk from the centre of Fonte da Telha. A taxi there from Lisbon will put you back a little over € 25.

Even further south, about 10 kilometres from Fonte da Telha: Meco Beach, a real mecca for nudists & surfers

33 Responses to “Costa Caparica Lisbon: white, unspoilt beaches, Fonte da Telha & Beach 19, Portugal’s most popular gay beach & how to get there”

  1. Hello mrs Kuijs,

    nice to see your site. excellent information. I-am exited to visit your appartement in august 2009 – I look forward to go to this exiting city called ‘Lisboa’ , etc

    greetings from Rene-Henk

  2. [...] The river Tejo, Cais do Sodré , Lisbon’s major bus, metro, trainstation and ferry terminal to Cacilhas, Seixal, Montijo and ferries to Trafaria and Porto Brandão (near the white and unspoilt beaches of Caparica). [...]

  3. Great resource! I’ve been trying to look up information on the Caparica beaches and your information has been the most helpful. Do you know if changeroom / locker facilities are offered at most of the beaches?

  4. [...] is 3 min. lopen.  Castelo de São Jorge ligt op loop afstand. Sintra, Estoril, Cascais en de stranden van Costa da Caparica zijn makkelijk bereikbaar. De legendarische 16e-eeuwse uitgaanswijk Bairro Alto is ca. 15 min. [...]

  5. [...] Direct from Dutch owner, 120 years old, nicely renovated.  Near São Jorge‘ castle with its beautiful viewpoints. 3 minutes walk from starting point 28 antique tourist tram, metro and buses, square Martim Moniz. The supermarket is 5 minutes away. From the airport (8 km), a taxi will take you (about € 10-12 ) in 15 minutes to our apartment. Nearby Sintra, Estoril, Cascais and beaches of Costa da Caparica. [...]

  6. [...] Beach 19, Portugal’s most famous and popular gay beach & how to get there [...]

  7. June 2010:
    Yes, this beach is very nice,
    Yes, there is serious cruising going on here…
    But !!!!!
    Be ready to walk until there, or try to hitchhike,
    Because in 2010, they stopped the operation of the little train.
    How sad…
    (it took me +/- 1hr30 to get there walking onthe beachfront… Under a very strong sun. But i managed to find 2 friendly Lisbonians to bring me back to the city at the end of the day)

  8. [...] Portugal’s most popular gay beach Beach 19 Lisbon more information & how to get there [...]

  9. ola
    gostava que me informasse qual e o mes que comeca o train nas praias da osta da caparica
    tambem gostava de saber se da para campar l na praia sem prigo
    obrigado
    leonardo

  10. Hey this is a really cool beach. Very relaxing and with loads of cute guys. Getting there was easy, I used a local service with some really friendly (and gay) staff – http://www.lisbonbeach.com

  11. I just went to Caparica but as the above comment by Mikky found that the train has stopped! If he can walk it in 1hr30, then so will I. I hope it is worth it!!

  12. Sorry, do you now what’s the price of the bus from Lisbon to Costa Caparica?

  13. If you take the 161 bus from Praca Areeiro it is about 3€ one way – you buy the ticket at the driver. You pay less if you buy a block of tickets (10 pcs), but not sure how much is that.

  14. The train is working for the summer 2012.
    To find the train, walk along the seafront with its poor quality resturants housed in rectangular boxes. At the end which takes about 15 minutes you will find the train. It costs 7.50 euro return.
    The nudist beach and Resturant is at Casa da Praia ( beach 19).
    The gay area and dunes are about 5 minutes walk to the left along the beach.
    ENJOY.

  15. Very nice info and right to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thx :)

  16. Hi, Elouise,

    I saw this posting as I was 1) looking how to get to Caparica and 2) looking for writing work. I have been writing and editing for New York-based magazines for the past 7 years. Please get in touch if you’re still looking.

  17. There’s a lot of spotty info about how to get to Praia 19 / Beach 19. As of today August 11, 2012, the Transpraia train is *definitely* running.

    Here’s the simplest way to get to Praia 19 / Beach 19 from central Lisbon: take the Metro (Subway) – green line – to Areeiro station. Ask the station attendant which stairs to go up for the 161 Caparica bus stop. The bus stop is upstairs and then a few feet down the street. You want the 161 bus to Caparica. The bus takes you through Lisbon, across the April 25 Bridge (the one that looks like the Golden Gate), then through a bit of Almada municipality to the beach town of Caparica. Stay on the bus past all the beach shops and boardwalks and get off at the stop just as the bus turns left off of the beachfront street.

    If it’s at all crowded, there will be plenty of people exiting the bus. If you’re lucky enough to see anyone who resembles a cliché gay, follow them. Walk south down along the road parallel to the coast, then walk a little to the right where there’s a roundabout and you should see a waiting Transpraia train. They look really quaint and you can go sit in the empty one until it goes. There will be no driver in the train until the other train comes back. The little trains are very enjoyable and unique.

    I asked the train attendant, and he told me that the trains run every day. The last train coming back is at 19:30 (7:30PM). The trains run into September, weather permitting.

    It’s called Praia 19 / Beach 19 because the little train has (about 20) numbered stops. The 19th stop is where men seeking men tend to dwell.

    Down-and-dirty cruising goes on in the bushes on the side of the track away from the beach — and it was quite crowded in there today, on this sunny summer Saturday.

    Prissier bourgeois adherents to the Cult of Gay, and other more inhibited types, along with a smattering of contrasting genders tend to inhabit the “normal” part of the beach nearest to the waves, but nudity is fully permitted and legal here, and swimming is an absolute joy – the water is a perfect cool temperature, is clean, and the waves are large enough to be challenging but small enough to be soothing.

    Praia 19 is a top-notch experience, and worth the voyage. The train, the blue water, the parasurfers – along with the freedom to be nude – make it really exceptional.

  18. My wife and I visited the area in September and found it to be very nice. Even at the main areas (closest to the town), the local ladies are not shy about showing their natural assets. Don’t be shocked to see many topless sunbathers.
    Definitely worth taking the little train down to Stop 19 and beyond. Nude guys galore as you pass by Stop 19. If you get off the train there, you only have to wander a short way into the dunes to see male couples and groups having fun in the sun. They don’t seem to mind if you stop to watch, and may even invite you to join in.
    Further down the track are beaches where full nudity is common, but not required. My wife and I got nude right away and felt very comfortable amongst the families and cozy couples. Rent a cabana and lounge chair for maximum comfort.

  19. quero visitor a costa da caparica praia 19 nao conheco nada da costa da caparica sou da ilha da madeira
    queria informacao sobre o metro esta a funcionar da costa da caparica ate as praias no mes de dezembro?

  20. As of June 16, 2014, the train is running daily at the end of the beach.

  21. Thank you very much
    I’m looking for a naked beach
    Where do u reacon fonte da telga or beach 19
    Any gay accimidation around for few days ?

  22. Cool
    Thank you can you tell me if there is a gay accimidation to share in Central costa da caparica ?

  23. I recommend beach 19

  24. Anyone fancies going with me to beach 19? I live in Lisbon and been there several times…just don’t want to go alone all the time. Thanks!

  25. hi there
    im going to costa da caparica and look for a nice guy to go to the beach don’t like to go alone
    tell me your stats age how do you look like
    can you accommodate ?
    are you Portuguese ?

  26. Hi Leonardo,
    Thanks for your reply
    I am not Portuguese, 34, 170cm, 55kg, can accomodate on airbnb or misterbnb.
    I was actually looking for a buddy to go to the beach not a date but why not?

  27. How I wish I were going there this summer! I’m not.
    This is the most wonderful beach. Sea is deep and strong current.
    July ,August and September you will need an umbrella for shade.
    It is very safe when it comes to people, a mix of locals and tourists.
    Try to stay in Costa da Caparica if you want a sun holiday, is its quite a trek to come to the beach from Lisbon.

  28. Cool
    I’m going to costa da caparica September
    For a long weekend in September
    I’m from Madeira Island
    Please let’s get in tou by mail
    Leodavidlondon21@hotmail.co.uk

  29. Hi there I’m going to costa da caparica around 19- 25th September for some beach/sun fun. Have my own transport and accommodation but does anybody know what the situation is for camping cars? Get in touch please if you can help out or interested in meeting

  30. Hello petroc
    I’m Portuguese from Madeira Island don’t know much
    About costa caparica mainland
    I would like to meet sameone to go I beach and so on
    R u Portuguese ?
    Please get in touch

  31. Hello. I am czech guy, flying to Lisbon this Sunday for a week. Anyone fancies going with me to beach 19.

  32. Hi Pavel,
    Just went there last week, very nice…but quite complicated to reach.
    I am going there on Thursday 25th. let me know if interested…cheers.David

  33. Hi there, well I went and had a great time! HOWEVER, the dune area and cruising area is FILTHY with used condoms and soiled tissues everywhere; it’s a real health hazard and an environmental disaster. There are bins provided for in the car park at Bella Vista so just take a plastic bag and put your used stuff inside then dispose of it in the bins provided. Why does the gay community that uses this beach not give a toss about the pollution and mess they make? Everyone has a responsibility to look after this planet, regardless of sex or gender, so please, can everybody make an effort to keep this beautiful place clean and tidy? How anybody can think that having sex amongst such dirt and filth is exciting is beyond me. Clean up please before this beach area gets closed thanks to sloppy, dirty habits and have some PRIDE.

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