The natural landscape of Praia dos Galapinhos has impressed travelers, who once ranked it as Europe's most beautiful beach.
Once named “Europe’s Best Beach” and considered the most beautiful on the continent (its crystal-clear waters and natural landscape are certainly impressive) this beach can be reached by walking through vegetation from the road in the Arrábida Natural Park, or going over the rocks from the neighboring and more accessible Praia dos Galapos (choose the second option).
Praia dos Galapinhos is one of the quieter beaches in the Arrábida Natural Park
It’s bigger than Galapos, but the more difficult access means that it’s less popular. It also means that it’s for those looking for a quieter and more secluded beach, although it also has wicker parasols and loungers for rent and lifeguard supervision in the summer.
Praia dos Galapinhos has crystal-clear water
The calm waters are great for swimming, and perfectly safe for children.
There are wicker parasols and loungers for rent in the summer
How to Get to Praia dos Galapinhos Beach
The bus stop for Praia dos Galapinhos
The starting point of the unmarked trail that leads to this beach is right behind a bus stop, but it’s easier if you go down the staircase seen a few feet from there to Praia dos Galapos, and then walk to the right. Praia dos Galapinhos is just over the rocks.
The bus stop is for the seasonal service that links the beaches of the Arrábida Natural Park to two parking lots in the summer -- one by the Secil factory and another above Praia do Creiro. It’s recommended that you park in Creiro, as this beach is then just a 15-minute walk away.
To reach this and the other beaches of Arrábida, it’s recommended that you rent a car, but it’s not impossible to go by public transportation. If you’re coming from Lisbon, you first need to go to the city of Setúbal (you can get there by train or bus), where there are buses to the beaches. For complete details, see the guide to Arrábida.
Hotels in Praia dos Galapinhos Beach
Hotel Casa Palmela
There’s just one hotel on the hills of the Arrábida Natural Park, but luckily it’s quite a good one. It’s a renovated 17th-century estate that’s a romantic 5-star property, perfect if you’re traveling as a couple and want to spend some time at all of the beaches on this coast. Some of the elegant rooms and suites have balconies, and there’s also an outdoor swimming pool.