A fortress that's now a hotel stands above Cresmina Beach
Overlooked by a 17th-century fortress that’s now a hotel (see below), this beach in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is smaller than its more famous neighbor, Guincho (located on the other side of the fortress), but is also quite spacious. It’s less windy than Guincho, so it’s more suitable for families, but is mostly frequented by young surfers.
The smaller section on the northern side is directly below the fortress
It’s divided into two sections -- a smaller, more sheltered one directly below the fort, and a bigger one across the rocks. The smaller one can be reached by steps from the road, and has a small bar and parasols for rent in the bathing season. The bigger one is where most of the surfers are, and has upscale restaurants specializing in fish and seafood, up by the road.
Most people at this beach are young surfers
Across the road is also the “Centro de Interpretação Duna da Cresmina” (or “Cresmina Dunes Interpretation Center”). Inaugurated in 2014, it presents an exhibition about the dunes, fauna and flora of the area, and is reached via a boardwalk over the dunes, offering wonderful views of the beach and Sintra’s hills.
Bars and restaurants facing the beach are open throughout the year
How to Get to Cresmina Beach
The stops of the 405 and 415 buses by Guincho Beach, to the north of Cresmina.
To get to Praia da Cresmina from Lisbon by public transportation, hop on the Cascais train in Cais do Sodré Station. It departs every 20 minutes and reaches Cascais in 40. Then cross the road behind the station, to the Cascais Villa shopping mall, which has a bus terminal on its subterranean level. Buses of the Scotturb company depart from there and pass by Guincho, stopping by Praia da Cresmina. Those are buses 405 and 415, which have hourly departures, but at different times, so there’s a bus heading towards Cresmina around every 30 minutes. It stops by the beach in about 15 to 20 minutes. Tickets are bought from the driver. Please note that there are fewer departures on weekends and the last buses are between 7pm and 8pm.
If you choose to go by taxi or Uber from the center of Cascais (it may even come out cheaper than the bus if you go in a group and share the cost), the journey takes about 15 minutes.
Another option is to rent a bike in Cascais, and follow the cycle path along the sea, for about 20 minutes.
If you have purchased the Lisboa Card, you may ride the train for free.
Hotels on Cresmina Beach
Fortaleza do Guincho
Many of the romantic rooms in this ancient fortress face Cresmina Beach, and are decorated in a classic and medieval style. The restaurant is one of the best in the region and holds a Michelin star.