The small locomotive takes tourists to the quieter (and better) beaches down the coast
Transpraia is a seasonal tourist train service inaugurated in 1960 that links the town of Costa da Caparica to the fishing community of Fonte da Telha. Before roads and parking lots were built along the coast, this small diesel locomotive with three carriages with wooden benches was the only way to get to the beaches, following tracks on the dunes that extend for 9km (5.5 miles).
Originally it made 22 stops, but the route was shortened in 2007, and it now departs one kilometer down, by a roundabout on Praia Nova next to a camping site, at the end of Avenida General Humberto Delgado (about a 10-to-15-minute walk from the bus terminal and the center of town).
The original signposts have been maintained, however, so the first beach (Praia da Saúde) still has the sign marking it as the fourth stop.
Signs tell you to "Beware of Train - Stop, listen, and look"
It operates from June to September, from 9am to 7pm, with departures every half hour (sometimes, due to a reduced number of riders, every hour). The entire bumpy journey, from Costa da Caparica to Fonte da Telha, takes just over 20 minutes. Tickets are bought on board.
Despite being a train for tourists, this is not a hop-on-hop-off service, so you need to buy a ticket every time you board. It is possible, however, to buy a round trip ticket, for €8.50.
Due to the decreasing number of riders, there’s the risk of this service being discontinued, and of the fare being raised at any time. Some find it expensive, but this is more than transportation to the beaches, it’s the perfect way to enjoy the views of the sea and of the protected nature of the surroundings. Unless you have a car, or don’t mind going for a long walk of over one hour, this is also the only practical way to reach the quieter and better beaches on this coast.
The final stops are in the nude section of the coast
The most popular stops (using the signposted numbers) are:
- Paragem (stop) 8 - Praia da Riviera beach for its surfing school
- Paragem 14 - Praia da Morena beach with its popular bar and restaurant
- Paragem 15 - Praia da Sereia beach with the trendiest bar on the coast
- Paragem 16 - Praia da Nova Vaga beach for kitesurfing
- Paragem 17 - Praia da Bela Vista, an official nude beach
- Paragem 19 - Praia 19, the “gay beach”
- Paragem 20 - Fonte da Telha, the last beach with several bars and restaurants and also a nude beach
For more information about these and other beaches on this coast, see the Costa da Caparica beaches guide.