Praia da Adraga is dotted with dark rocks
Known for its scenic beauty, this wild and sandy beach close to Cabo da Roca is protected by cliffs and dotted with formations of dark, jagged rocks. It was once considered one of the top 20 European beaches by the Sunday Times, but remains somewhat of a secret, although much less so each year, as it can also be crowded on summer days (avoid it on weekends). Still, it’s far from being as popular as the other beaches around Sintra, and the northern section (accessible at low tide) still offers some privacy to naturists.
Praia da Adraga has been listed as one of Europe's best beaches
Close to the southern end (to the left as you arrive at the beach) is the Pedra de Alvidrar (the “Rock of Reason”), a huge rock that drops vertically to the sea, which in the past was used for a local rite of passage for young men, who showed their bravery by climbing it.
An arch carved by nature at the entrance to Praia da Adraga
Nearby is the Fojo natural well, which resulted from the erosion of the limestone rocks that also created caves, tunnels and grottoes. The bottom of the well leads to the sea, and a Roman myth says that it’s home to a 90-meter Tritan who plays a conch shell (in reality, the sound is caused by the waves).
Cave on the southern side of Praia da Adraga
The water is very clean (this is a Blue Flag beach), but the waves are often quite strong, so it’s not the best for swimming. But if you’re looking for a beach of stunning beauty for photos or romantic walks along the shore, this is it.
Praia da Adraga has grown in popularity thanks to word of mouth and its restaurant
At low tide you can explore a string of caves on the southern end.
There’s a good restaurant right on the beach, with sea views. It specializes in fish, but lists other options on the menu.
The northern section of the beach usually offers enough seclusion for naturists
Beach for: Couples, Instagram
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
Transportation: Bus from Sintra
Praia da Adraga has lifeguard supervision in the summer
How to Get to Praia da Adraga
There’s no direct public transportation to this beach, but it’s between Praia da Ursa and Praia Grande, and not difficult to reach by car. It has a parking lot, but on summer days make sure you go early or you may not find a spot.
Scotturb bus 439 that departs from the Portela de Sintra terminal to Praia Grande stops in Almoçageme, which is about a 20-minute walk from the beach (the stop is called “Almoçageme Largo” -- walk all the way down Rua da Praia da Adraga from there).
Bus 403 that departs from outside Sintra's train station to Cabo da Roca and Cascais, also stops in Almoçageme Largo in about 25 minutes.
If you like to hike, you can also follow a trail that starts by the road to Cabo da Roca and Praia da Ursa all the way to Praia da Adraga. It’s a pleasant walk through nature, with signs along the way and taking about 45 minutes. If you’re in Praia Grande, there’s also a trail to Praia da Adraga through a pine forest. This trail isn’t as easy to follow as the one from Cabo da Roca, but if you follow the signs on poles and tree trunks, you can reach the beach in about 40 minutes.
Attractions by Praia da Adraga
Praia da Adraga is just a 15-minute drive from Cabo da Roca, a cape that marks the westernmost point in mainland Europe. It’s a popular pilgrimage site for tourists, who take selfies surrounded by the beauty of the natural landscape. You can also walk there -- on the road to the beach, just before the parking lot, you’ll see a sign pointing to Cabo da Roca. This indicates the aforementioned trail for walkers, which is quite easy and pleasant to follow, and takes you to the road to Cabo da Roca and Praia da Ursa in about 45 minutes.
Another path, accessed from the parking lot, leads to Praia Grande, in the opposite direction.
Hotel by Praia da Adraga
Arribas Sintra Hotel
There are no hotels right on Adraga Beach, but this one is less than a 10-minute drive to the north, on Praia Grande. It’s known for its huge seawater pool overlooking the Atlantic, on a large terrace with sun loungers. The spacious rooms have balconies with sea views.