Body-boarders know the region as the home of the European and World Championships, with the best waves for body-boarding being those at Praia Grande. But this is also a family beach, where you can have fun with your children discovering 66 different dinosaur footprints.
If you’re in a more romantic mood as you travel to the beach, you can catch a hundred-year-old tram in Sintra that will take you to Praia das Maçãs through some fascinating countryside. The golden sand, clear sea and restaurants on the small cliff all combine to ensure a pleasant day out.
Another agreeable surprise is the small village of Azenhas do Mar.
Literally hanging over the cliffs, this is one of the most charming spots along this coast, where you can spend a fine sunny day swimming in the pool above the ocean.
If you have the energy and a spirit of adventure, set off to discover some of the small beaches that can only be reached on foot, such as the Praia da Ursa, where you’ll find an enormous rock shaped like a bear. Or look out from the 140-metre high cliff at Cabo da Roca and experience the sensation of being at the westernmost point of mainland Europe. This is also one of the best places for enjoying the impressive spectacle of the sun setting over the Atlantic.