A Coast to Boast: Best of Lisbon Water Activities
Portugal’s long coast presents copious opportunities for exciting water activities; this, coupled with the region’s sunny climate, makes it the ideal place for a beach-oriented trip. Discover the best of Lisbon Water Activities.
Just one short bus ride from Lisbon, the country’s booming capital, will take you to some of the most beautiful beaches Western Europe has to offer. Water activities are abundant in Lisbon’s surrounding areas, where countless adventures are just waiting to be had. From underwater explorations via scuba diving to high-energy sports like kite-surfing, Lisbon’s coast offers plenty of bucket-list worthy escapades. Between the perfect weather, idyllic views, and exhilarating activities, Lisbon’s beaches are definitely not something to miss out on.
Parasailing is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Seated in a parachute-like canopy that is attached to the back of a boat and flies through the air, parasailers get magnificent views of the beach around them while soaring to new, unforgettable heights. Generally, each parasailing trip costs between $30 and $60 depending on which location you depart from. The price is well worth the trip because you get to take a lovely hour-long boat ride before your ten minute flight in the air, which will reach a maximum height of approximately 150 meters (almost 500 feet). Both Viator and Sea Booking offer excellent deals for parasailing off Lisbon’s coast.
One of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world to scuba dive is Sesimbra, a fishing town located only about 40 minutes from Lisbon. Sesimbra is without a doubt the diving capital of Portugal, and with renewed diving facilities and conveniently located diving schools, the experience is top-notch from the get-go. The trip lasts around 40 minutes and you can select whether your scuba tour goes to a mountainous area, a shipwreck, a deserted beach, a cave, or a calm bay. The price for a scuba tour averages around $100. Check out Portugal Diving, Diviac, and Viator for additional information on the amazing dive options in the Lisbon area.
For those who’d rather observe the sea from a perspective closer to the water’s surface, snorkeling is also rampant in Lisbon. Private speedboats cruise along the coast and take customers on rides that last the entire day — this means you get to sunbathe, admire scenery, and snorkel in breathtaking (pun intended) waters for up to 8 hours. Trips vary in price from $90 to $125, and the gorgeous marine life makes it beyond worthwhile. Viator, Trip Advisor, and Get Your Guide will provide you with some of the greatest snorkeling deals in the most beautiful harbors around Lisbon.
Anyone with an affinity for arm exercises and stunning landscapes should consider taking a kayak tour of Lisbon’s waterfront. Experienced guides instruct you on how to paddle, and the views you witness of the city’s skyline on these trips are unique and totally gratifying. Depending on how elaborate your trip is (in terms of both length and how many destinations you are guided to) you’ll be looking at a $35-$90 price range. Visit Get Your Guide or Viator for more information.
If you’re interested in extreme sports, Lisbon is an awesome place to take kitesurfing lessons. Kitesurfing is complex, adrenaline-inducing, and extremely fun: the surfer stands on a kiteboard (which is pretty much just a mini surfboard) while holding onto a large, controllable kite that harnesses wind power to propel the kiteboard along water. Classes start at around $50 and vary depending on location, skill level, and the number of lessons. Viator and Adrenaline Hunters are two great sources of information on kitesurfing schools near Lisbon.
Speedboating is a less intensive water activity that’s great for families and couples alike. This activity guarantees an awesome day of visiting nearby islands, marveling at nature’s scenery, and witnessing the city’s monuments from a unique perspective. As a skipper directs the boat, you get to relax aboard and soak in the beauty surrounding you. For options on deals and tours, Lisbon By Water, Viator, and Lisbon By Boat are all great resources to check out, with their average prices fluctuating around $60 for a day trip.
Sailing is hugely popular in Lisbon. Private sailboats frequently take tours through the Tagus river for as little as $30. Morning, afternoon, sunset, and day-long tours are all options, and the sites you get to admire while cruising are absolutely stunning — they include UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Belém Tower and the famous Jerónimos Monastery. Different sites and times are available depending on the company, so check out all your choices on Lisbon Sight Sailing, Sailing With Nigel, and Viator.
If water activities aren’t your cup of tea, Lisbon has excellent beaches that are perfect for relaxing and just spending the day taking it easy. All the beaches surrounding Lisbon are easily accessible via public transport, and the four different coastlines surrounding the city each suit varying tastes. The Estoril-Cascais Coastline is popular amongst tourists and locals alike, with family-friendly beaches, golden sand, and clean water. The Serra de Sintra Coastline is full of unspoiled beaches that are rugged and wild due to being protected by the Serra de Sintra national park. Great surf, trendy bars, and resorts are prominent features of The Costa da Caparica coastline, which has by far the most facilities for tourists. Last but not least, the Serra da Arrábida Coastline is surrounded by forested hills and greenery, thus deeming it one of the most picturesque coastlines in all of Europe.
Clearly, there’s no shortage of water-based activities in the Portuguese capital. If swimming, sunshine, and natural beauty are up your alley, Lisbon is definitely the place for you.
Read also: Lisbon Culture
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Williams is the CEO and Co-founder of NOMADX with his base in Lisbon, Portugal. Dave is a US pioneer in the digital marketing, advertising, and ad tech industries as a serial digital entrepreneur over the past 20+ years with multiple exits in the early formative stages of the search engine marketing, social media, and ad tech industries.