Guincho beach from Cascais

Guincho beach is a vast sandy beach that faces the might of the Atlantic Ocean, the huge waves are great for surfing while the near constant breeze is ideal for kite surfing. The beach is situated on the edge of the Serra de Sintra National Park, which has enabled the region to maintain its unpreserved, natural beauty. Cycling is one of the best ways to travel to Guincho beach, as there is only a limited bus service from Cascais and taxi fares are expensive. Most visitors to Guincho drive but it can be difficult to find a parking space during the summer.

The marked cycle route starts in front of the Castro Guimarães museum, which lies just to the west of the marina and across the narrow cobbled bridge.

The first sight along the route is an interesting cliff formation with a very dramatic name, Hell’s Mouth (Boca do Inferno). The Boca do Inferno is a collapsed cave that has left a natural sea arch, which waves dramatically crash into (this is most spectacular during winter storms).

As the cycle path crosses from the left side of the road to the right there is the striking canary yellow Casa da Guia. Whilst taking in this site, it is worth stocking up on refreshments found in the kiosks and cafes within the palace grounds – ideal for a midway break. Back on the bike and a little further along the path there is the Farol da Guia lighthouse. Do note that tourists cannot enter the lighthouse though as it is a restricted building.

The next site along the path is the Forte de São Jorge de Oitavos. Inside this small 17th century fort there are original cannons, which once guarded the coastline from attack.

The following section of the cycle path passes along the barren and wind blasted cliffs of the Serra de Sintra National Park. On a clear day the colourful Pena Palace can also be seen at the top of the hill to the east.

The first beach which is passed by cyclists is the small Praia da Arriba. On the cliffs above the beach there is a popular wedding venue, Arriba by the Sea, and a swimming pool complex.

As the path starts to descend, the second much larger Praia da Crismina beach is passed. This beach is separated from Praia de Guinch by the headland and the distinctive Fortaleza do Guincho. This historically important fort has been converted into an exclusive hotel and restaurant.

From here a raised walk way spans the sand dunes of Guincho beach and then the cycle path turns right and inland at the junction. Continue along the road (N247) to the left and take the first left junction to turn into the main car park and the northern side of Guincho beach. Unfortunately, there are no coastal paths to continue cycling to the Cabo de Roca.