Praia da Rainha (Rainha Beach) means Queen’s Beach. Princess Amélia of Orléans, the last queen consort of Portugal, was so charmed by its golden sands, bay views and secluded position that she made it her private bathing beach. The small town beach is now open to the public once more.
Rainha Beach’s calm waters are perfect for swimming and it gives access to a little rocky cove surrounded by cliffs, where you can snorkel to spot little marine creatures. This gem of a beach has a golden carpet of soft sand to play on.
Come here to rest your legs after exploring the shops and attractions of Cascais. Rent a sun lounger and work up a tan or read a book in the shade of a beach umbrella, while you listen to the sounds of playing families and soaring seagulls.
When you feel like having lunch or refreshments, visit the on-site beach bar or one of the cafés on the promenade above the beach. Look out over the marina with its bobbing fishing and sailing boats while you sample fresh Portuguese squid, sardines, calamari and clams.
Follow the seawall (paredão) on foot or by bike to explore more Cascais beaches, such as the nearby Praia da Conceição. The convenient promenade leads all the way to São João do Estoril to Cascais, some 2 miles (3.3 kilometers) away. To cool off along the way, jump in the Piscina do Tamariz, a swimming pool in between the rocks and a man-made platform.
Rainha Beach is nestled between the coast and the Rua FredericoArouca, the town’s main street. Cascais itself is easily accessible by train from Lisbon, about 20 miles (33 kilometers) to the east.
On a clear day or after dark, you can actually see the outline of Lisbon’s skyline in the distance.
The beach is only a very short walk from the Cascais train station and gets very busy during the high season. Come early in the day or later at night to enjoy the beach without the crowds. The sheltered beach is very suitable for young children. Lifeguards are on patrol in summer.