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Outdoor Activities: 15 Outdoorsy Things To Do Near Lisbon

As you venture beyond Lisbon’s city limits, you’ll discover a treasure trove of outdoor pursuits that cater to solo travelers, couples, and families alike. From adrenaline-fueled escapades to leisurely strolls through nature, this guide is designed to help you get outside and explore the great outdoors. So, without further ado, let’s embark on an adventure and uncover the best Lisbon has to offer.

The 15 Best Outdoor Activities in Lisbon

Lisbon’s versatility is one of its greatest attractions. The city’s mild climate means that the best outdoor activities can be enjoyed throughout the year, with few seasonal limitations. Whether you’re visiting in the height of summer or during the winter months, you’ll find that most of these activities are accessible and enjoyable. This flexibility makes Lisbon an ideal destination for travelers, allowing them to plan their trip with greater ease.

Ride The Waves of Europe’s Only World Surfing Reserve

Tucked away 50 kilometers west of Lisbon lies the quaint fishing town of Ericeira, boasting some of Europe’s most sought-after surf spots. With a diverse range of breaks catering to all levels of surfers, from gentle waves for beginners to challenging conditions for experts, this charming coastal haven has something for everyone. For those just starting out, Foz do Lizandro and Praia do Sul offer the perfect learning grounds, while intermediate surfers can hone their skills at Matadouro or Ribeira d’Ilhas. Meanwhile, advanced riders can push their limits on the legendary Coxos beach.But Ericeira’s appeal extends far beyond its surf scene. Visitors can explore the town on two wheels by renting a scooter, take to the calm waters with stand-up paddleboarding, join in on a lively game of beach volleyball, or tackle the scenic trails on sunset mountain bikes. As the day winds down, indulge in fresh seafood and local wines at one of the many restaurants and bars, immersing yourself in Ericeira’s vibrant nightlife and soaking up the relaxed coastal atmosphere.

Stand-Up Paddleboard in Cascais

Cascais, nestled beside Sintra, boasts a treasure trove of attractions, including picturesque beaches, a historic old town, and a bustling marina. What’s more, this charming town is conveniently connected to Lisbon by direct train, making it an ideal day-trip or longer-stay destination. Originally a humble fishing village, Cascais underwent a transformation in the 19th century when it became the favored retreat of Portugal’s royal family. Today, visitors can enjoy the town’s many beaches, including Praia da Conceição and Praia da Duquesa, which are perfect for water sports enthusiasts. The calm and crystal-clear waters during summer months make these beaches ideal for stand-up paddleboarding. For a unique experience, pair your SUP adventure with a private boat tour to fully appreciate Cascais’ coastal beauty. Alternatively, thrill-seekers will love Carcavelos Beach, one of the best surfing spots near Lisbon, strategically located between the two cities.

Visit The Arrabida Natural Park

The Setúbal Peninsula, situated approximately 40 kilometers south of Lisbon, is home to the breathtaking Arrábida Natural Park (Parque Natural da Arrábida). This stunning region boasts a unique landscape characterized by limestone cliffs, pristine beaches, and lush Mediterranean vegetation. For thrill-seekers, coasteering offers an unforgettable adventure, featuring sea cliff climbing, water jumps, zip lining, and hiking through the park’s diverse terrain.Alternatively, visitors can enjoy more leisurely activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, or stand-up paddleboarding. The park also features a variety of beaches, including Portinho, where you can rent equipment or join a guided tour to explore the Lisbon coast. Other notable beaches include Praia da Figueirinha, Praia dos Galapinhos, Praia dos Galápos, and Praia dos Coelhos, each offering crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and sunbathing.Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the Arrábida Convent, a historical landmark nestled in the hills, boasting panoramic views of the picturesque coastline. Visitors seeking to explore the Convent must schedule their visit on Wednesdays, Saturdays, or Sundays.

Horseback Ride in Comporta

Located just 75 miles south of Lisbon, Comporta was once Portugal’s best-kept secret, but its bohemian charm, stunning beaches, dunes, and rice paddies have made it a coveted destination. Its celebrity appeal is undeniable, with the renowned fashion designer Christian Louboutin owning property in the area. In fact, he even opened a hotel just 20 minutes away in Melindes. Comporta’s laid-back atmosphere lends itself perfectly to outdoor pursuits, such as horseback riding on its picturesque beaches. Imagine galloping alongside turquoise waters, surrounded by nothing but nature and your small group – an unforgettable experience that combines adventure with serenity.

Surf in Costa da Caparica

Surfing is an integral part of Lisbon’s coastal culture, and Costa da Caparica is the perfect spot to experience it without venturing too far from downtown Lisbon. Located just over the Ponte 25 de April (25th April Bridge), this charming town is a hidden gem that embodies the city’s vibrant energy. The beaches here are renowned for their consistent waves, lively beach bars, and a surf culture that permeates every aspect of life. It’s not just what you do; it’s who you are. Various surf tours offer routes from Lisbon to Costa, catering to surfers of all levels. From beginner-friendly waves to more challenging breaks, there’s something for everyone. While technically possible to surf year-round, the cold winter months require a sturdy wetsuit rental to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Go on a Lisbon Boat Tour on the Tagus River

For a unique Lisbon outdoor experience, look no further than a boat tour on the Tagus River, which forms the city’s border. As the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, it originates in Spain before flowing through Portugal and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean beside Lisbon. This tranquil escape offers a fresh perspective on Lisbon’s iconic landmarks, allowing you to take your time and soak up the atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking adventure or romance, there’s a boat tour to suit your mood: party-boat tours for a lively experience, scenic tours that highlight the city’s charm, sunset tours with champagne and music, or even the chance to cool off with a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Free Dive or Scuba Dive in Sesimbra

Sesimbra, a charming fishing village situated approximately 40 km south of Lisbon, has emerged as a hotspot for divers and water sports enthusiasts. The crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life make it an ideal destination for exploring the underwater world. One of the most enjoyable activities in Sesimbra is scuba diving or free diving, which often takes place in small groups. As you navigate Portugal’s coastline, you’ll have the chance to encounter a diverse array of sea creatures up close.

For those without a scuba diving certification, many schools offer dive discovery experiences or open water diving certification courses. Similarly, free diving enthusiasts can find suitable training and guidance. The village’s proximity to Lisbon makes it an excellent day trip option, offering a unique opportunity to combine urban exploration with aquatic adventures.

Spot Dolphins

For an unforgettable experience with bottlenose dolphins, head to Lisbon’s surrounding areas where several spots offer a glimpse into their natural habitat. The Sado River Estuary, situated near the Troia Peninsula, is one of Europe’s few resident populations of these majestic creatures. Join guided tours in this estuary and you’re practically assured of spotting a dolphin. Other notable locations for dolphin watching include Sesimbra, Cascais/Estoril Lisbon coast, and the Lisbon marina. Some tour operators will even pick you up from a dock near downtown Lisbon, taking you on a scenic ride to the Atlantic’s wider estuary in pursuit of these marine marvels.

Rock Climb

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For thrill-seeking travelers, Lisbon offers a unique opportunity to scale new heights – literally! Rock climbing is one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities to experience around the Portuguese capital. With numerous tours available, you can explore some of the best rock-climbing spots near Lisbon, including Cascais, Sintra- Cascais National Park, Arrabida Natural Park, Guia, Peniche, and Fenda. Some companies offer customized climbing experiences, while others specialize in specific locations like Cabo da Roca. Alternatively, you can get a taste of urban climbing by attempting to conquer Lisbon’s iconic April 25 bridge.

Visit A Winery and Eat Cheese in Azeitão

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In the heart of Setúbal’s renowned wine region lies Azeitão, a town that proudly boasts robust and aromatic wines as its crowning jewels. The Muscat of Setúbal or Moscatel de Setúbal, in particular, has earned widespread acclaim for its bold flavor profile. Meanwhile, the area is also celebrated for its creamy sheep cheese, which pairs exquisitely with Azeitão’s flagship wine. Visitors can opt to explore this charming town independently, but many Lisbon-based tours offer comprehensive itineraries that include a visit to Azeitão alongside stops at picturesque beaches in Arrábida and historic Sesimbra. For an unforgettable Lisbon food and wine experience, Azeitão is the perfect destination to add to your travel plans.

Paraglide in the Portuguese Sky

For those seeking a unique perspective on the region’s varied landscapes, paragliding offers an exhilarating way to experience the thrill of flying above the hills and coastal areas. For first-time flyers or those desiring a guided adventure, local schools and tour operators can provide instruction and tandem flights. These excursions typically take you to popular sites such as Fonte da Telha, Sesimbra, Arrábida, and Setúbal, providing breathtaking views of the area’s natural beauty.

Alpaca Meet and Feed

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Located approximately 110 kilometers (68 miles) south of Lisbon lies the charming town of Grândola, where an unconventional experience awaits. In this picturesque setting, visitors embark on a unique adventure: feeding alpacas. For those eager to cross ‘feeding alpacas’ off their bucket list, a family-run farm serves as the perfect destination. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to hand-feed these fascinating creatures while absorbing the breathtaking natural surroundings and acquiring valuable insights into their world.

Hike To Find Dinosaur Footprints

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In a region rich in natural history, the Jurassic period’s legacy remains palpable at Cape Espichel, affectionately referred to as Cabo Espichel in Portuguese. The dinosaur footprints discovered here are a testament to the area’s significance, dating back over 150 million years. This ancient relic can be explored on an exhilarating day trip from Lisbon, where hikers can marvel at the trackways etched into vertical cliffs. However, the scenery doesn’t stop there – Cape Espichel is also renowned for its awe-inspiring vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect blend of natural wonders that will leave you in wonder.

Explore By Bike

Embark on a thrilling biking adventure in Lisbon, Portugal, and its surrounding areas. The city’s seven hills offer a unique landscape for cyclists to explore, but it’s best to stick to flatter terrain like the coastal road between Lisbon and Cascais or Sintra. If you’re not up for the challenge, e-bike tours are an excellent alternative. These guided excursions provide a similar two-wheeled experience without the physical exertion. Whatever your preference, there’s no shortage of exciting routes to discover. The scenic views along the coastal road and the ease of public transportation options – like the Cascais-Lisbon or Sintra-Lisbon train, which allows you to bring your bike on board – make it easy to get around and enjoy the sights.

Eat Local Food

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While Lisbon is a hub for food tours, there’s no shortage of opportunities to indulge in Portugal’s culinary delights beyond the city limits. In Setubal, venture out to try choco frito, a local specialty featuring crispy fried cuttlefish. For a unique experience, visit an oyster farm and savor freshly shucked oysters right before your eyes. Meanwhile, Sintra is a must-visit for its sweet treats like travesseiros and queijadas de Sintra. Fishing towns like Ericeira and Sesimbra offer the chance to feast on fresh catches of the day. And what’s better than enjoying these Portuguese delicacies? Doing so al fresco, taking in the picturesque scenery while you dine.

Lisbon Outdoor Activities: Frequently Asked Questions

When venturing outside of Lisbon, it’s crucial to consider the direction. Just north of the city lies Ericeira, a charming town worth visiting, followed by Sintra to the west, Cascais to the southwest, and Costa da Caparica to the south. On a sunny day in Lisbon, outdoor activities are a must. Water sports are highly recommended for their refreshing and invigorating qualities on a hot day. For those with two days in Lisbon, balance is key. Spend the first day exploring historic sites, neighborhoods, and landmarks, and dedicate the second day to visiting scenic towns like Sintra and Cascais. As for touristy areas, Belem boasts historical monuments, Chiado offers lively shopping and cultural experiences, and Bairro Alto is renowned for its vibrant nightlife.

So Many Outdoor Activities to do in Lisbon!

In Lisbon’s harmonious blend of urban sophistication and natural splendor, a wide range of outdoor pursuits await every kind of traveler. From riding the waves along Ericeira’s coastlines to discovering the mystical palaces of Sintra or simply basking in the sun on its beaches, there’s no shortage of activities that encapsulate the essence of this captivating city. Whether you’re an adrenaline enthusiast, a nature aficionado, or seeking peaceful moments, Lisbon, Portugal, has something for everyone, promising an unforgettable experience under the open sky. Let your adventurous spirit soar and let these outdoor activities transport you to a world of excitement.